$5 mil. to be pumped into Kaua‘i Village

The green facade and plantation-style look of the Kauai Village shopping center is in for a $5 million makeover.

The exterior walls will get facelifts, the architecture will be updated and new tenants will fill out the empty space, according to Kim Scoggins, vice president with O‘ahu-based Colliers Monroe Friedlander, which is overseeing the renovations for the owners.

“We will be making it look a little bit more contemporary but hopefully keeping the country atmosphere of Kapa‘a,” he said. “We like it looking like Kapa‘a and not downtown Miami.”

Between 10 and 15 new businesses will be brought in to fill vacant storefronts, and the center’s walls will be updated with stucco for a more modern look.

An estimated 12 to 18 months will be required to complete the project. There will not be any new structures, however, as the parking and permitting do not allow for expansions.

Scoggins said the signature whale murals by artist Wyland on the clock tower and street-facing wall will remain and possibly be restored. Both murals were originally dedicated in 1991, according to the Wyland Foundation Web site.

In January, Faris Lee Investments partnered with Diversified Equity Investment Corp., the largest shopping center owners in Hawai‘i, to buy the property from then-owner PASSCO.

At the time of the sale, Faris Lee Chairman David Lee said in a press release that the vision for remodeling was to create more of a “resort-style shopping center.”

At 85 percent of capacity, the center was overdue for some care and attention when it was purchased for $40 million, including renovation costs, Scoggins said.

While anchor stores Safeway and Longs Drugs attract the bulk of resident customers, the center had not fully capitalized on the visitor market.

Along those lines, Scoggins is recruiting more tourist-friendly tenants through statewide brokerage firms.

“The market in Kapa‘a has gotten to be much more active with visitor traffic,” he said, pointing to the completion of the Waipouli Beach Resort and its 196 luxury condos across the street.

In addition to new retail shops, two new restaurants will likely move in. Part of the renovations will open up a 4,000-square-foot space for a breakfast and lunch eatery such as Denny’s or IHOP.

There are also plans to bring in an up scale restaurant featuring Pacific cuisine. Scoggins said there are currently talks with a few local restaurants for the space, which will have outside dining.

Current tenants include Starbucks Coffee, Cold Stone Creamery, Subway and Jamba Juice. None of the present occupants are leaving the center. To date, no lease agreements have been formalized with new businesses.

Kauai Village is a 110,000-square-foot retail center that was built in 1990 on 8 acres. The property includes a three-story clock tower and an open air courtyard with a waterfall, landscaped ponds and streams, and small walking bridges.

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