I have a hard time digesting the lack of the much needed Kihei High School while the Pi’ilani Mega Mall is being built adjacent to the high school’s vacant lot. Many people I’ve spoken with favor the mall because they think the Kihei High School is being built along with the mall since it is on the site plan. This is one of the many misconceptions surrounding the Mall.
The Mall has no connection with the High School.
How is it that the Kihei High School has been on the South Maui Growth Plan for over 10 years and is still not built? How come $20 million dollars to build the Kihei High School lapsed because of zoning on a state and local level? It will be years before we see a High School. Yet, within 2 years of Eclipse developers purchasing the property, the Mega Mall is allowed to pass through non-compliance of Land Use Commission conditions, slip in on light industrial, never met with the community, and has begun work on the property.
Eclipse President Doug Gray said, “We can’t please everyone; however, I think most residents will be pleased with the development and tenants. If we let a committee develop a site, it never would get built. When the community wants to risk $200 million in this economy; they can become developers.” (The Maui News, 1/ 29/12)
The High School would create career opportunities as well as jobs, additional recreation areas that would benefit the community, and circulate income within our own island economy, as well as provide a much needed High School. The Mega Mall provides low paying jobs and most of their profits go off island to their corporate headquarters. In fact, it creates job losses with the demise of small businesses.
I feel that Eclipse has insulted our intelligence and ignored our desires for a healthy growth economy and lifestyle that benefits and befits our community. And they still refuse to meet with the residents of the community face to face.
Do we need more retail space when Maui, island-wide, already has the highest retail vacancy rate in 13 years and in the past 12 months an additional 203,000 sq ft of retail space has become vacant? (The Maui News, July 9, 2012) Has mainland-style consumerism become more important than our education, our environment, our lifestyle, Maui’s Magic, and Aloha?
Speak up, tell everyone you know, the media – write letters, comments, sign petitions. Every voice creates a larger chorus that will be heard. Together, we can build a sustainable future for the health and betterment of our residents, our community, our children and Maui, well into the future.
Image Credit: Hawaii.gov