Saturday, October 17, 2009

Kailua Becomes a Target

Big box retailer Target has announced plans to open a Kailua store.
Read about it here.
The site Target has chosen is presently occupied by Don Quixote, formerly Daiei, formerly Holiday Mart(FDFHD). The building is also home to several small businesses and eateries. Although the tenants have changed over the years, the building remains as it has been for as long as I can remember.
Once upon a time, when I resided on the other side of the island, I remember taking the special journey over the Pali to A&W Drive-In to partake in root beer float goodness.
Presently, I do most of my shopping at Don Quixote's(FDFHM); Safeway, which is right next door, serves only to fulfill my blueberry muffin/cheese roll fixes.
Kailua has become a hotbed of controversy recently with the topic of the many bed and breakfasts' the main issue.
Hotbed? Get it? Okay, never mind.
The other issue has been the overall face lift the town is going through.
Yes, time has caught up with Kailua.
Buildings have been undergoing renovations and a couple of new commercial centers have popped up. A cleaner, brighter, more modern look is the common denominator. This has been done, for the most part, to cater to the influx of tourists Kailua has seen recently. Hence the bed and breakfast controversy.
A large stretch of bike lane was repaved recently and for that I am grateful.
I can't really blame the tourists though, Kailua and Lanikai beaches probably rank among the best on the island. If I was visiting here, I'd want to go there.
For the most part though, it has been a change for the positive.
For the most part.
What I like about Kailua, and I've seen this sentiment expressed about other parts of Hawaii, is the small town feel. And the fact that it hasn't really changed much in the last thirty years.
Though time marches on, Kailua has managed to maintain a good ratio of old and new. While new buildings have been built, architects have been able to preserve the character and feeling of old Kailua. The new spaces are occupied by mostly sole proprietor businesses largely keeping signs of large franchises where they belong: in town.
Progress and commerce slowly continue to infiltrate the neighborhood.
We have the fast food places (although for some reason, Burger King is no longer in Kailua proper but nestled in Aikahi), Macy's and Longs, we even got a Pier One and Starbucks(who let them in?). Yet these franchises have managed to keep a low profile and blend in.
Kailua remains a small town.
Why don't we just pour concrete over the marsh and put a large X on it.
Perhaps Walmart will notice.

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