Tuesday | January 16, 2018
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Commission gives OK to Puna development

The Windward Planning Commission on Thursday voted in support of a new commercial development proposed for Pahoa.

The $20 million project at 15-2714 Pahoa Village Road would bring a supermarket, medical and dental facilities, as well as restaurants and other retail to the growing area.

The 9.93-acre property is currently used by Bryson’s Cinders, and is zoned agricultural.

The project would require zoning of urban and village commercial.

In two 7-0 votes, the commission gave positive recommendations for both zoning changes.

The Hawaii County Council will have the final say on the proposals.

Jon McElvaney, a consultant on the project with Inoue Hawaii Realty Corp., said he is hopeful the council can take action over the next few months.

If approved, construction is expected to get started almost right away, McElvaney said, with completion in early 2015.

The project received the support of the Pahoa Regional Town Center Steering Committee, said Mark Hinshaw, committee chairman, at the meeting.

“We look forward to construction beginning and look forward to the new shopping center,” he said.

But questions were raised over the timing of the project, which could occur while the state Department of Transportation begins constructing a roundabout nearby on Highway 130 in Pahoa.

McElvaney said it’s still unclear how the projects may overlap.

“We don’t know who’s on first,” he said.

But he added no street work related to the development would occur at the same time.

As part of the project, the developers plan to extend Kahakai Boulevard by 600 feet, and add a street light at the intersection of Kahakai Boulevard and Pahoa Village Road.

Bryson Kuwahara, the property owner, said more than 300 full-time jobs will be created as a result of the development.

The supermarket is expected to employ about 250 people and be larger than the Malama Market and Island Naturals stores, also located in Pahoa.

McElvaney declined to comment on which businesses have shown interest in the property.