By Susan Halas
Just ask the boys from the Maalaea Boat & Fishing Club, the improvements at Maalaea Harbor are almost finished and they’ve put a lot of people to work in the process.
“Those are your stimulus dollars at work,” said Bobby Lu’uwai, crediting his “Uncle Barack” with the upgrades.
Virgil Ramos, standing by his boat Honey Girl, was also pleased about the new look at the harbor, though he was less pleased that the gang had been ousted from their old club house below Buzz’s to make room for interim construction headquarters. Word-on-the street is the boys will get new digs before long in the larger scheme of things.
Lots of New Stuff and More to Come
Speaking of the larger scheme of things: the new look really is quite impressive: There’s a new gently curving roadway from Buzz’s to the highway.
The lovers of pavement will find much to admire in vistas of brand new beautifully smooth parking, roadways, loading and turn areas. Every bit of it is level and gleaming; there’s nary a crack or pothole in sight.
The management at Buzz’s had good things to say about the stylish new lamp posts. A new harbor office is under construction down at the end of the pier. Everywhere you look there’s new stuff and more to come.
Maalaea Store Renovations – New Quarters for Waterfront Restaurant
The former Maalaea General Store, long empty and decaying, has new framing and bracing. It’s sporting a banner that says it’s coming back with a cafe. Lots of dirt has been moved in the back and other signs of remodeling are plentiful.
Across the way, kitty-corner to the Coast Guard Station, black cloth dust barriers have been set up, but as yet there’s no sign identifying what’s going to be built there. What ever it is, it’s going to be big.
Across the way at the Maalaea Harbor Shop on the parking lot level, Gary and Rick Smith are eagerly awaiting their liquor license. They’re keeping their fingers crossed and hoping that the ever-popular Waterfront Restaurant can re-open at its new location by April. Down the way, next to the Pacific Whale Foundation retail store there’s new activity as The Story of Hawaii Museum gets ready for its own soft opening on March 10th.
It’s Almost Done………
Back harbor side, there’s still lots of heavy equipment and DETOUR signs. But it’s clear that a lot of the major work has been done, and the day can’t be far off when the Maalaea project is complete.