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Hawaii News

Ala Moana Center tenant turnover leads to unique sale

CRAIG T. KOJIMA / CKOJIMA@STARADVERTISER.COM 
                                Re-Use Hawaii is demolishing interior spaces of four stores at the mall and salvaging material to sell.
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CRAIG T. KOJIMA / CKOJIMA@STARADVERTISER.COM

Re-Use Hawaii is demolishing interior spaces of four stores at the mall and salvaging material to sell.

CRAIG T. KOJIMA / CKOJIMA@STARADVERTISER.COM
                                Re-Use Hawaii will recycle the items it finds, such as planks of plywood subflooring, which will go for $40 a sheet, compared to new ones that cost $100 per sheet. Above, Ryan Reynolds moved plyboard into an elevator Wednesday.
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CRAIG T. KOJIMA / CKOJIMA@STARADVERTISER.COM

Re-Use Hawaii will recycle the items it finds, such as planks of plywood subflooring, which will go for $40 a sheet, compared to new ones that cost $100 per sheet. Above, Ryan Reynolds moved plyboard into an elevator Wednesday.

CRAIG T. KOJIMA / CKOJIMA@STARADVERTISER.COM
                                 Alex Newlin moved trash Wednesday while demolishing the interior spaces of four stores at Ala Moana Center. The salvaged material will be resold.
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CRAIG T. KOJIMA / CKOJIMA@STARADVERTISER.COM

 Alex Newlin moved trash Wednesday while demolishing the interior spaces of four stores at Ala Moana Center. The salvaged material will be resold.

CRAIG T. KOJIMA / CKOJIMA@STARADVERTISER.COM 
                                Re-Use Hawaii is demolishing interior spaces of four stores at the mall and salvaging material to sell.
CRAIG T. KOJIMA / CKOJIMA@STARADVERTISER.COM
                                Re-Use Hawaii will recycle the items it finds, such as planks of plywood subflooring, which will go for $40 a sheet, compared to new ones that cost $100 per sheet. Above, Ryan Reynolds moved plyboard into an elevator Wednesday.
CRAIG T. KOJIMA / CKOJIMA@STARADVERTISER.COM
                                 Alex Newlin moved trash Wednesday while demolishing the interior spaces of four stores at Ala Moana Center. The salvaged material will be resold.

An unusual sale is happening with four retail stores that used to be neighbors in one wing of Ala Moana Center.

Instead of cookies or ice cream from the former Aloha Confectionery store, hardwood flooring and display cases are being served up.

Where employee chefs once presented food samples to sell cookware, kitchen accessories and other items at Williams Sonoma, the exhaust hood from the store’s demonstration cook-top is being harvested for sale along with marble counter tops, cabinetry, flooring and other fixtures.

And instead of women’s apparel from Ann Taylor and children’s clothing from Janie and Jack, oak-framed mirrors, dressing room doors, shelving, flooring, crystal chandeliers and light fixtures are available.

Local construction materials recycling firm Re-Use Hawaii for the past month has been harvesting remnants of the four adjacent retail spaces on one side of Ala Moana’s third-floor mauka wing walkway that leads to Target as the mall makes way for a “candy department store” called IT’SUGAR expected to open in November.

Quinn Vittum, executive director of Re-Use, said the recycling project at the mall is one of the nonprofit company’s bigger projects and has yielded enough hardwood flooring for at least an entire house or two.

Even planks of three-quarter-inch plywood subflooring is being pulled up for resale at $40 a sheet, compared with $100 new.

“We’re excited to keep materials out of the landfill,” he said.

Re-Use sells recycled building materials, fixtures, furnishings and other salvaged items at its warehouse store in Kakaako.

Deconstructing commercial and residential buildings in whole or in part involves more time and expense than traditional demolition, though Re-Use, which charges property owners for the work, also allows its customers to claim a tax deduction for the value of salvaged material.

In the case of the Ala Moana work, Re-Use is a subcontractor to Canaan Builders, which is improving the space for IT’SUGAR.

Michael Suitor, project manager for Canaan, said he was impressed to find out about Re-Use after returning from the mainland in April and joining the local family construction business started by his grandfather.

“I didn’t even know deconstruction was a thing,” he said. “I was like, ‘Wow, really cool.’”

Jake Wilson, vice president and senior general manager of Ala Moana Center, said in a statement that the state’s largest mall is grateful for local organizations like Re-Use that contribute to recycling and sustainability in the community.

“As an organization, our goal is to achieve an annual waste diversion rate of 50%,” he said. “This is just one of the many ways we’re working towards achieving that goal.”

As a large retail landlord, Ala Moana Center continually manages tenant turnover, though impacts from the coronavirus pandemic have elevated the volume of store closures since last year.

Ann Taylor announced its closing at the mall in July 2020 when its parent company filed for bankruptcy.

Williams Sonoma had a going-out-of-business sale in October.

Aloha Confectionery closed in June after posting a message on Instagram saying that it had no option to remain in its space because of a mall lease with a larger tenant.

Janie and Jack, which was owned by Gap Inc. until recently, also closed earlier this year.

IT’SUGAR, established in 2006, bills itself as the largest specialty candy “retailtainer” with more than 100 U.S. stores.

According to trade publication Candy Industry Magazine, the roughly 22,000- square-foot store at Ala Moana will be the second “candy department store” for the retailer and will include a dessert bar dubbed Oreo Cafe and a shop within the store dedicated to Sour Patch Kids.

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