Costco Expansion Plans in Kahului

Costco expansion plans include gas station

December 26, 2010 – By HARRY EAGAR, Staff Writer
Article from: The Maui News
KAHULUI – Costco plans to expand its Kahului store and build a gas station next door as part of A&B Properties’ first part of Maui Business Park Phase II.

For years, rumors have alleged that a corrupt bargain between other gasoline sellers and county government have kept Costco from selling gas here.

There is no truth to that, said Mike Dubrota of Northwest Atlantic, the real estate agent for Costco. “I’ve never received any push back,” he said Thursday.

The problem was that the lot was too small, 12.8 acres. The lot was not originally sized to fit Costco’s needs. It was intended for a Sam’s Club. When Wal-Mart backed out, Costco took over the property.

By annexing what A&B calls the old Central Power Plant lot, Costco will have room enough for a gas station, more customer parking and an expansion of its 131,000-square-foot store by about 15,000 square feet. A dust fence has been put up around the property where the gas station will be built.

The store will continue to operate during expansion work, Dubrota said.

However, even if there are no delays, the earliest the gas station could open for business would be mid-2012.

A&B still owns the land, and it is demolishing the buildings there.

Maui Business Park II will total about 178 acres, in two sections. The first section is much smaller, the land is between Kmart and Costco and the yet-unbuilt access road to Kahului Airport.

The Central Power Plant was built in 1917 to supply power to well pumps, Paia, Spreckelsville and nearby plantation camps. Later, Maui Electric Co. acquired the transmission lines and the power plant was abandoned in the 1970s.

A variety of tenants then used the location, but most of the buildings have been vacant for years, and one collapsed. The rest are considered unsafe.

A&B has permits to demolish the structures. Because of their historic interest, the state Historic Preservation Division required survey and documentation of the buildings.

Only two tenants, a trucking firm and a surfboard maker, were still using the lot until recently. Both are relocating.

Maui Business Park is a continuation of the Kahului light industrial area that A&B has been developing since the 1960s.

Before commercial buildings can be permitted, roads and utilities must be installed.

To move the land out of state agricultural use, A&B agreed to contribute 40 acres to the county for affordable housing, 7 acres for a community center and 3 acres for a park.

* Harry Eagar can be reached at heagar@mauinews.com.