Residents in Honolulu are cautiously optimistic today over a report in today’s Honolulu Advertiser that a planned “double-decker” Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club project is dead. Wal-Mart had a deal to buy an 8.5 acre property near the Ala Moana Center, but the newspaper claims that negotiations with the family trust which owns the land have fallen through. A real estate broker representing Wal-Mart told the Advertiser that his client “remains interested” in the property. A representative of the landowner said that projected sales at the Sam’s club was a concern to Wal-Mart. The plan called for a 150,000 s.f. Sam’s Club to be placed on top of a 150,000 s.f. Wal-Mart. “Vertical shopping’ was the only way Wal-Mart could go on the small parcel of prime land in the center of Honolulu. The land was reportedly valued at $35 million. The Advertiser noteed that many nearby residents are relieved the traffic-inducing project appears dead.Wal-Mart already has two storees on Oahu, plus one Sam’s Club.
“I just hope this is true,” was the note attached to the news from a sprawl-buster in Honolulu, who has been opposing the Wal-Mart/Sam’s Club project located at the “ke-eaumoku superblock”. The Wal-Mart at Pearl City was also the subject of major controversy on the island. For now, local merchants and area residents at least get this day to say “Aloha, Wal-Mart”, and hope the Arkansas company never returns to the site.