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State is trying to keep struggling gift shop open at the Hawaii State Art Museum


The gift shop at the Hawaii State Art Museum is struggling to stay open and has never paid a month’s rent since moving in a year ago.

Showcase Hawaii owes $18,000 in unpaid rent and has only made a two-month deposit, according to the Department of Accounting and General Services.

The company makes $4,000 to $10,000 in monthly gross sales and rents the 660-square-foot, ground-floor space at 250 S. Hotel St. for $1,935 a month, the department said.

The issue was detailed in a petition for exemption from an environmental assessment that is to be heard tomorrow before the Board of Land and Natural Resources.

The Department of Accounting and General Services is trying to help the gift shop stay open, offering to renew the shop’s lease at the cost of $175 a month and 10 percent of the shop’s gross sales of $20,000 or more. The proposed lease will be month-to-month and for up to one year.  

In addition, all back rent will be deferred until December 2011 but still accrue interest and late charges.

The department said the nonprofit group, Friends of HiSAM, and the State Foundation on Culture and the Arts believe it’s important to have the gift shop space occupied during the busy holiday season and that the gift shop “supports the functional success of the state art museum.”


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