BY MALIA ZIMMERMAN – Kahala Shell Auto Care, Inc. is undoubtedly of the most frequented businesses in east Oahu, but 34 years after Bill Green founded the elite car repair business, Kahala Shell will be closing its popular auto repair shop.
Green, now a consultant to the business, said as of end of day Thursday, July 31, Kahala Shell will no longer perform its popular 15-minute oil changes, convenient and quick safety checks or auto repairs.
Green and current owner Madeleine Snow will leave the business on August 31.
Kamehameha Schools/Bishop Estate, owner of the land under Kahala Shell, plans to redevelop the area into high-end condominiums, Green said.
The threat of being closed down within weeks or months has made it difficult to hire qualified staff or make upgrades to equipment, Green said.
Aloha Petroleum plans to continue operating the gas station, mini mart and car wash under the Shell brand until the master development plan scheduled for mid-2016 causes the station to closed and be rebuilt.
Once rebuilt, Aloha Petroleum said in a statement today the company will operate the gas only portion with the Shell brand and a new facility.
Many other small businesses in the area also will be shut down as a result of the redevelopment plans, should they go forward, including a veterinarian business, an urgent care facility and several restaurants, Green said.
Green sold his business to his first employee, Madeleine Snow, 10 years ago. He said while she was his first employee, he will likely be her last.
“These are real sad times,” Green said.
The company helped most employees in the repair shop find other jobs.
“That was a big concern for us. We wanted to make sure we found all employees other jobs,” Green said.
Kahala Shell has serviced thousands of customers over the years, Ron Martin, owner of Success Dynamics Inc. included.
Martin said Kahala Shell is one of the few remaining gas stations with full service – a service he values.
“I am a bit of a dinosaur in that I like service,” Martin said. “They do a wonderful job there.”
This report has been updated to include news that Aloha Petroleum will take over the gas station portion of the business when the current owners leave on August 31.