Sugar Mill Center Is In The Works

Wednesday - December 27, 2006
By Lisa Asato
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A groundbreaking ceremony was held last month for the roadway leading to the last phase of the Mill Town Industrial Park in Waipahu, which was hailed by community leaders as a sign of re-energizing the former plantation community with jobs and commerce.

“This is a proud and historic day for Waipahu,” said Mayor Mufi Hannemann, a former area councilman. “This plantation community is going to keep the best of the past and open the door for the future.”

The Sugar Mill Center at Mill Town, next to the landmark smokestack, will comprise 13 fee-simple industrial lots on 11 acres and a retail center on two acres. The ground-breaking for the center is expected to take place in early 2007.

At the Nov. 17 ceremony Collin Miyamoto, vice president of Avalon Development and project manager for the Sugar Mill Center, said roadway improvements on Mokuola Street and construction of a new road into the industrial park would begin shortly.

He said the industrial lots would ideally be sold by early 2007, and owners “could start building by the middle to end of 2007.”

Miyamoto explained that there are few opportunities to buy in an industrial market with vacancies at less than 3 percent, with neighboring Mill Town Center sold out and areas toward Kapolei nearly sold out. He also said its central location between the West side, Honolulu and military bases was a plus.

“We do have reservations for all of the saleable (lots) on the commercial side. It’s a matter of signing contracts,“He said, adding that Avalon is still open to hearing from interested buyers.

On the retail side, Avalon is “in discussion with (interested tenants for) approximately 45 percent of the total area,” he said. The retail center has 14 spaces on the ground floor and eight on the second. Miyamoto said the center may offer facilities like doctors offices and services such as dry cleaning,as well as salons and national retail stores.

Sen. Clarence Nishihara, who represents the Waipahu neighborhood, said the planned project would provide jobs and a synergy with nearby neighbors, including the Filipino Community Center and YMCA, and be “a catalyst for civic pride.”

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