Construction on the 63,000-square-foot Safeway at Niumalu Marketplace in still expected to be complete by the end of this year.
“Safeway is hoping to open by the end of the year so they can service the community with a larger store, more quick serve food offerings, and the same great local service they have been giving Hawaii communities in almost 60 years in Hawaii,” said Colby Durnin, CEO of CREDE, developer of the property south of Lanihau Shopping Center in Kailua-Kona.
Although the coronavirus has delayed some projects, Durnin said they are on schedule for the entire project which encompasses nearly 22 acres. Developers broke ground on the $95 million project in June 2018.
“There has been some difficulty in shipping equipment and materials on time but luckily for us, we had procured most of our materials earlier in the year before COVID-19. We are watching the situation very carefully and the shipping vendors are working hard to make sure things stay on schedule,” he said.
Durnin said the COVID-19 pandemic has delayed receiving commitments from retailers interested in leasing space.
“It has, for now put things on pause as we all try to figure out what this means to the economy and what COVID-19 will do to restaurants, retail, and businesses that require close contact,” he said. “We are however very hopeful about Hawaii with the lowest rate of infection. That’s the first step in the right direction in getting our economy moving again.”
Durnin said they are in conversation right now with several local favorite retailers and national companies new to Hawaii to fill the additional 145,000 square feet of retail space at the center.
“We’ll be able to share more in the coming months as things finalize,” he said.
The larger Safeway will also bring with it an 18-pump fuel center and convenience store.