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Courtesy of Whole Foods


Nordstrom's new store at Ala Moana Center in Honolulu will include a Whole Foods Market on the ground floor, sources tell PBN.

Feb 3, 2014, 1:30pm HST

Duane Shimogawa
Reporter- Pacific Business News

Nordstrom, which on Monday confirmed its move to the Ewa end of Ala Moana Center in Honolulu, is expected to have a Whole Foods Market below its new store, sources close to the situation told PBN.

In August, I reported that the Texas-based natural foods chain was in negotiations to open a store at the state’s largest shopping mall as part of mall owner General Growth Properties' $573 million redevelopment project.

PBN first reported last month that Nordstrom (NYSE: JWN) was considering moving from its six-year-old location on the back side of Ala Moana on Kapiolani Boulevard to a spot closer to Bloomingdale’s and a planned ultra-luxury condominium project by Hawaii developers The MacNaughton Group and Kobayashi Group, as well as the Hawaii investment firm BlackSand Capital and General Growth Properties, the owner of Ala Moana Center.

The Seattle-based retailer’s repositioning to a three-level, 186,000-square-foot space on the Ewa end of Ala Moana Center, the site of the former Sears store, is expected to bring back about a 10 percent return on investment for Chicago-based General Growth Properties (NYSE: GGP), which projects to share 85 percent of the cost of the move, according to the company’s annual report released Monday.

Thus far, General Growth, which expects to open the new Nordstrom store in the spring of 2016, has spent about $240 million to date on the entire redevelopment project, which includes demolishing the existing Sears store and expand the mall by adding anchor, box and inline tenants as well as a reconfiguration of the center court area.

Thus far, the mall has named Bloomingdale’s as its new anchor tenant with box and inline tenants yet to be announced with the expected project completion in the fourth quarter of 2015.

Whole Foods Market (NYSE: WFM), which has locations at Kahala Mall in East Oahu and in Kailua in Windward Oahu, lacks a presence in urban Honolulu.

About five years ago, Whole Foods was set to open its flagship Hawaii store at Ward Village Shops, but the deal fell through and the space is is now occupied by a T.J. Maxx, Pier 1 Imports and Nordstrom Rack.

The owner of Ward Village Shops at that time was General Growth Properties, which is now the owner of Ala Moana Center, so both sides are used to one another from past experiences.

A spokeswoman for Ala Moana Center did not immediately respond to a message left by PBN.

Whole Foods Market’s Southern Pacific Region office, which includes Hawaii, told PBN in an email, that it does not have anything to share, as it has no signed lease on any new sites in Hawaii.