Island’s newest Safeway expected to open in 2019

Store on East Kamehameha Avenue will close

The new Safeway store planned in Alexander & Baldwin’s Ho’okele Shopping Center in the Maui Business Park is expected to open in 2019 and will replace the current Safeway along East Kamehameha Avenue in Kahului, a company spokeswoman said.

Safeway has applied for a building permit for the new store, with initial value for the project listed at $10.5 million, according to county records.

Safeway spokeswoman Wendy Gutshall said that the new store will be 17,000 square feet larger than the current Kamehameha Avenue store, which opened in 1983. The Ho’okele Safeway will be 57,400 square feet and include a fuel center, according to an announcement earlier this year from A&B.

“The location at Maui Business Park will better serve several communities to the east with the added convenience of being next to the . . . airport. In addition, the store will create new jobs in the community,” Gutshall said.

The 94,000-square-foot Ho’okele Shopping Center will be on the Paia side of the Hookele Street-Hana Highway intersection. There will be other retailers and a drive-thru restaurant, A&B said earlier this year. There were no other updates on the development of the center, an A&B spokesman said last week.

Nearby, the Puunene Shopping Center is awaiting several new tenants, including Fork & Salad, Domino’s Pizza, Maui Tacos, Planet Fitness, HMSA, Starbucks, Massage Envy and Ulta Beauty.

In West Maui, Safeway began its upgrades on its store at the Lahaina Cannery Mall a few weeks ago. Previous announcements said that the Lahaina market will expand from 37,650 square feet to 64,500 square feet.

The Lahaina upgrades are expected to be completed in the summer, Gutshall said.

The bigger store will include a Starbucks with seating, a fresh-cut room with in-store prepared cut fruit and vegetables, a new deli and bakery, and a wider selection of beer and wine, Gutshall said.

There are two other Safeway grocery stores on Maui — in Kihei and across from Baldwin High School in Wailuku.

Safeway’s upgrades coincide with Lahaina Cannery Mall’s $18 million renovation project currently underway. California-based U.S. Realty Partners, the managing partner of the ownership group, has said that the renovations will retain the character of the historic cannery but will update the building’s exterior by removing awnings and other outdated architectural features.

The work also will include painting and improved landscaping.

The renovation will not add space to the 130,599-square-foot mall located on 15.6 acres at 1221 Honoapiilani Highway.

* Melissa Tanji can be reached at