Next big steps for former Big Save building

LIHUE — County of Kauai officials are moving forward with plans to reassess vacant space in the Lihue Civic Center complex that once housed a grocery store under the defunct Big Save banner.

Steps to move that effort forward, Deputy County Engineer Lyle Tabata said, began earlier this month after county officials hired Honolulu-based architecture, planning and interior design firm Architects Hawaii Limited to conduct a comprehensive assessment of office space used by county departments.

The one-year $805,826 project contract was awarded to Architects Hawaii Limited in April.

Tentative plans include shaping the Lihue Civic Center and the Piikoi Building, which houses the former Big Save space, into a centralized business and transportation hub.

These changes include moving Kauai County Transportation Agency administrative and customer service offices for the Kauai Bus from the county base yard to the 16,000-square-foot space once occupied by Big Save, County of Kauai Transportation Planner Lee Steinmetz said.

This move would dovetail plans to redesign and reconfigure Eiwa Street, which would turn the closed road into a one-way street that would be open to pedestrians, bicyclists and Kauai Bus riders.

Doing so, Steinmetz said, would require eventually moving future Kauai Bus services from Hardy Street to the mauka side of Eiwa Street to alleviate future traffic congestion along the Lihue Civic Center complex.

“In their planning, they (the consultants) will also include the former Big Save space, and incorporate the proposed move of the Kauai Bus administrative functions as well as hosting the agency’s ‘transit hub,'” Tabata wrote. “In addition, they will consider parking needs based on the updated information.”

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