New Kukui Grove Center owners donate $5,000 to Kauai United Way

LIHU’E — John Gerdes got to meet members of the Kaua’i community.

Gerdes, the vice president of L&B Realty, was honored during an informal blessing of Kukui Grove Center to mark the new ownership.

Kumu hula Leilani Bond opened the ceremonies with an oli (chant not meant to be (chant not meant to be danced to), followed by a hula performed by one of her students, prior to the Hawaiian blessing officiated by the Rev. Ipo Kahaunaele.

As a demonstration of L&B Realty’s commitment to the community, Gerdes presented Kauai United Way leaders with a check for $5,000 that was accepted by Scott Giarman, executive director of the Kauai United Way. Gerdes, who said Kaua’i is his favorite island, also said L&B Realty officials are happy to have Kukui Grove Center as part of their portfolio, and is looking forward to being able to satisfy shoppers’ needs.

He said that in order to attract owners and operators of more stores and businesses that shoppers want, they need to support the ones that are here. It is this support that will give them the material they need to attract the businesses that shoppers want to see in the mall.

Wade Lord of CRBE (Chaney Brooks Richard Ellis Hawaii, Inc.), manager of Kukui Grove Center, said he regretted that David Pratt, formerly of Grove Farm Company, whom Lord described as the original architect of the shopping center, was not able to attend the event.

Lord relayed the saga of a tour they had with Paul Douglass, then the head of Matson Navigation Company at Nawiliwili, and Pratt, in a field of sugarcane.

Lord said Pratt pointed out, “That’s where Sears is going, that’s where Liberty House (now Macy’s) is going to be, and all in between is going to be a shopping center,” Lord said of the tour.

Leaders of L&B Realty also recently purchased the Kukui Marketplace, where Kmart, Borders Books, Music, Movies & Cafe and other stores are located.

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