Minnesota-based retailer Target Corp. says that while it is "exploring opportunities" for a future Maui store, no deal has been finalized.
Target is in talks with the developer of a proposed shopping center in Puunene, but the developer says that project is still years away from being built.
"We have nothing at this point over at Puunene. We don't even own the land yet," said Craig Holdren of Property Development Centers, a real estate subsidiary of Safeway.
Property Development Centers has proposed developing the Puunene Shopping Center on 24 acres of land owned by Alexander & Baldwin near Mokulele Highway and Hookele Street.
Marketing materials for the shopping center promote Target as the anchor along with "a mix of local and nationally known retailers, restaurants and service providers."
"All we're doing is talking to Target at this point. Nothing is solidified," said Holdren, construction manager for the company's Hawaii and Southern California projects. "No tenants have been secured at this point. It's so far away right now."
When asked about a planned store at the Puunene center, Mya Walters, Target's senior manager for communications, said in an email: "While we are exploring opportunities, we have no news to share at this point."
The proposed lot for the shopping center is currently zoned for agricultural use and is valued at $4.3 million, according to property tax records.
The site is adjacent to A&B Properties' Maui Business Park Phase II, which is under construction.
Target, which has two stores each on Oahu and the Big Island, has expressed interest in expanding to Maui since at least 2009.
That year, a company representative testified before the Maui County Council in opposition to a bill that would have limited the size of retail "superstores" in the county. The retailer said at the time that it had not found a suitable location for a Maui store.
Earlier this year, Target solicited job seekers at a career fair at the University of Hawaii Maui College campus. A representative there told job seekers the company was looking to hopefully open on Maui in the next couple of years.
* Nanea Kalani can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.