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Maui Marketplace seeing some new tenants, changes

Jollibee, a fast food chain from the Philippines, is coming to the center

A clown and other Halloween props scare and entertain customers at the Spirit Halloween costume store at Maui Marketplace recently. The Maui News/MELISSA TANJI photos

KAHULUI — New retail life and other changes are occurring at Maui Marketplace in Kahului.

Spirit, a pop-up Halloween costume store, has appeared in the old Sports Authority storefront, complete with gory creatures, spooky props and costumes for the whole family. Workers said the store will close shortly after Halloween.

In other activity, Starbucks will be moving from its current location into the old Burger King spot, and Jollibee restaurant will be opening in the old Bank of Hawaii spot on the Ohekani Street side of the shopping center.

The Starbucks move to the location near the main entrance to the shopping center is expected this winter, a Starbucks spokeswoman said Monday. The fast food burger restaurant closed recently.

Starbucks will be closing its store in Maui Marketplace next to Jamba Juice. All Starbucks employees working at the existing store will be transferring to the new spot, which will have a drive-thru, larger seating area and Nitro Cold Brew taps, the spokeswoman said.

A Jollibee sign on a fence surrounding construction at the old Bank of Hawaii site at Maui Marketplace tipped off Maui residents months ago that the largest fast-food chain in the Philippines was coming to Maui.

Perhaps the most talked-about future addition to the mall is Jollibee, a fast food chain from the Philippines.

According to its website, Jollibee is the largest fast food chain in the Philippines and has restaurants around the world. The chain has five locations on Oahu and 26 in the United States.

It is famous for its fried chicken or Chickenjoy and its Jolly Spaghetti. Other offerings include burgers, hot dogs and fries, along with Palabok Solo, a Filipino noodle dish.

A building permit for the restaurant was issued by the county on June 5. Construction is ongoing, complete with a Jollibee sign. Employee recruitment has started with online ads posted for positions including restaurant manager.

Officials at Jollibee USA offices in California could not be reached for comment Monday.

The shopping complex that once featured Borders and Sports Authority, whose national chains went bankrupt, and Lowe’s, which moved to the A&B Business Park, has had a difficult time filling those large vacant spaces, especially with the opening of the new Puunene Shopping Center, anchored by Target, nearby.

Visitors staying in South and West Maui no longer drive by the shopping center on Dairy Road, which used to be the main access to Kahului Airport until Airport Access Road opened in 2016.

On Monday, vehicles occupied the spot vacated by Lowe’s; mall officials said that the space is being leased on a month-to-month basis by Jim Falk Motors, which is storing vehicles there.

A new addition is Ohana Furnishings, which according to its Facebook page is a pop-up furniture retailer. It is near Old Navy.

The 263,000 square-foot shopping center, which includes clothing store Old Navy, Office Max and Pier 1 Imports, is owned by Maui Marketplace Investment Group Inc., a subsidiary of Alaska Permanent Fund Corp.

Local and national officials from JLL, which manages and leases Maui Marketplace, did not return inquiries for comment on Monday.

A year ago, Maui Marketplace was put up for sale but the listing was pulled when the owners decided to hold onto the property. The ownership group did not provide a reason for taking the shopping center off the market, according to an official with JLL in March.

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

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