Updated Plans Announced for Former “Kihei Malls” Project
By Wendy Osher
An update involving plans for the mixed-use Piʻilani North and Piʻilani South projects in Kīhei has been released.
Charlie Jencks, an owner’s representative for Sarofim Realty Advisors, issued a statement on Thursday in response to “a number of inquiries” about the current status of the project.
“First, we would like the community to know that Sarofim Realty Advisors has been the owner of the property since 2010 and is now leading the planning and entitlement process. Eclipse Development, the prior developer, is no longer associated with the project,” said Jencks in a statement.
According to Jencks, the change will enable direct discussions about the development of the project with the community, including the Kīhei Community Association and other groups.
“We have held three meetings with the KCA Board and have met with additional community advocates, discussing design ideas that encourage connectivity, such as safe walking and biking paths separated from Piʻilani Highway,” said Jencks.
In a phone interview this afternoon, Mike Moran with the Kīhei Community Association said, “I’m really glad Sarofim Realty out of Dallas has eliminated the middle-man.”
He continued saying, “This is a positive move on Sarofim’s part to come forward and say we’ll deal (with the community) directly.”
So far, communication has been more “open” and “receptive,” according to Moran, who confirmed that at least three meetings have been held to date, with a fourth on tap for August.
A concrete plan has not yet been presented, “seemingly because they have not developed it yet,” but he said, “They have completely thrown out the outlet mall idea and have gone back to the drawing board.”
According to Moran, a very preliminary outline of designs was shared with the KCA, but has not been distributed to the public yet because it is still premature to do so.
At this point, Moran said, “We can’t really form an opinion, but we think they are going in the right direction meeting with us.”
Since the initial proposal was introduced, Jencks said the project concept has been revised to a “mixed-use project,” that includes multi-family house, retail, and commercial and light industrial uses. The housing, Jencks said, includes affordable units.
“When the regulatory and entitlement processes are completed we plan to move forward with a project that the community can be proud of and one that will provide jobs, tax revenue and a variety of uses for Kīhei,” said Jencks.
According to Jencks, the owners have until the end of the year to submit a Motion to Amend with the state Land Use Commission, and develop a new plan for the property.
“We will use this time to complete the project design concept, to publish an Environmental Impact Statement Preparation Notice and prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for the project,” he said.
Under the Motion to Amend, the public will reportedly have a chance to comment on the new proposal.
Jencks also noted that the owners plan to host a community-wide informational meeting on the project later this month. “In the meantime no construction activity on the Kīhei site will take place until authorized by the [state] LUC,” he said.
Off-site improvements associated with the project reportedly include a 1-million gallon water tank, and contributions to the “first phase of the long-awaited Kīhei/Upcountry highway,” at Kaonoulu Street, according to Jencks.