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Saks to anchor new International Market Place in Waikiki

By Andrew Gomes

LAST UPDATED: 02:11 p.m. HST, Jun 14, 2013

A Saks Fifth Avenue department store will anchor a retail complex slated to replace International Market Place in Waikiki, the project’s developers announced today.

International Market Place owner Queen Emma Land Co. and development partner Taubman Centers Inc. said the luxury fashion retailer has committed to leasing the project’s anchor tenant space.

If realized, the deal would establish the first full-line Saks store in Hawaii. Saks has a discount Off 5th outlet store at Waikele Centers.

Taubman, a Michigan-based mall developer, and Queen Emma Land did not give an updated timetable for development of the roughly 360,000-square-foot open-air retail, dining and entertainment complex that is estimated to cost about $350 million and is also being developed with real estate investment firm CoastWood Capital Group LLC. Previously the developers anticipated starting construction this year.

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Surfer_Dude wrote:
IMP over the decades always had some intangible kind of charm to it for tourists and locals alike. Dukes used to be there. Rick with his spray paint cans and tee shirts stuck in the back corner, before he became Crazy Shirts. The Auntys making their leis. Now a Saks right next to a Macy's. Just what we needed. I guarantee you a mainland tourist will never set foot in that place, but Japanese and Chinese will flock to it.
on June 14,2013 | 12:01PM
Sunny wrote:
The Asian tourist $$'s are what the owners are after! I never go to Waikiki unless I absolutely have to, nothing there interests me.
on June 14,2013 | 12:57PM
MANDA wrote:
Oh, very Hawaii and very international. What a fun change for tourists, going through the Saks on Kalakaua Ave instead of the same old Saks at the mall at home.
on June 14,2013 | 12:12PM
hanalei395 wrote:
A little change for tourists. They can go through Saks to go look at that big banyan tree.
on June 14,2013 | 02:21PM
allie wrote:
on June 14,2013 | 03:12PM
bpet wrote:
Just what Waikiki needs . . .another high end retail outlet . . .soon it will be just like New York City . . . with a beach . . .no aloha or sense of Ohana left for we who visit often. One might as well stay home. Obviously, we 'old-timers' are not the market that Honolulu is catering to . . .maybe time to scope out another island.
on June 14,2013 | 02:14PM
ellinaskyrt wrote:
Queen Emma Land Company is part of Queen's Health System - AKA Queen's Medical Center.
on June 14,2013 | 02:26PM
Lanikaula wrote:
Queen's Health System - AKA Queen's Medical Center." AKA: Queen's Hospital...another native Ali'i Trust asset taken away through manipulation by some legalese shibai amendment in the original Charter and changing its original intentions and name to fit the needs of the plantation immigrants needing medical services to what it is today.
on June 14,2013 | 04:02PM
bumba wrote:
Inevitable, unfortunately. Old timers that are against this, will, sadly, be gone in a few years anyway. Money talks, sentiment walks. Sad state of affairs.
on June 14,2013 | 02:39PM
Slow wrote:
Maybe Sak's will hire the current vendors as janitors and stock boys. See, everybody wins.
on June 14,2013 | 02:40PM
false wrote:
Nothing says "international marketplace" like a Saks department store. This is so sad to see. Waikiki used to be somewhat of an exotic destination, back in the day. Now it's like a trip to the mall. Of course, it's all about money. And the Japanese and Chinese will spend a goodly amount in this store, I'm sure. In not too many years, sea level rise will claim Waikiki's beaches and along with them any reason for tourists to visit. If all you want to do is shop, Hong Kong and Korea are closer and cheaper. Travel costs will also rise as fuel prices rise, preventing all but the more affluent from coming here. But with no beaches, they won't be coming, either. Sad to say, but what was special about Waikiki was wrung out of it years ago by those in pursuit of the almighty dollar.
on June 14,2013 | 02:49PM
allie wrote:
on June 14,2013 | 03:12PM
eros_et_logia wrote:
Hong Kong is cheaper than Waikiki? That's news to me. The beach will never move. It's all we'll ever need.
on June 14,2013 | 04:22PM
Tony91 wrote:
How many times has IMP announced a big new retail development? I give this project a 50/50 chance of actually happening. It is definitely a race to the bottom though, eventually all this retail development will dilute the sales per foot that justified all the retail development. It's the inevitable cycle.
on June 14,2013 | 02:54PM
Maneki_Neko wrote:
Though I mourn the loss of Waikiki once was...time has moved on and we need to accept that the resort area will simply be a copycat of other upscale generic fun and sun locales. Frankly, the imagination and drive to make Waikiki uniquely Hawaiian is gone. On the good side, Saks is a first class operator. But man oh man, our grandfathers' fathers are rolling in their graves.
on June 14,2013 | 03:09PM
allie wrote:
I can hardly afford Costco!
on June 14,2013 | 03:11PM
tiki886 wrote:
That's because you have to buy in bulk to actually save money and you have to buy your gasoline there and pay your annual membership fee.

Unless you are splitting the costs with your roommates and have a lot of refrigerator space Walmart is your ticket to stay within your budget.

on June 14,2013 | 05:18PM
Wazdat wrote:
IS this what Waikiki REALLY NEEDS ? I THINK NOT. It has turned into a JOKE with high end stores that DON'T represent the islands AT ALL.
on June 14,2013 | 03:17PM
tiki886 wrote:
In a free market a business person or entity will risk their own money to make a profit. I know a lot of people who do not like L&L's food. Saks has every right to take a risk at satisfying what customers want.
on June 14,2013 | 05:22PM
olos73 wrote:
Agree with @Wazdat. Mainland visitors won't go to Saks. It's all over the continent. Only foreign visitors might go there. In fact, there's Saks and other high end stores in Waikele anyway. The other high end stores are in Ala Moana SC. I thought tourists come to Hawaii to look for souvenirs to take home? International Marketplace has tons of souvenirs to take home. Like a lot of posters, I don't shop in Waikiki anymore, too. Nothing for me. Don't even shop at Ala Moana.
on June 14,2013 | 07:09PM
tiki886 wrote:
Well, it's not your money to risk in a business venture that may or may not pay off is it?
on June 14,2013 | 07:48PM
Wazdat wrote:
No you are correct. HOWEVER it will become harder and harder to market the islands as UNIQUE if it looks like any other city.
on June 14,2013 | 08:56PM
Surfer_Dude wrote:
Wonder if Saks will still let Silver Man work in front of their new store.
on June 14,2013 | 04:25PM
hanalei395 wrote:
No strolling Hawaiian singers/musicians, but Silver Man will do.
on June 14,2013 | 06:14PM
sahara11 wrote:
How sad to see the uniqueness of Waikiki disappear. Waikiki should have lei stands (where tourists can sit and learn to make leis) Hawaiian arts and crafts and kiosks - which although tacky are still popular. Keep the high end stores at Ala Moana.
on June 14,2013 | 04:36PM
tiki886 wrote:
Lei stands at the current cost per square feet in Waikiki would have to sell their lei's at 3 to 4 times or more what it costs in China Town.
on June 14,2013 | 05:24PM
iwanaknow wrote:
A race to the bottom.
on June 14,2013 | 05:19PM
jione wrote:
that is too bad....another vestige of a slower, gentler, (cheaper), Hawaii will be gone...all slick, glass and chrome...not very Hawaiian...not funky ay all...not much fun, either...profit, profit, profit....some smart somebody should try and put together a clean, safe version of IMP...with real artisans selling what THEY make...
on June 14,2013 | 05:35PM
GeoDiva wrote:
Unless there is free parking, local residents will not shop there. I hate going to Waikiki!
on June 14,2013 | 05:44PM
IAmSane wrote:
They don't care. It's not for the local residents.
on June 14,2013 | 09:01PM
hanalei395 wrote:
About 10 years ago, there were big plans by the Queen Emma Foundation. A big makeover for the Market Place: An amphitheater ... A replication of the 'Apuakehau Stream (a stream that once ran through the property but was cut off by the Ala Wai Canal) ... Retail and restaurant spaces (no higher than 3 floors). ... A space for lunch trucks ...etc. Those plans .... dumped.
on June 14,2013 | 05:59PM
rich22 wrote:
It's just another reason why local people don't care to visit Waikiki. Hi-end Kakaako will be next. What is sad...politicians, Gov and Hotels turn a blind eye to Hawaiana and go for the all mighty $$$.
on June 14,2013 | 06:28PM
Kesata wrote:
Mowing over another childhood memory.
on June 14,2013 | 07:18PM
Kesata wrote:
Waikiki is what it is but at least the Marketplace has been what it is for so long and and auwe
on June 14,2013 | 07:20PM
tiki886 wrote:
Like you go there everyday.
on June 14,2013 | 07:50PM
hanalei395 wrote:
That new Saks department store building will cost and will be worth ...in the millions. But that iconic banyan tree ... priceless.
on June 14,2013 | 07:34PM
Omas4girls wrote:
When I moved to Hawaii in 1959, I was delighted with what I found in the Market Place - great restaurants, Martin Denny's, lots of great shops, but when I saw it again in 2005, I was horrified by how it impressed me as a third-world bazaar, cluttered with booths everywhere selling, what I thought was just junk. Why couldn't this be restored to something truly atuned to the wonderful Hawaiian culture and the natural beauty of Hawaii? Does Honolulu really need another 5th Avenue store to attract foreign monies to its economy? Waikiki already looks like Miami Beach with this plethora of tall buildings, nearly all of which block the view of possibly its most beautiful landmark ever - Diamond Head? PLEASE, above all, IF this store is essential to Hawaii (really??) DO NOT ALLOW that magnificent banyan tree to be touched, cut back or, God forbid, cut down for this abomination. I appreciate Saks on the mainland - and Ala Moana, as well as Waikiki are peppered with high-end stores - but do the Hawaiians have to be continually manipulated by haole (and I am one) interference in their beautiful place?!?!?
on November 6,2013 | 07:34AM
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