One of the questions I have encountered as a candidate for County Council is where do I stand on the Mega Mall being built in Kihei? I can’t support it at this time until I have some more information. First off, I want to learn more about the group behind it. They are Eclipse Developments based in Irvine, California. If they are building it for the right reasons, I support it.
For example, if Donald Trump were behind this it would have my 100% support. Trump whenever he starts a project thinks long term and thinks in terms of building long term business relationships with those who will be doing business at his establishment. That way everybody makes money.
That also creates job opportunities for those who live here. Lots of competition would be created and that is always good for the consumer. When the consumer has more options, the prices will be lower. That also holds the companies more accountable for making better products.
If however it were A & B Properties who was behind this mall, then I could never support it. A & B does business a completely different way. Their approach is to charge top dollar to it’s tenants for rent and then still take a high commission of the profit. That makes it very difficult for the tenants to build a long term profitable business and many shut down. That is one reason why if you walk by Maui Mall you see lots of vacant units.
Therefore, I want to meet with whoever is in charge of this Eclipse Developments and I want to know what their rental policy is. If it is one that is conducive to building long term business relationships like Trump would do, then I support it. If however, it is another venture that comes in charges ridiculously high rates and then still takes high commission then I can never support it. I support growth but it has to done the right way. A big mall with lots of empty spaces is no good for anyone.
Another issue I would like to know is how many spaces will be reserved for local business. I am not against mainland business coming in but not at the expense of local business. I think at least 35% of the stalls need to be reserved for local companies. By local companies, I mean operated by people who live here. Having a Hawaiian name but being based in let’s say Seattle does not make you a local company.
Another issue to look at is what long term environmental effects will there be? If it is another business that creates a lot of chemical runoff into the ocean, then that is something that we really have to think about.
The bottom line is that at this point, I still need to find out that information before I can make an educated stance on this project. One thing I do feel is that the people should have a say in this. In fact, a proposal as to whether or not we want this mall should be on the ballot. The people who asked me about it said that the people don’t want it. I don’t want to discredit that, but I want to see in a popular vote whether the people want this or not. That is a decision that can only be considered though after the questions I have are answered.