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Developer gets approval for new mall in Kapolei

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The developer of a regional mall planned for East Kapolei on Department of Hawaiian Home Lands property received approval yesterday from the Hawaiian Homes Commission to build a small phase initially and defer paying rent on most of the land for up to six years.

The commission approved final terms for leasing 67 acres to an affiliate of Florida-based DeBartolo Development LLC, moving the long-planned $400 million project called Ka Makana Ali’i closer to breaking ground.

First announced in 2006, Ka Makana features 1.1 million square feet of retail space integrated with 200,000 square feet each of hotel and office buildings, making the retail space alone about the size of Hawaii’s second-largest mall, Pearlridge Center.

DeBartolo representatives said construction on the initial phase — a 200,000-square-foot neighborhood retail center — could begin next year if an environmental assessment and state Land Use Commission approval are completed without undue delay.

Under terms of the 65-year lease, DHHL stands to receive more than $140 million over the first 25 years from DeBartolo, providing a big boost to the agency’s financial ability to develop homes for Native Hawaiians.

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