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Eclipse Development Project in Kihei Moves Forward

The second in a series of articles on the proposed outlet, retail center and associated projects in Kihei--a subject that has become highly controversial.

August 23, 2012
Susan Halas , The Maui Weekly

In last week's "The Story Behind the Story," the Maui Weekly outlined the history and current status of Maui Outlets and Pi'ilani Promenade.

This week, we bring you the project from the perspective of its developers, who strongly favor it. Next week, we will discuss the objections voiced by its opponents.

Supporters of the Maui Outlets center on Pi'ilani Highway are strong advocates of the benefits of this project and the nearby Pi'ilani Promenade retail center. Both will be built by Eclipse Development of Irvine, California. The company's representative, Charles Jencks, said that Eclipse is the underlying owner of both projects.

Article Photos

Supporters of the Maui Outlets center on Pi‘ilani Highway are strong advocates of the benefits of this project and the nearby Pi‘ilani Promenade retail center. Both will be built by Eclipse Development of Irvine, California. The company’s representative, Charles Jencks, said that Eclipse is the underlying owner of both projects. The owners have spent over $14 million to acquire the land for the first phase of Maui Outlets center.
Courtesy of Eclipse Development Group

The owners have spent over $14 million to acquire the land for the first phase Maui Outlet Center, according to public record documents. Jencks said that grading and grubbing permits were issued by the county in the spring for this initial site which is estimated to be about 36 acres.

A grading permit is required for excavation of fill, or for the temporary storage of soil, sand, gravel, rock or any similar material. A grubbing permit is required for any act by which vegetation, including trees, timber, shrubbery and plants, is uprooted and removed from the surface of the ground. Certain exemptions may apply, according the Maui County Website.

Reporting on progress, Jencks said, "A dust fence has gone up and other best management practices are underway."

He estimated spending for on- and off-site infrastructure improvements will come in at about $20 million. Additional construction spending is projected at $185 million over the next three years.

Specifications for the first phase of the two-level outlet center, including commercial retail space plus food and restaurant sites, total 263,000 square feet of gross leasable area. The total building space will be over 323,000 square feet and more than 1,600 parking stalls are projected, according to the Eclipse site plan.

Jencks said the new development will not only create jobs during the construction phase, there will be ongoing management, employee and maintenance positions as well. It will generate additional tax revenues, but more importantly, he added, it will benefit South Maui residents because they will no longer have to drive to Central Maui for major purchases and a variety of retail opportunities.

He also expects the outlet center to become a tourist destination that will work in harmony with the local visitor industry.

Preleasing of spaces ranging in size from 1,000 to 160,000 square feet is underway. This effort is headed by Paul Bernard, an Eclipse vice president. Details are on view at the company Website and a downloadable as a pdf brochure eclipsedevelopmentgroup.com/siteplans/Maui%20Leasing%20Brochure5.13.11.pdf.

Kihei residents may be familiar with this project because it has been much in the news, and its use disputed. The original plans stipulated a light industrial area zoned M-1.

Jencks explained that the M-1 designation also allows for other commercial and restaurant activities--all permissible and stipulated uses and all were previously discussed.

He also pointed out that when suggestions were made in earlier years to limit the use of the property to exclusively "M-1 Light Industrial," both the Maui County Planning Commission and the County Council discussed and rejected those limitations.

Jencks said that despite the furor the project has caused, he expects it to be found in compliance.

He said that all necessary reports have been filed in a timely manner, and all necessary county and state offices have participated in discussion and review. He said modifications to projects as they evolve is not uncommon and pointed to 'Iao Parkside in Wailuku as an example. The apartment complex, which was initially zoned as light industrial, emerged as a large residential area.

In all his comments, Jencks emphasized the benefits the center would bring to South Maui, stressing the investments that have already been made, the jobs that will result and the permanent improvements that will help Maui.

Jencks also said that he expects to continue to meet with those in the community (many of whom are his present opponents) to keep them posted on the progress and fine-tune the project as it progresses.

Many others who favor this project point to it as "the only large-scale construction project that is authorized, entitled and ready to go. If we kill this, there is no backup," said one advocate.

 
 
 

 

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