According to the headline in the August 21, 2000 Hawaii Star-Bulletin: HOME DEPOT SCRAPS PLANS FOR HAWAII KAI. News travels slowly sometimes along the sprawl-busters alert network, but we know now that Home Depot has beaten a retreat from a very controversial plan in Hawaii to buy 43 acres of land in Hawaii Kai. Mayor Jeremy Harris told the newspaper “That project is dead”, and said housing would be built on the site instead. How symbolic: the home improvement center gets canned to make way for homes to be built. Home Depot already has run into fierce opposition at its first two stores on Oahu, and this time the neighborhoods won. In Hawaii Kai, Home Depot also was fighting the Mayor, who wanted this waterfront property to remain zoned for residential, and not blocked by a commercial big box. Mayor Harris had indicated that he would have fought the rezoning effort.
Home Depot beat residents in Iwilei and Pearl City, but only after a protracted battle in each case. Local residents and merchants in Hawaii have watched the Home Depot record on the mainland, and fought aggressively to keep the Orange Crush from landing on the islands. Thanks to the Hawaii Kai Neighborhood and Mayor Harris, it will be a Blue Hawaii for Home Depot, instead of orange.