If you are unfamiliar with Waikoloa Village, it is a growing community in South Kohala, about six miles uphill from Waikoloa Beach Beach Resort on the South Kohala Coast.
Not a part of the resort and not a town exactly, Waikoloa contains single-family homes, condominiums, apartments, an elementary-intermediate school, a post office, a fire station, several churches, and a Robert Trent Jones, Jr. golf course. Originally envisioned as a workforce housing community for the Waikoloa Resort complex, the village has been a relaxed, slow-growing residential area.
I lived in Waikoloa Village for almost ten years before moving to Puako, and back then, it was a small, quiet neighborhood with not much going on. I loved walking and meeting my neighbors, such a great community! With the addition of Waikoloa Plaza Shopping Center, a startlingly large shopping mall on the south side of Waikoloa Road, all that is about to change. What was once an open field of lava rock and kiawe as far as the eye could see has been completely graded, paved, and painted into parking lots. Four new, grass-green buildings are in the finishing stages, and eleven three-story apartment buildings are in the works, with more to come. The final plan is for a 130,000-square-foot $40 million shopping center, of 19 square acres, with 35 retail stores from 800 to 35,000 square feet.
Some project that the village will grow by almost 1000 homes in the coming years, which is a reasonable justification for this size of the development. The future tenants will include Foodland, Ace Hardware, Aloha Petroleum gas station, MH Nail Salon (yay!), Fitness Forever gym, and a wealth of restaurants and eating places, to the joy of the locals as we always love food in Hawaii. Pueo's Osteria Italian restaurant will find its new home in the Plaza, as well as Balsimo's Pizza, Coco Cantina, Domino's, Fireheart Cuisine, L & L Hawaiian Barbecue, Popeyes, Pungee Panda, Rocko's Country Cooking, and a few more. The list is quite exhaustive, and you can view it in its entirety on www.waikoloaplaza.com.
Great shopping choices are not everything that the new development has to offer. It will also feature modern-style condominiums located right next to the mall.
Lofts at Waikoloa
Part of the development is an apartment complex called Lofts at Waikoloa that will provide much-needed affordable housing for the local residents. These cute modern buildings will offer 66 two-bed, one-bath 692 SF units, half of which will be available for occupancy by June 2022. The first 11 buildings (Lofts at Waikoloa) have been already erected and are being completed. The second half of the development (Lofts at Waikoloa South) will also consist of 11 buildings and should be completed by 2024.
Though not large, the units are pretty neat and have some mountain and ocean views, air conditioning, dishwasher, disposal, washer/dryer, full-size refrigerator, etc. Plus, they will be a walking distance of shops, restaurants, and fitness centers that Waikoloa Plaza offers. For more details and floor plans, visit their website.
The apartments will rent for $2450 per month, and the company is already accepting applications. The rental market has been super-tight on the island, so if you are looking for a place to live and a great location, definitely check them out.
If you want to explore the new development, an excellent way to do it is to visit Waikoloa Night Market, held on the grounds every Saturday night from 4 pm till 8 pm. The market features over 50 different vendors, live music, food and drink, artisan goods, and local pop-ups. You can learn more about the market on their Instagram @waikoloanightmarket.
Once a sleepy, quiet neighborhood, Waikoloa Village is becoming increasingly urban, bringing more services and valuable infrastructure to its residents and opportunities for local businesses. With the Big Island's population growing yearly, we may see the village becoming a town in our lifetime. I will keep an eye on any new developments in the area and keep you updated.
If you have any thoughts to share about the Waikoloa Plaza development, please let me know in the comments.
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