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Thread: Ala Moana Shopping Center

  1. #1
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    Post Ala Moana Shopping Center

    I am starting this thread to open discussion about one of Honolulu's oldest shopping centers, Ala Moana. Ever noticed that this center is always in the process of remaking itself?

    I am opening this thread mainly to discuss something Ryan noted from one of the WalMart threads:

    Quote Originally Posted by pzarquon
    Problems were somewhat compounded by the closure of the top deck of the new parking structure on the northwest corner (near Sears). Folks were circling for spaces everywhere!
    The top parking deck near Sears and Longs has been intermittently closed for the past few weeks. I noticed about 2 weeks ago when I drove to the center, I could not get access to the topmost floor of the parking deck through one of the main ramps. I had to drive a little further to get access from another ramp.

    I have to wonder if the parking structure is sturdy enough to hold all of the cars that park there. Often when I am walking along that structure I can feel vibrations as some of the vehicles pass by or overhead. Anyone else notice this?
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    Default Re: Ala Moana Shopping Center

    "Often when I am walking along that structure I can feel vibrations as some of the vehicles pass by or overhead. Anyone else notice this?"

    Oh, yes, it can be quite startling.

    Meanwhile, they seem to be making fairly good progress on the opening of the new "intermedient" shopping level, chopping the old JC Penney space into lots of smaller stores (including the return of a stuff-a-teddy-bear thing).

    Should all be finished well in time for the upcoming Dec25 madness (Sears already has an area devoted to fake trees).

    I was thinking not long ago if someone set a sci-fi story in Honolulu fifty years in the future ... would Ala Moana have ten levels?

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    Default Re: Ala Moana Shopping Center

    Quote Originally Posted by albert
    I was thinking not long ago if someone set a sci-fi story in Honolulu fifty years in the future ... would Ala Moana have ten levels?
    I say five maybe six levels tops, but not ten levels. In any event I noticed that Ruby Tuesday will be openning next to Jackie Chan's place in November.

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    Default Re: Ala Moana Shopping Center

    The entire Ala Moana is built on a coral shelf! The entire area even outside of Ala Moana is built on the stuff. Before when I worked for the Gas Company I would see the sink holes in the Coral Level near the security booth. Lots of sea water about two-feet under the asphalt.

    When the Hawaiki tower was being built (KHON) I saw pilings after pilings disappear. These concrete pilings are about what 60-feet long and may be a couple feet in diameter. Two hits and they disappear under the coral bed. One day I saw them drop over 10 of them one on top of the other until the pilings backed up. That was just one hole of many to shore up and strengthen the base for that 40-something story condo across from Sear Ala Moana?

    One good earthquake in that area and you going see lots of stuff break. Coral as you know isn't that compact, it's more cellular so when it crumbles, it's mass is reduced quite a lot. Ala Moana Shopping center is built up on that cellular stuff. Oh and don't forget the 5-inch thick clay layer about six feet under that is prevalant over the entire Kakaako area. One geologist told me it's volcanic ash that's everywhere on that part of the island.

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    Default Re: Ala Moana Shopping Center

    Interesting points Craig. I have always wondered how many of Honolulu's many buildings will hold up in a major quake of 6 or higher. I certainly would not want to be anywhere near Ala Moana Shopping Center or even in my own building when this happens. Trouble is no one knows when and where a quake will happen.

    I was once told that Ala Moana Shopping Center would act as a buffer area to absorb the destruction of a major tsunami and save the buildings (like WalMart) that is mauka of the center.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Ala Moana Shopping Center

    Quote Originally Posted by Albert
    Meanwhile, they seem to be making fairly good progress on the opening of the new "intermedient" shopping level, chopping the old JC Penney space into lots of smaller stores (including the return of a stuff-a-teddy-bear thing).
    Some of the stores in the former JC Penney area have opened already. I think one of the first ones was the relocated Sharper Image store. I wonder if the Shirokiya store will be expanded more on the 2nd level. The remodelling has taken away a significant portion of the former frontal area of Shirokiya. I haven't been to Shirokiya in about a month or two so maybe the store remodelling is done or nearly so.

    The places I usually go to at Ala Moana are Longs, Sears, Zippys, Foodland and the Post Office. If I go in the direction of Shirokiya I end up at the Apple Store and that is too tempting for me to foolishly spend money on some Mac doodad that I probably don't need.....

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    Default Re: Ala Moana Shopping Center

    Quote Originally Posted by mel
    If I go in the direction of Shirokiya I end up at the Apple Store and that is too tempting for me to foolishly spend money on some Mac doodad that I probably don't need.....
    Hey, that's something I doubt mall marketers think about... the negative impact on foot traffic caused by Mac lovers refusing to come near the object of their obsession. I can't help myself, though. I visit the store nearly every time we hit the mall. My kids love the little eMacs, and I love to play with the Powerbooks and video-savvy G5 tower.
    Quote Originally Posted by Albert
    Meanwhile, they seem to be making fairly good progress on the opening of the new "intermedient" shopping level, chopping the old JC Penney space into lots of smaller stores (including the return of a stuff-a-teddy-bear thing).
    Ah, the Build-A-Bear Workshop. I'd posted about their arrival (and the likely effect on the locally-launched Hanai Bear store) earlier. I'm curious about how that old JCPenney's space will work out. When they were gutting it, I was surprised at how much space there really was on those levels.
    I was thinking not long ago if someone set a sci-fi story in Honolulu fifty years in the future ... would Ala Moana have ten levels?
    While I doubt that, I know what you mean. I suppose it's easier for them to build out and up to add more retailers than it is to work on developing and strenghthening what they've already got... but there's a limit to growth, and they're definitely bumping against it already.

    I mean, even now it's getting to the point of being comical... the way you have to navigate odd ramps, escalators, and elevators to get around. The new "second mall level," particularly where it fails to traverse the center stage area, makes it painfully obvious that all that stuff is "added on." And they've squeezed additional parking everywhere they can, to where additional parking decks make the center look like an uninviting monstrocity from the street (and it wasn't all that good looking to begin with). And yeah, that "piled high" deck on a deck near Sears always struck me as a little precarious. The frequent closings have gotten me worried.

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    Default Re: Ala Moana Shopping Center

    Quote Originally Posted by pzarquon
    Hey, that's something I doubt mall marketers think about... the negative impact on foot traffic caused by Mac lovers refusing to come near the object of their obsession. I can't help myself, though. I visit the store nearly every time we hit the mall. My kids love the little eMacs, and I love to play with the Powerbooks and video-savvy G5 tower.
    The strains of "buy a 2nd firewire external hard drive" may eventually drive me back to the Apple Store and make another purchase.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Ala Moana Shopping Center

    Quote Originally Posted by mel
    Interesting points Craig. I have always wondered how many of Honolulu's many buildings will hold up in a major quake of 6 or higher. I certainly would not want to be anywhere near Ala Moana Shopping Center or even in my own building when this happens. Trouble is no one knows when and where a quake will happen.

    I was once told that Ala Moana Shopping Center would act as a buffer area to absorb the destruction of a major tsunami and save the buildings (like WalMart) that is mauka of the center.
    Ya know, if the local building codes had to account for every possible disaster, there would never be any new buildings built, or the project would be so costly, no one could afford the rents! I would think tsunamis would be a greater risk for Oahu than an earthquake. Hawai'i County might be a little different story...
    Miulang

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    Default Re: Ala Moana Shopping Center

    "I haven't been to Shirokiya in about a month or two so maybe the store remodelling is done or nearly so."

    They have removed all those steel girders surrounding Shirokiya but no, the remodelling still has some way to go. That store is so incredibly dense, barely room to walk from one section to another, and I suspect that won't change when all the work is done.

    (I go there often because they have a wonderful selection of used books for one dollar.)

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    Default Re: Ala Moana Shopping Center

    Those irksome vendor carts (not sure what else to call them) seem to be a very hit-or-miss gamble, with more "miss" than "hit". But that Game Cart seems to be doing very good business. A whole bunch of classic videogames, including several versions of Mario. Always a bunch of people slamming away on the controllers there ... definitely looks like it will last longer than the lame attempt to have an Internet Connection Cart.

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    Default Re: Ala Moana Shopping Center

    Quote Originally Posted by Albert
    But that Game Cart seems to be doing very good business. A whole bunch of classic videogames, including several versions of Mario.
    Anyone know where else these classic games are sold? Know of an online source that has the descriptions of the games and perhaps a better price than buying them from the kiosk?

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    Default Re: Ala Moana Shopping Center

    As someone who hasn't been to Honolulu since January 1993, I can only imagine how much Ala Moana has changed since then. I do remember (from my last trip) the top floor, with Gucci, Polo (I looked around, didn't buy), and how busy it was, compared to the Prince Kuhio Plaza, also active, but not newarly as much.

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    Default Re: Ala Moana Shopping Center

    1993! Oh my goodness it has changed considerably and probably more so since I left Honolulu back in May of this year (2004).

    One thing you'll won't recognize is the surrounding real estate. With the Hawaiki tower across the street from the Ewa entrance and of course WalMart across the Mauka entrance, but it's the third floor parking structure at the Ewa/Mauka corner that's the most obvious change since 1993. Word of advice if you're on the makai second floor parking deck, drive to the mauka side if you don't want to get totally frustrated as to how to get down from the second floor and make it to Piikoi. That upper deck parking lot is so screwed up.

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    Default Re: Ala Moana Shopping Center

    You know, I used to think that the award for the most screwed-up O'ahu shopping center parking was going to be forever held by Pearlridge, but Ala Moana is becoming a real contender.

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    Default Re: Ala Moana Shopping Center

    Oh yeah and don't forget Kahala Mall's makai second floor deck too. But the winner for the most speed bumps in a parking lot is right here in Hilo: Puianako shopping center right in front of KTA! It's so screwed up they have to hire a parking attendant to guide traffic! Das messed up! Mo worse after buying your drinks thru the McDonalds drive thru you have to negotiate those speed bumps without spilling a drop!

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    Default Re: Ala Moana Shopping Center

    Actually there is Puainako Town Center with Sack'N Save
    and KTA Super Stores flagship supermarket/shopping center.
    I hardly go over there when I go to Hilo, so I don't know about
    the speedbumps. But I do know Prince Kuhio Plaza has
    a lot of irritating speedbumps.
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  18. #18

    Default Re: Ala Moana Shopping Center

    Quote Originally Posted by Glen Miyashiro
    You know, I used to think that the award for the most screwed-up O'ahu shopping center parking was going to be forever held by Pearlridge, but Ala Moana is becoming a real contender.
    Er, maybe it's because I live right up the hill and go to or through Pearlridge almost every day, but I don't get it. What's your objection to Pearlridge's parking? The three-story structure on the makai side? I never bother with that, so it doesnt' bother me much.
    Last edited by Linkmeister; October 29th, 2004 at 07:46 PM. Reason: Add a sentence

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    Default Re: Ala Moana Shopping Center

    I don't think it's the parking stalls but rather it might be that narrow curvy drive from one level to the street level where Longs is at.

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    Default Sharper Image Stores Closing

    Bumping this thread up since I think there is no need to start a new one for Sharper Image going out of business. At least with brick and mortar storefronts. Ala Moana Center Sharper Image is having a store closing sale.



    This is similar to going out of business sales recently conducted at now defunct Comp USA and Tower Records. An investment company buys the store assets, marks them down and puts the yellow tags on merchandise. Saw this yesterday when I was in the area. I haven't bought anything ever from Sharper Image, and even with closeout prices, I still won't. There are neat things there, but nothing I really want or need.

    More details on store closure here.
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    Default Re: Sharper Image Stores Closing

    Quote Originally Posted by mel View Post
    Sharper Image going out of business. At least with brick and mortar storefronts. Ala Moana Center Sharper Image is having a store closing sale.

    This is similar to going out of business sales recently conducted at now defunct Comp USA and Tower Records. An investment company buys the store assets, marks them down and puts the yellow tags on merchandise.
    That link you provided was bad, but the news is out there if you google it....
    NEW YORK (Reuters) - All remaining stores of bankrupt gadget retailer Sharper Image Corp SHRPQ.PK will be closed and liquidated, its new owners said on Sunday.

    More than $50 million of inventory is being sold at 86 Sharper Image store-closing sales throughout the United States, liquidators the Hilco Organization and Gordon Brothers said in a statement.

    A joint venture led by units of Hilco and Gordon Brothers purchased the company's assets at a bankruptcy auction last week for $49 million, and plan to continue its wholesale, direct-to-retail, e-commerce and catalog businesses under a new licensing strategy.
    $49 million sounds like a bargain, considering the type of high tech, quality inventory SI carries.

    I too have never bought anything from SI, as I always had the impression their marked-up prices were highly inflated, and you could buy a similar product with similar specifications at a more competitive price at other retailers.

    It was a cool store (more like museum) to kill time though, while the wahine was across the sidewalk shopping at them women's fashion stores. lol

    That's OK, now we have the Apple store to surf the internet. lol

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