The new International Market Place opened Thursday after a major renovation.
Its former version, a cluster of kiosks and small stores on Kalakaua Avenue, closed in 2013.
The new marketplace features dozens of restaurants and retailers, including Hawaii's first Saks Fifth Avenue -- though a key element of its legacy remains.
"The banyan tree was a huge effort, but absolutely worth it," said Robert Taubman, president and CEO of developer Taubman Centers. "We actually mapped over 8 million data points of the tree in order to make sure that every root and every leaf of the tree was preserved, and preserved in the right way. We planned the entire court, in fact the entire shopping center, around that tree."
Guests can also enjoy nightly torch-lighting and entertainment.
General manager Michael Fenley notes that the center offers more than 700 parking stalls, designed with kamaaina shoppers in mind.
"We want to make sure we can accommodate everybody who wants to come and enjoy International Market Place," he said. "Our parking starts on level three, so from there on, everybody knows how many stalls are available and each space, and when you get to that level, it actually tells you again how many parking spaces are available on that specific level."
The first hour of parking is free with a minimum $10 purchase, and the following two hours cost $2 each. After that, standard parking rates apply. Valet parking is available for an additional $5.
Honolulu resident Sharlene Chun remembers how the marketplace used to be. "It was really nice then. It was Hawaii, old-time Hawaii, and now it's more modern," she said.
Shopper Marilyn Paguirigan says she loves the open, airy feel of the center.
"As a local girl, this is a total upgrade. It's absolutely beautiful and I'm so glad it's full of aloha and a lot of new cultural aspects that really reflect our island," she said. "It brings the outside in, and I think it's beautiful architecture and beautiful elements that have been added to this place."
Taubman says the project cost nearly half-a-billion dollars and created 2,500 permanent jobs.
He adds that part of the center's revenue will be donated to island hospitals.
"We're very proud of that, that this great project has been re-imagined and revitalized, and will continue in perpetuity to provide that kind of support into the medical needs of the community," Taubman said.
Several stores are offering grand-opening deals and discounts. Click here for more information.
The International Market Place retail and restaurant lineup includes the following. A single asterisk (*) before the name indicates brands that are unique to the island.STORES:
- ABC Stores
- Abercrombie & Fitch
- Banana Republic
- *BCBG MAX AZRIA
- Brunello Cucinelli
- *Capital Teas
- Chapel Hats
- *Christian Louboutin
- Crazy Shirts
- Flip Flop Shops
- FootAction USA
- *Free People
- GNC Live Well
- Godiva Belgium 1926
- Greenroom Hawaii
- *Hanna Andersson
- *Herve Leger
- Hilton Grand Vacations (kiosk)
- Honolulu Cookie Co.
- Island Art & Sole
- *Jo Malone
- *Kona Coffee Purveyors
- Lani Beach by Mireille
- L'Occitane en Provence
- LUSH Fresh Handmade Cosmetics
- Maui Divers Jewelry
- Michael Kors
- *Mitsuwa Marketplace
- *Oliver Peoples
- *Robin's Jean
- *Saks Fifth Avenue
- Sand People
- *Seafolly Australia
- Shoe Palace
- *Stuart Weitzman
- Sunglass Hut
- Tabora Gallery
- *Trina Turk
- Vera Bradley
- *Eating House 1849 by Roy Yamaguchi
- *Flour & Barley
- Goma Tei Ramen
- *Kona Grill
- *The STREET, A Michael Mina Social House