Pāʻia Beach Park Expansion Official Under A&B Agreement
By Maui Now Staff
Maui Mayor Alan Arakawa officially signed a purchase agreement with Alexander & Baldwin last week for the Maui County Service Center.
“The purchase will allow the Service Center to remain in Central Maui at the A&B Business Park II in Kahului even after the lease expires at the Maui Mall,” county officials said in a press release.
The land purchase includes 30 acres of beachfront property between Baldwin Park and Lower Pāʻia Park, that will effectively expand the North Shore park coastline.
County officials have yet to select a name for the newly acquired beach property.
“Maui County has never gotten a deal like this,” said Maui Mayor Alan Arakawa in a press release statement. “This is 30 acres of pristine, beachfront property, just as beautiful as the beaches on either side. To me we got the best two-for-one deal of all time, buy land for a service center, and get a beachfront park as a bonus. It’s a win-win for everyone.”
Council Chair Baisa joined Arakawa in visiting the site and reflected upon the newly acquired parcel. “I have wonderful childhood memories of swimming and playing at this beach and I am delighted to know that generations to come will have the same opportunity. Many thanks to Mayor Arakawa, the Maui County Council, A&B and all who have come together to close this amazing deal for the people of Maui County.”
Grant Chun, Vice President of A&B Properties, Inc. also commented saying, “at A&B, we always think of our work as a partnership with the County in making sure that our community is the best place that it can be. We’re pleased to be a part of this initiative that will make these lands available for the benefit of the entire community.”
The deal comes after a search for property to accommodate the Central Maui Service Center, which is nearing the end of its lease at the Maui Mall in Kahului.
According to information released by the County, new owners of the Maui Mall had indicated that the service center was not part of their future plans at the center which includes redevelopment of the property as a “retail-focused center” and the addition of the TJ Maxx store currently under construction.
County officials say the owners had also indicated that the County could remain if they paid higher, retail rates to lease the current location. The County currently pays $507,000 annually to rent the Maui Mall location, according to county officials.
In September 2014, Maui County Council members approved the purchase of the four-acre A&B site for $7.1 million. Discussions are currently underway at the Council to fund the design of a facility that will meet the current and future needs of the service center as well as other County operations.
The current space at Maui Mall is around 17,000 square feet. A larger facility would enable the County to save money on other leased office locations by consolidating them at the new service center.
The Mayor noted that some community members have been confused by the deal, because it involved two properties, which led some residents to believe that the County wanted to put a service center on the beach in Pāʻia.
“That is absolutely not the case,” said Mayor Arakawa. “The service center will be located on the business park property in Kahului. The 30 acres of beachfront land in Paia will remain just that, a beach, for now. In the future we can discuss other ideas that have been proposed such as a playing field, picnic areas and an expanded beach park area.”