For the first time in decades, a brand new regional mall opened its doors on Oahu Friday morning.
Ka Makana Alii officially opened to the public with a wide variety of retailers that include Zumiez, Forever 21, Victoria's Secret, Sunglass Hut, Bath and Body Works, Sketchers, H&M, and Reyn Spooner.
Following a special blessing, shoppers are enjoying live music, entertainment, fashion shows, giveaways, and fireworks all weekend long.
The 1.4-million-square-foot shopping center is the first on Oahu in more than three decades, and the only regional mall in West Oahu. Some retailers and businesses are already open, including Macy's, California Pizza Kitchen, and Hampton Inn & Suites by Hilton.
A private preview event was held Thursday night, and we got a sneak peek at the shops. With plenty of music and fanfare, the center came to life. Guests strolled the red carpet and dancers welcomed the first people to experience West Oahu's newest shopping and entertainment destination.
It's a welcome sight for local residents. The mall is a shopper's oasis with more than 150 shops and restaurants and a luxury movie theater. There are also two affordable hotels next door.
"I'm excited. It's good to have something close. It's going to make it a lot easier than traveling all the way to Pearlridge," said Kapolei resident Jason Duran. "(Driving to Pearlridge would take) probably with the construction 20 minutes, 25 at least. So it's going to be a lot more convenient. There's actually a 24 (Hour Fitness) here now too. It's going to be great."
"Especially as someone who's coming into their early 20s, this is kind of a great thing that's coming into our area," said Kapolei resident Angelina Summer Robinson. "Growing up here, because I've been here since I was like five, this is such a weird thing just to see how developed it's become, especially over the last four or five years. I went to high school down the road, I went to elementary school over here, and this is just suddenly popping up and it's growing so fast."
"We found that our customers are very excited, but even to the housekeeping team to the maintenance workers, the people know that their lives are changing overnight almost. They can live work and play here in West Oahu," said Ka Makana Alii general manager Stephanie England.
The center will also be home to many retail "firsts" for Hawaii, like F21 RED, a family-friendly brand from Forever 21, and the nation's first-ever Bath and Body Works White Barn store-within-a-store.
Aside from the shopping and dining, the mall is bringing jobs to West Oahu.
More than 3,000 construction jobs were created for the project, and there will be 6,500 people employed when the mall is fully open. When all is said and done, Ka Makana Alii will also bring in $5 million in tax revenue each year.
Here are just some of the highlights for the weekend:
Friday, Oct. 21
- 1:30 p.m. – Ka Makana Ali‘i INStyle Segment featuring celebrity stylist and fashion influencer Crystal Pancipanci followed by a fashion show
- 2 p.m. – Concert featuring Sean Na‘auau
- 4:30 p.m. – Ka Makana Ali‘i INStyle Segment featuring Kini Zamora followed by a fashion show
- 6:30 p.m. – Concert featuring Amy Hanaiali‘i Gilliom
- 8:30 p.m. – Fireworks
Saturday, Oct. 22
- 1 p.m. – Concert featuring Anuhea
- 2:30 p.m. – Ka Makana Ali‘i INStyle Segment featuring celebrity stylist and fashion influencer Crystal Pancipanci followed by a fashion show
- 5 p.m. – Ka Makana Ali‘i INStyle Segment featuring Kini Zamora followed by a fashion show
- 7:30 p.m. – Concert featuring Na Leo Pilimehana
- 8:30 p.m. – Fireworks
Sunday, Oct. 23
- 11 a.m. – Concert featuring Duncan Kamakana
- Noon – Costumed character meet-and-greet with Storybook Entertainment Hawaii until 3 p.m.
- 12:30 p.m. – Retailer fashion show
- 1 p.m. – Concert featuring Mark Yamanaka
- 3 p.m. – Concert featuring HAPA
Leading up to the festivities, DeBartolo Development announced its latest round of retailers and restaurants – many of them brand-new to the Hawaii market – coming to Ka Makana Alii later this year and in 2017.
Opening Friday, Oct. 21, will be SoHa Living. The brand features a lifestyle of leisure, coastal chic, and tropical luxury with Hawaii-inspired home accents and goods.
Other new retailers and restaurants coming to the West Oahu shopping center:
- Rascal Flatts – The popular country trio is opening their first restaurant and bar concept in Hawaii, featuring in-house entertainment.
- Limon Rotisserie – Voted one of San Francisco's top restaurants, this Peruvian restaurant offers culture-blending dishes in a trendy, upscale atmosphere.
- b.young – The popular European fashion retailer will be opening one of its first USA stores at Ka Makana Alii.
- Hollister – New to West Oahu, Hollister is a lifestyle brand owned by Abercrombie and Fitch Co. and features SoCal inspired casual wear, accessories, and fragrances for young adults.
- Kasa Living and Clair de Lune – Also new to Hawaii, these Canadian home goods stores will offer quality home accents and decor such as furniture, decorative lamps, pillows, and candles.
- Red Pineapple – Opening its first store in West Oahu, Red Pineapple specializes in gourmet goodies and creative, customizable gift baskets for every occasion.
- HI Cravings – The store is known for their unique twists on the traditional acai bowl.
- Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf – With locations throughout the Hawaiian Islands, it features gourmet brews and products.