The grass parking lot of the old Maui Pineapple Co. cannery fronting Wakea Avenue in Kahului would be used for a new $3.5 million, 29,000-square-foot "flexible warehouse" building, according to a special management area permit application by the project developers.
The permit is being sought by property owner Lot F-1 LLC, which is wholly owned by Fergus & Co., a family-based Hawaii business. The building would be on about 2 acres of the 12.8-acre parcel, next to the Queen Ka'ahumanu Center, the documents show.
The project is a "flexible warehouse" because it would be designed to meet the needs of warehouse tenants that require roll-up doors while allowing for storefronts, showrooms, offices and retail use, the document said.
The grass parking lot of the old Maui Pineapple Co. cannery fronting Wakea Avenue in Kahului will be used for a new $3.5 million, 29,000-square-foot “flexible warehouse” building. Property owner Lot F-1 LLC, which is wholly owned by Fergus & Co., a family-based Hawaii business, is seeking a special management area permit for the building on about 2 acres of the 12.8-acre parcel, next to the Queen Ka‘ahumanu Center.
The Maui News / MATTHEW THAYER photo
There would be 19 total bays with the majority of them 30-by-50 feet, with the idea that tenants would possibly lease and combine more than one bay, said David Ward of Frampton & Ward, land-use consultant for the project, last month. For example, there could be a showroom in the front with a warehouse in the back in a second bay.
The building design would allow for modification of the exterior facade to include a glass storefront for potential showroom space, which Ward noted might be attractive to tenants with units facing the busy Wakea Avenue.
Two entrances are planned off Wakea Avenue with one at the traffic signal at the intersection with Hina Avenue and the other with a restricted right turn in and right turn out, the document said.
All of the runoff from a 50-year rated storm would be handled on site.
The project conforms with uses for the parcel's state land use district urban designation and its county zoning, M-2, Heavy Industrial District. Because it is in the county special management area, the project will require approval by the Maui Planning Commission.
The tentative cost of the project is $3.5 million, according to its SMA application. Ward said he hopes to complete permitting this year with applications for building permits next year. Building completion and occupation are slated for late 2015.
The warehouse would resemble the "adaptive reuse" of the old cannery buildings currently on site, said Ward. In 2012, two of the four cannery buildings were torn down and the "large shells" of the remaining buildings had their infrastructure updated, fire suppression installed, new siding put up and bays created, Ward said.
There is about 165,000 square feet of warehouse/industrial buildings, currently occupied by companies such as Pepsi, Hawaii Food Service Alliance and Maui Linen, the documents said.
Fergus purchased the property from Maui Land & Pineapple Co. in 2011 for about $9 million, county property tax records show. The company has been in commercial real estate investment for more than 30 years, 25 years on Maui, and it owns about 1 million square feet of office space in Hawaii, documents said. The principals of the company, Mike Fergus and his son, Alex, split time living on Maui and Oahu.
Since working on the project, Ward said he has come across many people who have made it point to tell him that they had worked at the old cannery. For thousands of Maui teenagers, working the trimming or palletizer lines in the hot Kahului cannery in the summer was their first jobs and provided their first taste of earning a wage.
A Maui News report in July 2007 about the final day of cannery operation noted that in its first 50 years, the cannery packed 1 billion cans under different labels.