Ground broken for Koloa mixed-use project

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    Dignitaries Paul Morgan, Teddy Blake, Jeff Fisher, Charlee Abrams, Robert Alvarado, Michael Serpa, Randal Miyashiro, Todd Dorny, Conrad Murashige, Michael Dahilig, and Michael Moule, from left, turn dirt at the Koloa Village project site Wednesday.

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    The Rev. Lady Ipo Kahaunaele Ferreira of Ke Akua Mana Church offers the blessing as dignitaries, from left Paul Morgan, Teddy Blake, Jeff Fisher, Charlee Abrams, Robert Alvarado, Michael Serpa, Randal Miyashiro, Todd Dorny, Conrad Murashige, Michael Dahilig and Michael Moule prepare to turn the dirt at the Koloa Village project site Wednesday.

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    Robert Alvarado and Michael Serpa distribute digging sticks as Lady Ipo Kahaunaele Ferreira of Ke Akua Mana Church prepares for the groundbreaking blessing Wednesday at the Koloa Village project.

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    Digging sticks are ready as Leionani, Kela and Naiana Cummings perform a hula to the music of Lenny Brezee of Makani Entertainment Wednesday at the site of the Koloa Village site blessing and groundbreaking.

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    Leionani, Kela and Naiana Cummings perform a hula at the site of the Koloa Village blessing and groundbreaking Wednesday.

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    Calyssa Ludington-Braun of Koloa Village greets guests against the backdrop of an artist’s rendering of the final project Wednesday during the site blessing and groundbreaking for the Koloa Village development.

KOLOA — Six years ago, Robert Alvarado of California stood at the corner of Koloa and Weliweli roads and was greeted by a large “For Sale” sign posted on the empty lot.

“Something came over me,” Alvarado said. “I come from a place near the base of the Santa Cruz mountains. I dreamt of something like this since I was a child, a place that had nearly the same feeling of where I grew up. I talked about this with my mom, and called the number on the billboard. Paul Kyno came in answer to the phone call, and we negotiated the sale on the front seat of his truck.”

Alvarado and his developer partner Michael Serpa relayed the saga Wednesday morning to a gathering of people during the site blessing and groundbreaking for Koloa Village. It is described as a mixture of retail, commercial, and residential, projected to appeal to both the local and visitor communities.

“People along the boardwalk looked at me,” Alvarado said. “I turned to them and said, ‘This is something I’m going to do the rest of my life.’”

Alvarado said Koloa is a special place and he wants to develop Koloa Village to become the center of town.

Starting from Koloa Road across the Koloa post office, Koloa Village is scheduled to be completed in two phases. The first will be the shopping and commercial complex with a 250-car parking lot. The second phase will include 36 residential units along the Waikomo Road boundary.

“The 47,000 square feet of historic plantation style two-story ‘Shops’ have been designed to connect the historic store fronts of Koloa Town with ‘The Shops’ as the new South Shore center,” according to a press release.

“This is a big responsibility,” said Serpa. “Koloa Village is humbled and respectful of being a part of Koloa. With more than 25 years in the development industry, I have never had a project as unique as this.”

Serpa said part of the construction for Kauai Village will see improvements along Weliweli Road, including pedestrian walkways and a sanitary sewer system.

“The crepe mrytle trees that Louis Abrams loved will remain,” Serpa said. “Weliweli Road will be tree lined, and the monkeypod trees will be maintained. Inside the commercial area, we will have a bicycle concessation allowing people to use Hapa Trail to get to and from the Poipu area. The homes will be owner-occupied with pricing affordable to working professionals.”

Planning director Michael Dahilig said the department makes sure that promises made are kept.

“Louis Abrams was my boss as the chair of the Planning Commission,” Dahilig said. “Louis always stressed melding the modern with the past. Koloa is a special place because it was where the sugar industry has its roots. This project fills the honoring of the land and its history with growth in a modern way.”

  1. larry March 1, 2018 5:41 am Reply

    leave your mainland money and Big ideas there Koloa already exists and doesn’t need expansion neither do our roads need more traffic

    1. Sunrise_blue March 1, 2018 10:08 pm Reply

      Surely, you must be joking. A ghost town. Pro tourism.

    2. Spanish Camp, Koloa March 3, 2018 1:32 am Reply

      A long time Kama’aina of the Old Koloa Town but now live in a small community in Ohio. So much memories growing up in Spanish Camp. Will these developers be living there in Koloa to experience the problems and headaches that comes with this tourist trap? Of course not… dey out for da kala $$$! Stay in Santa Cruz and build somewhere else, da mainland has more room to build than a quaint little town. More affordable homes rather than families living with families just to survive. It’s already bad as it is. Stop if you can!

    3. Spanish Camp, Koloa March 3, 2018 1:33 am Reply

      Totally agree Larry!

  2. larry March 1, 2018 5:43 am Reply

    oh and what about affordable housing for the working man
    who is gonna work for the Professional man and keep his yard up if he cant live here due to unaffordable housing?

  3. Uncleaina March 1, 2018 6:23 am Reply

    Why not post links to the plans and renderings for this development? The one picture looks terrible and completely out of place. This is not being developed for local residents- it’s obviously for tourists. Instead of vague ideas about “working professionals” being able to afford the homes, let’s see a number. I’m guessing that number is closer to $800,000 than $350,000. Look, this is the same planning commission that makes bad decision after bad decision, I truly doubt this project will help anyone in Kauai except the developers and the mainlanders who buy up these places as second homes. Post some links so we can see for ourselves.

    1. OSunrise_blue March 1, 2018 10:27 pm Reply

      This will only help Kaua’i as a destination vacation. Any tax breaks coming out of this project is a good tax break. A regressive tax will be one that will not burden the local community. The dependencies then will be on sustainability, but through tourism and a tourist based planning that will focus its attraction on Kaua’i and advertise Kaua’i, gaining repeat visitors every year. A good plus. For the tourist industry.

  4. Lenny for mayor March 1, 2018 7:24 am Reply

    Are they going to have clean public toilets? I for one prefer the do do smears!!!

  5. John Zwiebel March 1, 2018 9:53 am Reply

    While it will be good to see “something” in that field of guinea grass, I sure do wish the parking garage could be moved to a remote location and let people walk downtown, like they do in Europe. The traffic is going to be a mess. Santa Cruz has a lot of nice restaurants, it would be nice to see just one on the South Shore.

  6. Albert DeGaglis March 1, 2018 3:26 pm Reply
    Don’t let them do it. I live in Santa Cruz. It’s projects like this that have ruined our town. It causes home prices to sky rocket. Traffic is horrendous. It used to be nice little beach community but not anymore. Stop them if you can.

  7. Lee March 1, 2018 3:34 pm Reply

    Not much Aloha out there today. The signs on the property for a long time show the parking structure will be hidddn in the middle of the lot, behind the hardware store. I am curious about the prices on the 32 duplex units. Maybe I’ll sell my house on Koloa Road Mega Highway and move into Koloa town.

  8. OSunrise_blue March 1, 2018 10:56 pm Reply

    Maybe I could sweep up some time. Ha..ha..haa!

  9. Sunrise_blue March 1, 2018 11:00 pm Reply

    $1.2 M complex housing. Value will increase. Property

  10. Sue March 2, 2018 9:39 am Reply

    Why not stay in Santa Cruz and build it there? Go away!

  11. Craig March 2, 2018 2:41 pm Reply

    “Pave paradise, and put in a parking lot, ew, bop bop”…Enough already, the Garden Isle is disappearing under cement. Such a SHAME…Politicians and developers, phony’s out for money since Waikiki.

  12. Duke K March 3, 2018 2:53 pm Reply

    We dont want a new developement! We want our home back! We want the rich people out of here! We can’t afford anything anymore! Housing prices and rent is ridiculous! Traffic from all the transplants and tourist cars are ridiculous! We don’t want to move from our own homeland while the rich move here! We want our kids and grand kids to be able to live here 20 years from now and beyond! Not your kids and grandkids! Our ohana! This is our home! Stop with the over development of hawaii! Enough already! It’s so bad that we need another hurricane to send everybody packing!

  13. Tjk March 4, 2018 10:25 pm Reply

    Stop Californicating Hawaii! Too much already!

  14. Anuenue Kanahele March 6, 2018 5:48 am Reply

    Anyone taling about tourism…. needs to move to Santa Cruz. Hawaii (Kauai) is not america nor your playground. This project is uneducated and unwanted by ‘the only opinion that matters’ Hawaiians. You people move here to get away from the bullshit you crrated elsewhere (everywhere) and then try to turn Hawaii into a garbage pile. Please grab some education before posting about tourism. Only non Kauaians rely on thst ‘hint-hint’… #BoycottHawaii

    1. Alex Stoddards January 24, 2021 2:03 pm Reply

      Exactly this! Everyone wants to come to Kauai then mess with it saying ‘we know best’. Seriously do not come here to develop the island. You want development, malls, condo units, do it in your own backyard and only if the Community wants it. Once we ruin Kauai’s charm – it can never be replaced.

  15. Joey E April 18, 2018 8:34 am Reply

    I agree the cost of living in Kauai is tremendous. The fact is by adding the shops will reverse that fact. In fact, it will offer jobs that are needed for the community.

  16. Joey E April 18, 2018 8:35 am Reply

    meant will not reverse that fact

  17. Makai October 22, 2019 6:04 pm Reply

    Managed growth means prosperity for ALL who live on island. It creates competition on the supply side and lower prices on the demand side thats good for locals. Also brings jobs to the community. I understand its a very complex issue and affordable housing for young families is a problem. I believe just across the street Koa‘e Makana will be 133 units to serve households with incomes at or below 30 percent, 50 percent, and 60 percent of the median income limits established by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. that is GOOD and this Commercial development will support a lot of those those people…that is also GOOD. If it wasn’t for controlled small development like this to support the community you native hawaiians would still be smoldering in the smoke of the cane field fires and your kids would surely be gone because there would be absolutely no jobs here on island. Be grateful and embrace the positive part of your #1 commodity now, “tourism” you have to agree its way better than sugar export that you didn’t want nor wanted to work for. If your kids commit to work hard in this new emerging market they can become the LOCAL business leaders of the community themselves and it may be just enough to keep them close to home. I support this development and hope it doesn’t get bogged down by bureaucratic red tape or 20th century traditional thinking. Mahalo for listening

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the TERMS OF SERVICE. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. If your comments are inappropriate, you may be banned from posting. To report comments that you believe do not follow our guidelines, send us an email.