KAILUA-KONA — A larger Safeway being built as part of the Niumalu Marketplace is on track to open up in summer 2020, the project’s developers said Wednesday.
That will be followed in the fall with the completion and delivery of the remainder of the 14-building commercial center, which could bring as many as 25-30 spaces for local and national tenants.
“It was important for us to create a community center in Kailua-Kona Town that respected the lifestyle of the community,” said Colby Durnin and Thomas Reiter, CEO and president, respectively, of Commercial Real Estate Development Enterprises. “So we are focusing on ensuring that the tenants we curate meet the needs of the immediate community and residents in the area first, so it will be a mix of national and local tenants.”
The Niumalu Marketplace is being developed between Lanihau Center and Henry Street, makai of Queen Kaahumanu Highway. Developers broke ground on the $95 million project in June 2018.
In total, it’s expected to include 185,650 square feet of lease space including the 63,000 square-foot anchor building to be occupied by Safeway, which will move from its current space at the Kona Crossroads Shopping Center.
A Safeway representative said last year the expanded store will feature an expanded produce section and butcher block, and the store could potentially more than double its workforce to 200-250 people.
The larger Safeway will also bring with it an 18-pump fuel center and convenience store.
“We are also taking care in designing a central gathering area that allows for people to hang out comfortably at the center and not just treat it as a destination to run an errand but really an extension of their home,” the company leadership said, “a place to bring their kids to hang out, enjoy an afternoon lunch, and bump into a neighbor.”
The development is also bringing improvements to the Henry Street access road into Lanihau Center including a sidewalk for improved pedestrian safety.
It’s also including landscaping that makes use of indigenous plants and lava-rock-scaped areas that both reflect local terrain and lower irrigation needs.