Bowling alley rumors false for Maui Marketplace

Lease negotiations ongoing for old Lowe’s, Sports Authority spaces

The former Lowe’s space at the Maui Marketplace is on a month-to-month lease with Jim Falk Motors, which is storing new vehicles there. This photo was taken Wednesday. -- The Maui News / MATTHEW THAYER photo

In what was mostly another Maui retail rumor, the old Lowe’s spot at Maui Marketplace is not going to become a bowling alley.

But it could have been.

“We have had several interested bowling alley candidates look at the space, but unfortunately no serious lease discussions,” said Charles Buckingham, vice president of Colliers International, which leases space in the Maui Marketplace in Kahului.

“At this time, we can’t announce which retailers we are working with, but we are in varying stages of lease negotiations with tenants for both the old Lowe’s and the old Sports Authority spaces,” he added.

Lowe’s in Maui Marketplace closed in January 2017, with its new, larger store opening nearby at the Maui Business Park. Now, it’s across the street from Target. Another large retailer, Sports Authority, closed in 2016 when the company filed for bankruptcy. And prior to that, in May 2011, Borders Music & Cafe closed after the parent company also filed for bankruptcy. Sports Authority did for a time expand its store into the old Borders location.

Since then, Maui Marketplace has not been able to permanently fill those spaces, which was once part of a bustling commercial hub in Kahului.

For now, the Lowe’s space is on a month-to-month lease with Jim Falk Motors, which is storing new vehicles in the spot, Buckingham said.

In November, Petco moved from Maui Marketplace to Pu’unene Shopping Center.

On Monday, Barnes & Noble will open in the former Petco space.

“Barnes will be a great addition to Maui Marketplace,” Buckingham said.

The bookstore is relocating from the Lahaina Gateway Center due to an expiring lease.

Buckingham said that it takes time to negotiate with larger national retailers.

He predicted that in another year or another year and a half the “complexion” of Maui Marketplace “will be completely different.”

Maui Marketplace continues to be home to Old Navy, Pier 1 Imports and the Central Maui location of Office Max.

But retailers, including Petco, have been flocking to the nearby Pu’unene Shopping Center, which is anchored by Target. Verizon also has moved from Maui Marketplace to the Pu’unene center.

Among the signed and or existing tenants at Pu’unene are: Ulta Beauty, Starbucks, Maui Tacos, Planet Fitness and Massage Envy.

Last month, Alexander & Baldwin Inc. bought the shopping center as part of a $254 million, three-property deal with California-based Terramar Retail Centers.

* Melissa Tanji can be reached at mtanji@mauinews.com.