Ala Moana Center
|Location||Ala Moana, Honolulu, Hawaiʻi|
|Address||1450 Ala Moana Boulevard|
|Opening date||August 13, 1959|
|Management||General Growth Properties|
|Owner||General Growth Properties|
|No. of stores and services||310 stores, restaurants, and services|
|No. of anchor tenants||4 (Macy's, Sears, Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, Shirokiya)|
|Total retail floor area||Approx. 2,100,000 square feet (200,000 m2)|
|No. of floors||4|
Ala Moana Center, most commonly known as Ala Moana, is the largest shopping mall in Hawaii. It is also the fifteenth largest shopping mall in the United States, and the largest open-air shopping center in the world.
Located at 1450 Ala Moana Boulevard in Honolulu, Ala Moana Center is part of the commercial, retail, and residential district of Ala Moana, south of Makiki, east of Kakaʻako, west of Waikīkī and across from Ala Moana Beach Park.
Previous to the construction of the mall, the land was a swamp. Dredging projects nearby spearheaded by Walter F. Dillingham created excess coral which filled the swamp, purchased by Dillingham in 1912 from the estate of Bernice Pauahi Bishop. Land reclaimed, son and successor Lowell Dillingham initiated the Ala Moana Center project in 1948 and broke ground in 1957.
The Ala Moana Center was developed and designed by Don Graham. Critics viewed Graham's unusual design, which oriented the mall away from the Pacific Ocean and included two levels for retail and parking, as a potential failure. However, the Ala Moana Center proved a success after its opening, and helped refocused the retail center of Oahu away from downtown Honolulu. Graham worked as the center's first general manager after its opening.
In 1959, Ala Moana Center became the largest shopping mall in the United States. General Growth Properties of Chicago, which trades on the New York Stock Exchange as GGP, currently owns and operates Ala Moana Center. Although later retail developments across the nation have overshadowed it over the years, General Growth Properties now lists Ala Moana Center as the "World’s largest open-air mall" with a total gross leasable area of 2,100,000 square feet.
Heralded as the largest shopping mall in the country when it opened in 1966, its original tenants included Sears, Roebuck and Company; F. W. Woolworth Company; Foodland; Longs Drugs; and Shirokiya, among other local shops. Ala Moana Center's earlier expansions including the 1966 addition of J. C. Penney and Liberty House in a new Diamond Head wing. The Makai Market food court was built in 1987. A 1999 expansion created a berth for Neiman Marcus and creation of more upper level retail spaces. A shopping complex and parking spaces were demolished just north of the shopping mall in 2006 to make way for General Growth's latest expansion project. Ala Moana Center's newest addition is the mauka wing, completed on March 7, 2008 and anchored by Nordstrom.
In 1982, Ala Moana Center was purchased by a partnership of Japanese corporation, Daiei, and an insurance company. In 1995, Daiei became the sole owner. Once a management vendor for Daiei, General Growth Properties purchased Ala Moana Center in 1999.
In a June 26, 2009 report from U.S. News & World Report, Ala Moana was ranked as the second most profitable mall in America based on sales per square footage, and also had one of the highest occupancy rates:
"Ala Moana, Honolulu, Hawaii. (Occupancy rate: 95 percent*; sales per square foot: $1,125). This upscale shopping mecca near Waikiki is a gold mine, with annual sales of more than $1 billion. While other malls are struggling to hang onto tenants, Ala Moana recently added a new wing with 30 additional retailers."
On February 23, 2012, Sears Holdings Corporation announced it would close its Sears store at Ala Moana Center by early 2013, as part of a $270 million sale of 11 properties nationwide to General Growth. The financial newspaper The Wall Street Journal estimated that the Ala Moana Sears location was the largest portion of the deal, comprising between $200 million to $250 million of the overall sale price. Sears Ala Moana closed permanently at 7 PM on June 2, 2013.
On May 17, 2013, General Growth Properties (owner of Ala Moana Center) announced that department store chain Bloomingdale's will move into the space that Sears will be vacating in June and plans to open in 2015.
Architecture and layout
Costing USD 25,000,000 in 1959, Ala Moana Center had eighty-seven stores and four thousand parking spaces. Ala Moana Center was remodeled extensively in various phases. New designs reflected modern Hawaiian architectural principles, emphasizing the importance of the symbolism of various natural phenomena found in Hawaiʻi. Asian Pacific Rim motifs have been adopted reflecting the large Asian population of residents in Hawaiʻi. For decades, a centerpiece of Ala Moana Center was its koi ponds. In the Japanese culture, koi represents happiness and tranquility. Despite these enhancements, the design of the Center has been criticized for its over-built appearance and hodge-podge architecture, the result of years of modifications and expansions under different owners. Still, Ala Moana Center architecture and layouts inspired owners General Growth Properties in 2004 to invest over USD 1,000,000,000 in remodeling various other shopping centers across Canada and the United States using Ala Moana Center as a template.
Ala Moana Centerstage is one of the most popular public amphitheaters in Hawaiʻi. On a stage in the center of the shopping complex, local talents are showcased for visitors to enjoy. Hula dances are a staple for Ala Moana Centerstage as well as performances by the Royal Hawaiian Band, the oldest municipal band in the United States. Schools throughout the country, as well as the world, travel to Honolulu just to be able to perform at Ala Moana Centerstage.
In addition, episodes of the local TV show, Hawaii Stars, a singing competition, are usually filmed on this stage. Onlookers can usually be seen crowding the second- and third-story balconies overlooking the stage during taping.
|This section requires expansion. (June 2012)|
|Bloomingdale's||Planned 2015||Planned to replace Sears and is slated to open in 2015.|
|Macy's||1966||326,860 sq ft (30,366 m2)||Opened in 1966 as Liberty House, expanded/renovated in 1980, converted to Macy's in 1998.|
|Neiman Marcus||1998||151,055 sq ft (14,033.5 m2)|
|Sears||1959||341,199 sq ft (31,698.4 m2)||Opened in 1959 as one of Ala Moana's original tenants. Sears will be closing it's store on June 2, 2013 and will be replaced by Bloomingdale's.|
|Shirokiya||1959||54,180 sq ft (5,033 m2)|
Ala Moana Center is a major public transportation hub for TheBus, Honolulu's mass transit system. Ala Moana Center is the center of Honolulu's public transportation system and can be accessed by routes from all points on O'ahu. Ala Moana Center is accessed daily by numerous city and tour buses.
- List of largest shopping malls in the world
- List of largest shopping malls in the United States
- Kahala Mall
- Windward Mall
- "Ala Moana Center turns the big 5-0 - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL". Hawaii News Now. Retrieved 2013-02-03.
- Gomes, Andrew (2006-06-30). "Can Ala Moana Center get any bigger?". Honolulu Advertiser. Retrieved 2010-09-06.
- Gomes, Andrew (2010-08-19). "Ala Moana Center developer transformed isle real estate". Honolulu Star-Advertiser. Retrieved 2010-09-06.
- "Don Graham dies, developed Ala Moana Center". KHNL. 2010-08-19. Retrieved 2010-09-06.
- "Properties & Leasing - Ala Moana Center". Chicago, IL, USA: General Growth Properties. Retrieved 2013-02-02.
- Newman, Rick (2009-06-26). "America's Most Profitable Malls - Rick Newman". usnews.com. Retrieved 2013-02-03.
- "Sears employees told Ala Moana store will close June 2". Pacific Business News. February 19, 2013. Retrieved June 8, 2013.
- Tsai, Michael (June 3, 2013). "Sears closes at Ala Moana". Honolulu Star-Advertiser. Retrieved June 8, 2013. (subscription required)
- Scheuring, Ian; Dicus, Howard (May 17, 2013). "Bloomingdale's to open in Ala Moana Center, replace Sears retail space". Hawaii News Now. Retrieved 2013-05-27.
- "Chronological Highlights". General Growth Properties. Retrieved 2013-05-27.