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Walgreens seeks buyer for Ala Moana tower site

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The nation’s largest drugstore chain, Walgreen Co., wants to hand off a conceptual plan to develop a high-rise tower connected or adjacent to its Hawaii flagship store under construction in Honolulu.

Walgreen recently offered to sell its new store, which the company would lease back, and an adjacent office building it owns along Kapiolani Boulevard and Keeaumoku Street across from Ala Moana Center.

The Deerfield, Ill.-based retailer retained commercial real estate firm Colliers International to market the properties without an asking price.

The retailer spent $39 million acquiring the sites several years ago as part of establishing its first store in the state.

That first store, which opened in 2007 in remodeled space of a former Tower Records, was demolished to make way for a bigger, two-story flagship store with a three-level parking garage.

As was previously reported in July, Walgreen had the garage designed to support a roughly 20-story tower.

Colliers is promoting the site as an opportunity for a buyer to build a residential condominium or office high-rise, which it said could rise as high as 400 feet, or about 40 stories, under interim city transit-oriented development rules because the site is within a quarter-mile of a planned rail station at Ala Moana Center.

The brokerage firm suggested one development scenario is to replace the office building, which is anchored by Heald College, with a 400-foot tower. Building a 250-foot tower on the Walgreen garage also is possible.

“The site provides for various redevelopment options,” Colliers said in marketing materials. “The demand and prices for new high-rise luxury residential condos in the urban core substantiate the construction costs.”

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