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Pahoa shopping center proposal clears committee


Tribune-Herald staff writer

A proposed new shopping center in Pahoa cleared another procedural hurdle Tuesday with a County Council committee giving it its unanimous support.

The Planning Committee voted 8-0 on two bills to rezone the 9.93-acre property at 15-2714 Pahoa Village Road where the $20 million commercial development would be built.

But its members, noting concern over congestion, also said they planned to add an amendment at the council level requiring a roundabout at Highway 130 and Pahoa Village Road to be completed before businesses can open. The state Department of Transportation expects construction of the traffic circle to begin in January and take a year to complete.

Speaking on behalf of the applicant, B.T. Kuwahara LLC, consultant Jon McElvaney said would have “no problem” with that change.

McElvaney said the plan was already to not seek occupancy until the roundabout is finished.

“We will not accept occupancy until the roundabout is completed and signal light is in and all the traffic is running smoothly,” he said.

As part of the project, the developer will be adding a signal light at Kahakai Boulevard and Pahoa Village Road. Kahakai Boulevard will also be extended by 600 feet.

McElvaney said road improvements would be coordinated with the DOT, and he is hopeful the new signal would be in place by the time roundabout construction begins.

The development would include a supermarket, medical and dental facilities, as well as restaurants and other retail.

McElvaney said in August that KTA Super Stores was “first in line” to fill the 40,000-square-foot supermarket space.

He said Tuesday that no agreements have been made with any potential occupants.

The development is expecting to produce 300 full-time jobs and be complete in 2015.

The proposal received support from the Windward Planning Commission in August.

Buildings will be designed to match Pahoa’s “rustic plantation style,” McElvaney has said.

The design has received the support of the Pahoa Regional Town Center Steering Committee.

The development will also incorporate recycling of organic waste for fertilizer, bioswells and solar power.

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