HONOLULU (KHON2) — There are lots of changes coming to Moʻiliʻili as several new commercial developments rise from the ashes of a local strip of shops that will close.
Several long-time local businesses are closing their doors to make way for a new commercial development.
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The building is owned by Central Pacific Bank which houses Siam Imports, Kuni Island Fabrics, Le Flowers and FedEx which are all set to be torn down. Fortunately for the tenants, CPB is working with them.
More changes are coming to a Moʻiliʻili neighborhood. A strip of local shops is shutting down to make way for new commercial development, and some of the shop owners said it was inevitable.
Siam Imports is the type of store where you want to see, feel and hear the products in person; shopping for some of the items online would not do it justice. But, the owner Kevin Costello said it might be his only option.
Costello said, “Unfortunately, here, the bank had purchased the property; and it’s going to be building a bank here. So, it’s going to displace all three of the small businesses plus FedEx.”
Honolulu County records show Central Pacific Bank is the owner of the property.
The Kuni Island Fabrics owner said she will retire once they close up shop in a month. Meanwhile, the Le Flowers owner Candice Le said she will remain open for as long as she can but will not try to find a new location.
Le said, “I’m ok. My landlord has been really great. So, we understand it’s a one-story here, and things are building up.”
The shop owners said they will miss their customers and talk about how rare it is nowadays to have three local shops side-by-side that have remained open for more than 20 years.
Costello said, “Quite a unique situation; and kind of, if you look around, I don’t think that’s easy to find actually anywhere on the island here, especially the way the small businesses have been going out with different circumstances.”
The shops have not gotten a definite date for when they need to move out.
But, for Rocki RoAne, who is a sewing teacher at Kuni Island Fabrics, these shops are more than just the goods they sell. It is about the people she has met along the way.
RoAne said, “Change is good; but sometimes, when you get older, you don’t like change. You want things to stay the same. In this instance, I wish this could stay the same.”
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A Central Pacific Bank spokesperson said construction is tentatively scheduled to begin next year and be completed in 2026. They said they are working with tenants to accommodate their needs.