Editor’s note: Koko Marina Management issued this statement on Tuesday evening to the townhall meeting participants who are protesting the closure of their favorite community supermarket, Foodland Hawaii Kai, in favor of WalGreens coming to the area. Foodland maintains their offer was competitive and the successful grocery chain wants to stay put.
BY KRYSTI PEACOCK – We sympathize with the community’s concern over the food source issue, but will not be able to attend the Town Hall meeting this evening. We do feel there are some unwarranted claims that are circulating and wanted to put them to rest. Unfortunately, we feel that our presence will cause more problems where it is our intent to solve them.
We understand that emotions are running high, but this is not something that happened quickly or was taken lightly although it may seem that way to the general public.
Over the past two years, we have been trying to keep Foodland at our center. In the end, a final contract that was agreeable to both parties couldn’t be reached.
We don’t understand why the blame has been placed strictly on one side.
Without divulging the confidential lease negotiations between Foodland and Sofos Realty which handles leasing for Koko Marina Center, too many concessions / burdens were to be placed on the Center.
It wasn’t a matter of not wanting to accept the proposal, but rather not being able to accept it. The Landlord had emphasized the intention to retain a grocery section within the space and made every attempt to have Walgreens work with Foodland on a sub-lease opportunity.
Therefore, we feel every effort was made to keep that resource available to our residents. We don’t feel this is a dispute with Foodland and understand that they had to make business decisions that made sense for them as did we. The Landlord appreciates all of the years that Foodland was a tenant and wishes them well. We would be completely supportive and ecstatic if they are able to resurrect an agreement with Walgreens.
The community and our customers continue to be our top priority and we strive to make the Center a resourceful destination. We look forward to hearing the feedback from the meeting and plan to work with Senator Sam Slom, Representative Gene Ward, and Walgreens on this endeavor.
Walgreens is excited to be a part of this community and although they won’t be called a “grocery store”, they are planning on offering food items like canned goods, dry goods, milk; dairy products, packaged meats, nutritional food, baby formula, candy, snacks, soft drinks, etc. This should help to alleviate some of the concerns over a food supply shortage to the community. We would also like to work with local farmers to coordinate a more regular ongoing open market at the Center.
Koko Marina Center is a caring part of the community. We are an annual sponsor of the Hawaii Kai Marina Boat Parade and the Keiki Kalikimaka Parade assisting the Lions Club to continue with this Christmas tradition by subsidizing part of the cost to sustain it.
We have stood by the community against the shark tours revoking their boat slip once we uncovered the commercial plans that they hadn’t divulged to us. We have supported the Independence Day at Maunalua Bay over the past three years as a cash sponsor as well as providing fundraising opportunities at our Center and we have made numerous donations to the Kaiser Complex Schools at all levels. In addition, we support the Hawaii Foodbank, the Lokahi Giving Project and Toys for Tots with annual fundraisers. We will continue to support the community in every way.
Please let me know if you have any additional questions or concerns. Thank you for this opportunity,
On behalf of Koko Marina Center