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Republicans question Foodland’s departure from Koko Marina

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Two Republican state lawmakers will host a town hall meeting to discuss the closure of the Foodland grocery story at the Koko Marina Shopping Center.

Sen. Sam Slom (R, Diamond Head-Hawaii Kai) and Rep. Gene Ward (R, Hawaii Kai-Kalama Valley) set up the meeting at Kaiser High School Tuesday at 7 p.m.

Foodland Super Market Ltd. announced last week that it was closing its Koko Marina store because it had been unable to negotiate a new lease with the landlord, California-based Koko Marina Holdings, LLC, led by Abraham Keh.

The space will be rented to Walgreen Co., which plans to open its 12th store in the state at the site.

Jenai Wall, Foodland chairman and CEO, said in a statement last week: “As a local company that truly cares about the communities it serves, we are devastated to have to leave this community after 47 years. Our customers are like family to us, and we will truly miss serving them at this store.”

Ward said, “What we hope to gain by this meeting is a better understanding of what took place and why, and what, if anything, can be done to prevent Foodland’s departure.”

Ward said, members of the Sullivan family, who own Foodland, and property manager Sofos Realty have been invited to speak at the meeting.

“The Hawaii Kai community is worried about the impact (Foodland’s) withdrawal will have on our community,” Ward concluded.

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