Kihei mall plans scrapped for ‘mixed-use’ development

KAHULUI – Although plans for two controversial South Maui malls have been scrapped, developers of former ranch property in north Kihei still want some retail development on the site, including national clothing stores and restaurants currently not found on the island.

Charlie Jencks, owner-representative for the project, offered some details of the newly proposed “mixed-use” development Thursday. He said the development will include light industrial space for warehouses and residential housing for about 200 units and could include businesses such as home improvement stores and “lifestyle” stores, citing Pier 1 as an example though noting that no talks have been held with the company.

Jencks gave The Maui News an update of the revamped project during a recess of a state Land Use Commission meeting Thursday morning in the Courtyard Maui Kahului Airport hotel’s Haleakala room.

At the meeting, the LUC agreed that the project may have a “significant effect” to trigger the preparation of an environmental impact statement and to accept the EIS for the revamped project when completed.

The action further paves the way for Texas-based landowner Sarofim Realty Advisor and affiliate Honua’ula Partners to formalize their new plans for the once-proposed 400,000-square-foot Piilani Promenade and 300,000-square-foot Maui Outlets on 75-acres mauka of Piilani Highway and east of Kaonoulu Road in Kihei.

The original plans ran into a roadblock when the land commission in February found the project to be in violation of three conditions imposed by the panel on the parcel back in 1995 when the zoning reclassification was granted to the former landowners.

Before the commission could issue a formal decision and order, the developers requested time to change their plans. In June, the LUC granted the developer’s request to submit a motion by Dec. 31 to amend the plans, to prepare for an EIS and to give the public an opportunity to comment.

Interveners Maui Tomorrow Foundation, South Maui Citizens for Responsible Growth and Kihei resident Daniel Kanahele – who brought the challenge to the development to the LUC – have called on the commission to issue a written decision and order, which they say would help provide clarity and closure for the Kihei community on the project.

As a condition of granting the developer’s motion for more time to amend its project, the commission ruled that no development or work would be allowed at the proposed site until the motion to amend has been filed.

In anticipation of preparing an EIS for the project, a preparation notice has been filed with the LUC. In it, the developers describe their proposed plans of building “a mix of retail, office and commercial space, industrial uses and approximately 200 apartments, as well as a MECO (Maui Electric Co.) substation.”

There also will be a “network” of vehicular roadways, bicycle and pedestrian pathways that will establish connectivity throughout the project and provide opportunities for connection with adjoining properties along Piilani Highway, the notice said.

In addition, the project would include construction of a portion of the future East Kaonoulu Street – the first segment of the future Upcountry-Kihei highway – and two road widening lots.

Off-site improvements will include the construction of a 1 million gallon water tank for drinking water that will serve all of South Maui with waterlines to be connected to the existing Maui County high pressure waterline, the document said.

Currently, the project has no roadway access, but if built, access would be via East Kaonoulu Street, a proposed four-lane divided highway that would connect to Piilani Highway.

A Traffic Impact Analysis Report also will be revised for the new project.

To view the EIS preparation notice, go to

* Melissa Tanji can be reached at