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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Saturday, January 7, 2006

Windward Mall to get face-lift

By Andrew Gomes
Advertiser Staff Writer

Jamie Souza arranges the display at the Down Memory Lane kiosk in Windward Mall, the state’s sixth-largest shopping complex. Aside from renovations, the mall will welcome new tenants such as Farrell’s Ice Cream Parlor, a spa/salon, two restaurants and a bookstore.

JEFF WIDENER | The Honolulu Advertiser

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Windward Mall owner Kamehameha Schools announced plans to renovate the Kane'ohe shopping center at an estimated cost of $23 million.

Physical renovations to the state's sixth-largest shopping complex are to include redesigned entrances, better landscaping, new flooring, lighting, paint and an additional escalator between the mall's two levels.

The mall, anchored by Macy's, Sears and Regal Cinemas, is 84 percent occupied. New tenants coming to the center include Farrell's Ice Cream Parlor, Ruby Tuesday Restaurant, Bellagio Spa & Salon and IHOP Restaurant. The mall, which has been managed by Ala Moana Center owner General Growth Properties since 2004, also plans to add a 22,000-square-foot bookstore.

The upgrade, slated to begin in the summer, would be the first major renovation for the regional mall since it opened in 1982. It would be the second major shopping center renovation by the trust, which is overhauling its Royal Hawaiian Shopping Center in Waikiki.

"Windward Mall is one of the top 10 assets in our Hawai'i core real estate portfolio, and we now have an opportunity to increase our return on investment with this renovation plan," Kirk Belsby, vice president of endowment for Kamehameha Schools, said in a statement.

"Investing in our commercial properties such as the Royal Hawaiian Shopping Center and Windward Mall are important, as the revenue generated by these properties (goes) directly to our three campuses and our numerous outreach programs."

The trust has been working to improve performance of Windward Mall, which in recent years has gradually filled significant vacant space that at times had amounted to more than 30 percent of the mall's 530,000 square feet of store space.

"I'm confident that the new mix of tenants, both local and national, along with the interior improvements, will make Windward Mall a major retail attraction again," said mall general manager Jonathan Kim.

Reach Andrew Gomes at agomes@honoluluadvertiser.com.