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Plan for Hawaii Kai shopping center draws vocal opposition

By Andrew Gomes

LAST UPDATED: 10:11 p.m. HST, Mar 21, 2013

Kamehameha Schools and Foodland Super Market say they have lots of community support to develop a new shopping center in Hawaii Kai, but many people turned out at a meeting tonight to say they don’t like the plan envisioned for preservation-zoned land at the entry of the community.

More than 200 people filled the Kamilo­iki Elementary School cafeteria and loudly denounced the idea for the project that Kame­ha­meha Schools floated last year.

Roger Wall, Foodland’s vice chairman, said the company, which opened the first supermarket in Hawaii Kai in 1963, said residents want a replacement for that store that closed in 2011 because of difficult lease negotiations with Koko Marina Center. But the audience at the meeting overwhelmingly said the open 4.5-acre parcel isn’t the place to do it.

The meeting was organized by state Rep. Gene Ward (R, Kalama Valley-Queen’s Gate-Hawaii Kai), who said he wanted clarity on community sentiments about the plan.

Kamehameha Schools said it intends to meet further with community members and that if the project moves forward, it would be years away.

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