Safeway Inc. will open its first
grocery store in Waipahu next year in the former Sports Authority space at Waikele Center.
The grocery chain signed a
20-year lease with mall owner
American Assets Trust Inc. for a 50,000-square-foot space and expects to begin operating sometime in the third or fourth quarter,
according to a news release issued today by Waikele Center’s parent company.
“Waikele is an ideal location for a new Safeway with convenient access to the freeway and ample parking,” said George Glukfeld, Safeway’s Hawaii district manager, in the
release. “We are excited to be a part of the Waikele Center and create new jobs in the community.”
Sports Authority closed eight stores in Hawaii in 2016 after going bankrupt, a move affecting hundreds of employees in the islands. The
big-box retailer shuttered 450 stores nationwide.
Waikele Center, the open-air
mall that opened in 1993 at the intersection of the H-1 freeway and Paiwa Street, is one of Central Oahu’s
largest shopping complexes at 538,000 square feet. It is anchored
by Lowe’s, Office Max and an Old Navy Outlet. The former Kmart space is still vacant.
“By adding a grocery store to the tenant mix, the center will transform to more of a ‘daily needs’ experience. All tenants, large and small, will benefit from the increased
traffic,” added Safeway broker
Wendell Brooks III.