Kailua Town has seen change over the past five-ten years primarily due to the expiration of commercial ground leases. Kaneohe Ranch initiated a community planning process in 2004 to generate dialogue and ideas for planning the redevelopment of certain properties whose leases have expired and the buildings were beyond their economic life. That master plan is on this website under Community Planning.
Kailua Town Center
Whole Foods Market, the anchor to the last phase of the Kailua Town Center development, opened on April 18, 2012. Large crowds gathered to welcome the 32,000-square-foot store and there was an enthusiastic public reaction to the overall look of the Phase III development, which included stunning improvements to parking and pedestrian walkways and a newly designed and relocated First Hawaiian Bank.
Located at the prime corner of Kailua Road and Hinano Way, Whole Foods Market was built in an architectural style that reflects Kailua’s historical roots of a beachside, plantation lifestyle. The retail shops surrounding Whole Foods Market have a residential feel, with Hawaiian-style pitched roofs, board & batten siding and wood shakes. The tropical landscape includes a “Living Wall” and, following Kaneohe Ranch’s long tradition, a striking public garden with art created by local artists. The meandering sidewalks, ample outdoor seating and a trellised dining area add to its pedestrian-friendly neighborhood feel. Indeed, the unique architecture causes the new buildings to blend in so naturally with the environment, that they look like they’ve been part of the community for years.
The second phase, which was completed in the summer of 2006, includes the 11,023-square-foot Pier 1 Imports, California Pizza Kitchen and the Kainalu Plaza and fountain.
On July 6, 2006, Kaneohe Ranch welcomed community leaders, Kailua Town tenants, Kailua residents, and two award-winning hula halau to join in a blessing of Kainalu Plaza, a gathering place on the corner of Kailua Town Center featuring a stunning tiled fountain designed collectively by Kailua artists.
Art in public places in downtown Kailua continues to be a priority for Kaneohe Ranch. Windward resident and artist Douglas Williams was commissioned to create the parking garage visual graphics package, including four hand-carved art panels placed on the structure’s exterior. On the Longs building, ceramic tile murals created by Leah Rigg-Kilpatrick depict the vivid shades of blue and green found in the ocean waters surrounding Kailua. Along Kainalu Plaza, Kaneohe Ranch also positioned mosaic tile works created by Rigg depicting Native Hawaiian fish and birds. The Kainalu Fountain is the centerpiece, finished in a mosaic tile and glass montage designed by both Rigg and Kailua glass artist Geoff Lee.
The first phase of the construction efforts was on the Hinano Way side of the Center, which included a 30,000-square foot Longs Drug store, 2,618 square feet of prime retail frontage along Kailua Road, and a 427-stall, 3-story parking garage.
151 Hekili, at the mauka corner of Hekili Street and Hahani Street, is a 2-story retail and office building. This is one of the busiest corners in Kailua, directly across the street from the new Target location and Safeway, and mauka from the Hawaiian Island Creations Surf Company building. It is a short walk from the 427-stall Kailua Parking Building.
Following the “Kailua Community Master Plan” for designing buildings that are of appropriate scale for Kailua, and to create a pedestrian-friendly atmosphere, this building is set back from Hekili Street and Hahani Street by 15 feet. That allows for wide sidewalks, tropical landscaping and outdoor café-style dining areas. To create a more traditional downtown appearance, the building is situated on the front of the lot, with parking in the rear.The ground floor retail / restaurant spaces are 1,000 square feet to 3,000 square feet, to accommodate a variety of small retailers, cafes, specialty restaurants and boutiques.