The Queen Ka'ahumanu Center - the largest shopping center on the island- will be celebrating its 40th anniversary Saturday with a cake, entertainment, a photo display and other activities from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
There will be a historical photo display, which will include shots by retired Maui News photographer Wayne Tanaka, in the windows across from the customer service center near the center court area. The windows will feature interviews with employees and community members, "Share Your Story" stories and pictures, and Tanaka's pictures.
Other activities at the Kahului shopping mall include the cutting of the 40th anniversary cake, complimentary cream horns and Pepsi beverages, and other giveaways.
The building in the foreground in this aerial photo is the Queen Ka‘ahumanu Center. This is how the shopping center in Kahului along Kaahumanu Avenue looked before a renovation/expansion in the early 1990s.
The entertainment lineup has Zenshin Daiko, Jesse Tanoue and Koa Hewahewa, Ahumanu, Napua Makua and Halau Na Lei Kaumaka O Uka and Mele Pono.
"We wanted to involve the community in our celebration of 40 years on Maui," said Lisa Paulson, marketing manager. "We had an overwhelming response from people wanting to share their memories for our celebration. It made us realize that Queen Ka'ahumanu Center truly is an integral part of the community."
Queen Ka'ahumanu Center was developed in 1972 by Dillingham Land Corp., the same owner/developer of Ala Moana Center at the time. Several stores opened from September 1972 to 1973 with the grand opening held on June 8, 1974, with 48 stores. Its anchor tenants included Liberty House and Sears.
In the 1980s, Dillingham Corp. liquidated its properties and Maui Land & Pineapple Co., led by President and Chief Executive Officer Colin Cameron, purchased the center in 1986.
It was Cameron's vision that brought about the renovation of the center in 1993-'94. Additions included a third wing, a second level with a food court and multiscreen theater and the soaring high-tech fabric roof patterned after the sails of ships that used to dock in the Hawaiian Islands.
An investor consortium of Seligman, Coast Wood Capital and Somera Investment Partners, under the entity QKC Maui Owner LLC, acquired the center in September 2003 for about $75 million from Maui Land & Pineapple Co. and the state Employees' Retirement System, according to published reports.
The new owners followed with $5 million in renovations that included beautification of the entire center and the addition of the children's play area and new seating areas throughout the mall.
Now in its 40th year, Queen Ka'ahumanu Center has more than 100 stores, restaurants, theaters and services. It is the largest shopping center on Maui.
Queen Ka'ahumanu Center is managed by Jones Lang LaSalle Retail. Seligman Group is the current owner of the center; the group also owns two other shopping centers on the Big Island.