Work halfway complete on Wailea Village Center

Project gets additional approvals from planning commission

WAILUKU — The 43,000-square-foot Wailea Village Center is about a year to a year and a half away from completion, the developer said Monday during a Maui Planning Commission meeting.

The Wailea Village Center, mauka of the Shops at Wailea, currently is a 20,000-square-foot retail center, but the owners have plans to double the size of the shopping and restaurant complex to 43,000 square feet. The expansion project, which originally got the go-ahead in 2013, received additional approvals from the commission Monday on construction plans for the new buildings.

Located near the intersection of Wailea Ike and Wailea Alanui drives, the 6.6-acre property sits at the heart of the sprawling resort community that encompasses several hotels, shops, beaches and golf courses.

California-based developer Burnham USA purchased the property from Wailea Old Blue LLC for about $11.3 million in May 2015, according to county property tax records. The company originally planned to renovate and expand existing buildings and add six single-story commercial, office and retail structures, according to county Planning Department documents.

However, developers realized that the space between the buildings might be too steep for pedestrians, so site plans were changed to include three single- and two-story buildings that will be built into the hillside “to maintain a single-level appearance,” a Nov. 24, 2015, Planning Department memo explained. The square footage in the originally approved plans would remain roughly the same at around 43,000 square feet.

Two of the new buildings will be connected by a plaza, while the third will be located across the parking lot, according to plans on Burnham USA’s website. Lanai seating will be spread out around the buildings. Some of the businesses that already occupy the property include Manoli’s Pizza Co., Coldwell Banker, Juvenal’s Hair Salon and Snorkel Bob’s. Available suites in the new center would range from 1,600 to 4,940 square feet.

County planner Candace Thackerson said Monday that expansion of the existing buildings has been completed and that the overall project is halfway done. However, it needed additional approvals that should have been given when the project first received its go-ahead, she explained.

In 2013 the Maui Planning Commission granted a special management area use permit for the center. But, at the time, the project did not receive a step II planned development approval (PD2), which is given to projects adding new vertical buildings.

“At the time, we just thought this was going to be a renovation and expansion of the existing buildings, so it was an oversight on behalf of the department that we did not do a PD2,” Thackerson said.

Wailea is a planned development, meaning that the area is alloted a certain number of residential, commercial and other types of parcels, Planning Director Will Spence explained. The community can determine where these residential and business spaces are located as long as it stays within the allocated numbers. This provides flexibility for future projects.

Within planned developments like Wailea, new projects must receive approvals that involve reviews of zoning, new buildings and construction drawings. At Monday’s meeting, the commission voted unanimously to give the developers the needed approvals for the project’s vertical buildings and construction plans.

Thackerson added that planning staff had reviewed the construction drawings to make sure they were consistent with the area and with the project’s original plans. Community impacts such as drainage and traffic were reviewed in 2013.

The project is on track to be completed within the next year to 18 months, according to Stephen Thorp, executive vice president of Burnham USA.

“They’re ready to put a shovel into the ground tomorrow,” Thackerson said. “It was when it came time to start the vertical buildings that we realized we hadn’t done a PD2.”

* Colleen Uechi can be reached at cuechi@mauinews.com.

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