Maui Academy of Performing Arts has started construction on its new black box theater in the former National Dollar Store building at 2027 Main Street in Wailuku.
The culmination of a 30-year dream, the Naylor Family Theatre will seat 185 audience members with a flexible seating system that can be re-configured to accommodate different types of performances.
Named in memory of philanthropist Susan Naylor’s two sons, the facility also includes state-of-the-art audiovisual and lighting systems, lobby, box office, concessions area, dressing rooms, rehearsal studios, restrooms and storage.
MAPA raised $6.5 million for the project, including a $3.5 million grant from the US Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration.
MAPA’s Executive Director Carolyn Wright said the Economic Development Administration’s investment in the project is an effective tool for addressing the need to diversify Maui’s economy.
“The devastating one-two punch to our economy, first by the pandemic and then by the August 8 wildfires, brought into sharp focus how critical it is for the Maui community to take meaningful steps towards diversification to build the resilience necessary to withstand the next major economic disruption. Our project creates 44 jobs over the next nine years for artists, technicians, and production personnel. By strengthening the creative arts sector, this project is good for Maui’s economy as a whole,” said Wright.
As a placemaking tool, the project also serves as an anchor for the emerging Wailuku Arts District by breathing new life into Main Street and providing opportunities for people to linger longer in Wailuku, according to organization leaders. This additional foot traffic benefits the town’s restaurants and shops and generates additional tax revenue, according to a news release on the progress of the project.
In addition to the economic benefits of the project, MAPA’s Artistic Director David C. Johnston underscored the healing power of the arts. “MAPA’s Naylor Family Theatre will be a space for the community to experience the benefits of the arts that stretch beyond just entertainment. It will be a gathering space where the community can generate a sense of collective healing through the arts. I believe that the arts can be a powerful force for helping us navigate the uncertainties of these times, providing solace, awakening curiosity, and inspiring us to imagine a new future in a thriving community.”
Arita Poulson General Contracting LLC won the construction contract after a competitive bid process in 2023. Construction began in December 2023 and will be complete by March 31, 2025.
With plans to consolidate programming in the new facility, the Board of Directors made the decision to list MAPA’s other two commercial buildings across the street for sale with Commercial Properties of Maui.
2050 Main Street, which is currently 100% leased, comes with an additional parcel, 2020 Main Street, for commercial redevelopment, and is strategically located in the Opportunity Zone on Main Street in Wailuku.
Wailuku has experienced a surge in demand for commercial real estate, particularly in the restaurant, retail and office sectors.
The concurrent parcels being offered are conveniently situated within walking distance to state, federal and county buildings, making it an ideal location for businesses, according to the news release announcement.
“The Wailuku Redevelopment District, under the purview of the Maui Redevelopment Agency, allows for a full range of retail, service and business uses within a local and regional market area, intermixed with arts, entertainment, multifamily and single-family residential uses with a vision to create a lively and aesthetically pleasing environment where people can live, work, shop and dine,” according to the announcement.
Additionally, the new Wailuku Parking Garage, consisting of 393 parking stalls, is located directly behind 2050 Main Street, providing parking for tenants and customers.
The property is zoned B3, allowing for a wide range of residential and commercial uses.
For more information about 2020 and 2050 Main Street, please visit Commercial Properties of Maui at www.mauibiz.com or contact Greg Sheehan (R)B or Grant Howe CCIM (R)B 808-244-2200.