Ward Warehouse to close in August for demolition, redevelopment

Developer Howard Hughes Corp. is moving forward with plans to demolish Ward Warehouse and replace it with a luxury high-rise project.

On Thursday, we learned the shopping complex will close in August. Tenants received a notice of closure this week.

"The demolition of Ward Warehouse is a bittersweet point in the development of our Ward Village community," said Todd Apo, Howard Hughes vice president of community development. "As we look forward to the future of this area, we give a heartfelt mahalo to all the merchants who have made Ward Warehouse a special place over the last four decades. They set the stage for the one-of-a-kind retail and dining experiences that remain a hallmark of Ward Village."

According to Howard Hughes, Ward Warehouse was built in 1975 as a temporary structure and was originally intended to last approximately 15 years.

"Now, over 40 years later, the structure has surpassed its useful life, exemplified by the pedestrian overpass that was required to be demolished last year because it was beyond repair," the company said in a statement.

Several stores have chosen to close, including the Liquor Collection, Happy Haleiwa, Kaypee Soh, and Honolulu Cookie Company.

The Old Spaghetti Factory is moving to Aloha Tower Marketplace, into the space formerly occupied by Chai's Island Bistro. Kincaid's has made no announcement about its future plans.

Maile Meyer, founder of Na Mea Hawaii/Native Books, broke off her business into four separate entities Friday. The original location has become an artists' gallery called Aupuni Place, and the three other stores -- Na Mea Hawaii, Native Books, and Hello Makana -- have separate storefronts nearby.

Howard Hughes says it will continue to help relocate merchants to other retail properties within Ward Village, if possible, as it did with Merle Norman, Town & Country Surf, Hakubundo, TAJ Clubhouse, In Specs, Paina Café, Downtown Giftthings, Eden in Love, MORI by Art + Flea, Flotsam & Co., and Big Bad Wolf.

Other businesses who are planning to relocate include Cinnamon Girl, Rix Island Wear (to Windward Mall), Jewelry Plus, Salon Bobbi and Guy (to Ward Center), Tiare Teiti, Crafts Way, Cookie's Clothing Co., The Collective, and Pictures Plus.

Tenant businesses whose future are up in the air include Novel T World, Flags Flying, and Book-Off.

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