Maui News Article: New Kihei Mall

Kihei mall project touted as ‘job generator’
Calif. developer aims to start work in spring on state’s largest outlet center

Maui News Article
By CHRIS HAMILTON

KIHEI – A California developer wants to begin construction this spring on a shopping center that would be the largest outlet mall in Hawaii.

The 300,000-square-foot first phase of the project, Maui Outlets, would be located on 30 acres mauka of Piilani Highway and would generate an estimated 1,200 retail jobs, according to Eclipse Development Group LLC, of Irvine, Calif. A second, 400,000-square-foot shopping center is planned for an adjacent 45-acre parcel. When both phases are completed the project would add around 90 shops and restaurants to South Maui.

The site straddles the terminus of the planned Upcountry highway. Zoning and land-use entitlements are in place for the project, which is located on former Kaonoulu Ranch land.

As a condition of approvals, developers have agreed to provide land for the Upcountry highway, and make improvements to the Kaonoulu Street intersection.

“We are thrilled the project will not only bring additional shopping opportunities to both local residents and the island’s visitor market, but that the outlet center will bring more than 1,200 jobs to the region,” said Eclipse President Doug Gray in an email.

He said the company would start announcing its tenants in the coming months.

“This is a tremendous job generator in the middle of a recession,” Gray said.

Maui County Council Member Don Couch, who holds the council’s South Maui seat, acknowledged that some residents had raised concerns about the project, and said he was still trying to get more information.

“I haven’t formed an opinion yet because we don’t know what it is, and they’re not talking to us,” Couch said.Couch added that he already had some questions about the project’s design, and didn’t like that the shopping center’s sprawling parking lot would be located in front of the main buildings.
He said the current thinking in urban planning is to create more of a small-town feel, with green space and walkways, and parking located out of sight.

“We can’t please everyone; however, I think most residents will be pleased with the development and tenants,” Gray said. “If we let a committee develop a site, it never would get built. When the community wants to risk $200 million in this economy; they can become developers.”

“We expect to be part of the community for a long time; and have bicycle and walking paths along all the roads.”

Eclipse will devote $20 million just for infrastructure, said Charlie Jencks, its local consultant.

Jencks said a 13-acre affordable housing subdivision being developed in conjunction with his 670-acre Honuaula project would benefit from the mall’s new intersection, roads and planned 1-million-gallon water tank.

“Eclipse has a reputation,” Jencks said. “They have done this so many times in so many places, I’m sure it’s going to be successful. They know how to get things done.”

He also said the stores will cut down on traffic in Kihei by saving South Maui residents shopping trips to Central Maui. As a result, Central Maui’s traffic will be less congested, Jencks said.

But Couch questioned whether the project could actually bring additional traffic to the already-crowded Piilani Highway.

He also questioned the need for such a large outlet mall on an island with 155,000 people.

But Mayor Alan Arakawa expressed strong support for the project.

“We need the jobs,” Arakawa said. “We’re going to be supporting businesses that create jobs.”

Arakawa said he met with Eclipse about six months ago to help fast-track building permits. Streamlining permitting is an administration goal, and Eclipse received no special treatment, he said.

Arakawa also said he hasn’t seen the plans. Still, he said he thought the shopping center won’t have any negative visual impact because of the landscaping. It’s next to the proposed Kihei high school, too, and other planned housing developments.

“I haven’t seen the specifics because it’s a shopping complex,” said Arakawa, who expects more details once the leases are signed.

Jencks said Eclipse purchased the property a year ago from Maui Industrial Partners, where he was a partner.”The heavy lifting was done long before we bought this land,” Gray said. “It was in the entitlement process for over 14 years.”

The ranch devoted about half of the 1990s to getting all the necessary environmental impact studies done as well as county zoning and state land use designation changes and Maalaea-to-Makena community plan amendments for light industrial development, said county Planning Director William Spence and others.
“Sometimes, it’s time to move ahead,” Spence said.

Arakawa said the County Council and the community set this land aside years ago for exactly this kind of use someday to discourage urban sprawl.There are people who want the malls, and those who don’t,” Couch said. “It’s Maui.”

LINK TO ECLIPSE DEVELOPMENT GROUP SITE PLAN FOR MAUI OUTLETS

For more information on Developments in Maui Contact Meghan Clair of Coldwell Banker Island Properties


Meghan Clair
Realtor (S), EcoBroker
Coldwell Banker Island Properties
MauiGreenRealEstate@Gmail.com
(808) 874-8668 office
(808) 463-8485 cell

Article from this Blog post is originally from The Maui News.

Maui News Article: Home Sales & Prices are UP for 2011


*excerpts from this blog post taken from online Maui News article:
Statistics: ’11 valley for real estate market
January 10, 2012 / By Harry Eagar

Was 2011 the year the real estate market touched bottom and started back up? Statistics published by the Realtors Association of Maui and released Monday suggest it might have been.

After four years of decline and a flood of foreclosures and short sales, the average price of a single-family house on Maui went up 5 percent to $787,552 during 2011. The number of sales rose 10 percent from 817 in 2010 to 898 last year.

Terry Tolman, chief staff executive of the association, said strong sales interest is being confirmed by actual reported sales, “with multiple offers competing for well-priced properties.”

There are still plenty of lender-owned repossessed properties and desperate underwater owners trying to escape via short sales out there.

Broker Billy Jalbert at The Maui Real Estate Team writes a blog about conditions, and he noted this week that half of all single-family sales in December and two-fifths of condo sales were either short sales or bank-owned properties. “It is safe to say buyers are still looking to the bank-owned and short-sale market for opportunities,” he wrote.

For years now, Tolman has been cautioning that until the overhang of distressed properties is worked through, the market cannot return to normal, whatever that is.

Still, prices are low now, even if they go lower still, and mortgage rates are very low So he believes now is a chance for “Maui’s worker bees” who want to own their own homes to buy at comparatively low prices and absolutely low interest rates.

But in doing that, the buyer should be prepared to buy and hold – “at least five years” – and not try to get rich quick, he said.

MAUI HOME VALUES/NUMBER OF SALES WENT UP ISLAND WIDE
In Spreckelsville, Paia and Kuau, (about two dozen sales of single-family homes) average prices zoomed 92 percent from $595,000 to $1.1 million. Somewhere in between were Pukalani (five-dozen, single-family home sales), up 8 percent to $515,000; and Lahaina (about 40 sales), up 17 percent to $967,000.

LUXURY MARKET IS APPRECIATING QUICKLY!!!
Median prices are thought to give a clearer picture, because they are not affected when prices at the very top end are rising faster than the overall market, which was the case in 2011. Kapalua average prices were up 25 percent to $4.3 million; and Wailea-Makena averages were up 20 percent to $4.5 million. Wailea-Makena medians were up 32 percent to $2.3 million.


Makena, Maui Golf Course views of Molokini

HERE IS A LINK TO ALL THE HOMES FOR SALE IN MAKENA AND WAILEA
WAILEA/MAKENA MEDIAN PRICES ARE UP 32%!!!

CONDOS
“The lower ends of the market for homes and condos have relatively limited inventory. As you start to go up in price, you see a greater range of inventory.”

Tolman has an explanation for that: “The majority of condos on Maui are second homes or investments and experienced a steeper price drop as Mainland owners ‘let go’ of them in order to keep their ‘primary’ residences on the Mainland.”

Still, he noted, not all condominiums are for the well-to-do. For aspiring homeowners who find $250,000 too high, a lower-priced condo can be the ticket in, he said.

If Maui real estate prices start going up again (which has been the long-term trend, no matter what the past five years have shown), then the appreciation could generate the down payment that is often the obstacle to buying a single-family house for working people.

For the moment, not only Maui’s real property economy but the general outlook seems to be rosier than it has been for a while.

____________________________
For more information on the Maui Real Estate Trends or assistance in finding the best deals on Maui contact Meghan Clair!

EcoBroker, Realtor(S) Meghan Clair of Coldwell Banker-Wailea Shops Office specializes in assisting Buyers find THE BEST South Maui Oceanfront and Luxury Investments.

She is pleased to represent you as a Buyer’s Agent on any unique Maui home or condo.

Meghan Clair
Realtor (S), EcoBroker
MauiGreenRealtor@Gmail.com
Coldwell Banker Island Properties-Shops at Wailea
(808) 463-8485 Direct Phone
(808) 874-8668 Office Phone

LINK TO MEGHAN CLAIR ON FACEBOOK