Plans for $27M county service center revealed

This is an artist conception of the proposed new Maui County Service Center. The estimated price tag on the building, which would replace the Maui Mall Service Center, is $27 million. G70 drawing

The proposed new Maui County Service Center in Alexander & Baldwin’s Maui Business Park II in Puunene/Kahului has an estimated price tag of $27 million and would include a number of new occupants.

Along with the property tax and motor vehicle divisions and the Finance Department now in the current Maui Mall Service Center, the new center would also include the Transportation and Housing and Human Concerns departments, and the building, electrical and plumbing inspection sections.

The decision to relocate the additional offices was aimed at trimming lease rents, which cost the county a total of $2.5 million a year, improving customer convenience while creating minimal adverse effects to county operations, according to a draft environmental assessment on the proposed service center.

The draft EA was published in Friday’s issue of the Office of Environmental Quality Control’s “The Environmental Notice.” The county anticipates a finding of no significant impact for the proposed service center at the corner of Hookele and Alaihi streets with access from Alaihi Street.

The proposed two-story building with 60,000 square feet is anticipated to be completed in 2019. The 4-acre project site also would include 360 parking stalls for 200 workers, fleet vehicles and visitors.

The new Maui Service Center will be located at the corner of Hookele and Alaihi streets in Alexander & Baldwin’s Maui Business Park II. G70 graphic

The building is designed with a high ceiling, open floor plan and transparent entry to integrate Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design sustainable features, according to the draft report.

The current Maui Mall Service Center houses the Real Property Tax and Motor Vehicle and Licensing Divisions and the Department of Finance. The departments and divisions to be added currently are in leased spaces — the Transportation Department in the David K. Trask Building in Wailuku, the Housing and Human Concerns Department in One Main Plaza and 35 Lunalilo St. in Wailuku, and the Development Services Administration (building, electrical and plumbing inspection sections) at 86 W. Kamehameha Ave. in Kahului.

In addition to eliminating lease costs, the new departments and divisions were selected because they require the largest number of parking spaces for employees, customers and county vehicles, and the move provides better building and roadway accessibility. Residents who use those facilities also often frequent big-box retailers with Target and Wal-Mart in the general area, according to the draft report.

State land use district for the property is urban and county zoning is light industrial M-1, which are conforming land use designations for the project. The Wailuku/Kahului community plan designation is light industrial.

The county finalized the purchase of the site from A&B for $7.1 million in November 2014. The deal also included 30 acres of beachfront property in Paia — between Baldwin Beach and Lower Paia parks. The move was necessitated by the then-owners of Maui Mall informing the county that the service center was not in their future plans. Mall owners and the county have since agreed to lease extensions for the 17,000-square-foot space, which was reported at about a $500,000 for 2014.

The proposing and determining agency is the county Department of Public Works and the 30-day comment period ends Jan. 23. Questions or comments may be directed to Alan Murata at County of Maui Department Public Works, 200 S. High St., Wailuku 96793; alan.murata@co.maui.hi.us; or 270-7855.

* Lee Imada can be reached at leeimada@mauinews.com.

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