Safeway conch blowing

Island School’s Hawaiian studies students Kaikea Ahuna and Ben Griet sound the conch at the groundbreaking Jan. 29 for the new Safeway in Lihu`e, as their kumu, Sabra Kauka, and fellow student Christy Williams look on.

If everything goes as planned, Lihu`e and Puhi residents will have a new Safeway store nearby just in time for the holiday season.

Safeway’s Property Development Centers broke ground Jan. 29 at the Hokulei Village shopping complex in a 14.25-acre lot at the corner of Nuhou Road and Kaumuali`i Highway in Lihu`e, near Kukui Grove Center. With construction starting right away, the new store is scheduled to open its doors for the first time in November.

“Safeway has been a long-time corporate supporter of our community. They’re a wonderful partner,” Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr. said in the ceremony welcoming the development, which will house the second Safeway on Kaua`i.

The 56,000-square-foot Safeway Lifestyle store will be the anchor tenant of the shopping complex, according to a press release.

The supermarket will join a Walgreens pharmacy, a Petco pet supply store, a Jack in the Box restaurant, a Chevron fuel station, a major financial institution and other businesses.

This will be the 22nd Safeway store in the state of Hawai`i.

Safeway chanting-001

Students from Kumu Sabra Kauka’s Island School Hawaiian studies program chant at the groundbreaking for Safeway’s new Hokulei Village shopping center.

PDC Vice President for Development Gerry Wolfe said his company is gratified by the “strong support” by the County of Kaua`i and by the public and retailers,

Installation of underground infrastructure will begin following the groundbreaking. Vertical construction is scheduled to start this summer. The Safeway store is scheduled to open in November of this year, with other tenants opening shortly thereafter.

The project will include buffer areas and setbacks from existing roads, and will preserve viewplanes to the scenic Ha`upu Range. The project will also connect to existing walkways throughout the area.

Hokulei is the name of a peak on the Ha`upu Range, which lies almost directly south of the site. It is also the Hawaiian name of a navigational star, Capella, the brightest star in the Auriga constellation.

The new Hokulei Village Safeway store will be an example of the national retailer’s Lifestyle Store concept, according to project developers. It will carry an expanded selection of regular and organic produce and will showcase Safeway’s Select, Signature and O Organics brand products along with several specialty departments.

Safeway Hawai`i district manager George Glukfeld said the store will seek out Hawai`i-made products from local vendors for sale in the store, and should create 175 or more fulltime and part-time jobs.

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