KILAUEA — A supermarket is coming to Kilauea.
Hunt Companies, developer of the new Kilauea Lighthouse Village, said it signed a lease with the Sullivan Family of Companies to open a new supermarket as an anchor tenant for the proposed development.
The Sullivan Family of Companies, operators of Foodland, Food Pantry and the Kalama Beach Corporation, will open The Market at Kilauea, a 10,000-square-foot neighborhood grocery store.
“We are very excited to announce this partnership is formalized and we look forward to welcoming you all into our new store a year from now,” said Sullivan Vice Chairman and CEO Roger Wall at a Tuesday night Kilauea Neighborhood Association meeting, which about 70 people attended.
The developers addressed the meeting a day before issuing a press release on the agreement.
Hunt Companies Hawaii Region President Steve Colon said it has been three years since the company addressed KNA. It took substantial community outreach to make the project concept and design come together and, with the permitting process near completion, it was the right time to announce the first leaseholder.
Sullivan started 66 years ago as Kauai’s first supermarket. It owns 114 gift shops, groceries and general stores around the state and country. On Kauai, Sullivan owns Accents gifts, Lamonts Gift & Sundry Shops, Oasis Lifestyle Store, Water Wear Kauai, three Whalers General Stores, and two Foodland grocery stores in Waipouli Town Center and Princeville.
“We are still local and family run,” Wall said. “This is our home and we want to give back as generously as we can.”
The Market at Kilauea will be half the size of the Princeville Foodland. It will employ around 50 people and carry local and regional products to include meat, seafood, produce, deli and bakery, along with organic food from chicken to locally grown kale.
The new store and location is a unique opportunity to specialize as the largest seller of local growers in the state, Wall said. People like the intimate format with a smaller footprint.
“The essentials,” Wall said of the grocer’s focus. “Locally grown and prepared food to take home fresh. The range we are offering goes a long way to meet all of your needs.”
There are no immediate plans for a new store in Princeville, he added.
Kilauea Lighthouse Village will be a gathering place for the community, Hunt said Companies Vice President for Development Jose Bustamante. The first and largest tenant precedes what they hope will be a summer groundbreaking with completion of the project in 2016.
The 50,000-square-foot, mixed-use town center development will contain 11 separate buildings with 34 unit spaces. The pending leases include a bank, fitness center and other small retailers and office spaces.
The county is requiring mixed-use by incorporating live and work residences above the businesses, he said. Another 574-square-foot space is reserved as a gathering space at the community’s request.
Some details to the project still need to be ironed out.
Remaining barriers include county approval for connecting a road from Post Office Road in Kilauea town to the shopping center. Hunt is also waiting on subdivision and Class IV building permits that are contingent on state Department of Health approval.
A construction road was built for trucks to access the site from the highway without going onto town roads. A portion of that road will remain as part of Post Office Road improvements for a permanent access road to the village.
The improvements would incorporate bike lanes, widened walkways, crosswalks, and create a two-lane road connecting the east and west with turn lanes and two bus stops for future Kauai bus rotation into the village.
Some residents at the meeting said it was a concern there wouldn’t be a bypass road from the highway to the village. Other concerns included utility, piping, sewage or cesspool plans.
“Think of the congestion,” one resident said. “This was the concern that the county voiced over two years ago.”
Bustamante said the county reviewed construction plans and safety was the No. 1 priority.
KNA Board Chair Yoshito L‘hote, said the early efforts were to ensure that the county and Hunt agree on a direct access road. The result was an agreement from Hunt to provide 20 percent of the road and the county would prioritize the road as part of its Statewide Transportation and Improvement Plan wish list to the state for federal funding.
Kauai County Engineer Larry Dill said the county would work with the developers on the bypass road, but STIP funds are tied up.
“Based on the landowner’s willingness to provide the necessary soft match of 20 percent for the project, the county does intend to move forward with this project in the future, Dill wrote in an email to The Garden Island. “However, the county has already committed its current STIP funds to other projects, thus the Kilauea bypass project is not on our list for this year.”
Bustamante said Hunt would continue to make the 20 percent STIP funding commitment for a parkway access to the highway. However, he said Hunt would build as required.
But to some at the meeting, it sounded like the county and the project had abandoned its plans for direct highway access. Many demanded the road to divert congestion from smaller neighborhoods.
“That was the biggest concern for the past four years years,” said Katie Pickett of Kilauea Bakery & Pau Hana Pizza. “You can’t have that much traffic coming down Kilauea Road, so there definitely has to be a new road before they open that shipping center or you will have a lot of angry people.”