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HONOLULU-Westwood Development Group LLC plans to begin immediate development of its $100 million Laulani Village shopping center in Ewa Beach, a 260,000-sf center that will be anchored by a 55,000-sf Safeway. The new development by the Michigan-based firm, to be the largest shopping center in Ewa Beach, will provide space for between 50 and 80 tenants upon completion.

Wendell F. Brooks III of CB Richard Ellis handled the transaction in which Westwood Development Group acquired the shopping center site from Laulani Village LLC, a partnership of Hamico and the Bristol Group. Brooks, who has been named the leasing agent for the development, notes that Westwood has now become a key player in Hawaii’s shopping center scene with its acquisition of two major projects within a year.

In 2006, Westwood Development acquired the Lanihau Marketplace in Kailua-Kona and is now developing the second phase, bringing the total size of the project to more than 320,000 sf. Michael Bowen, chairman and CEO of Westwood Development Group, says that this latest acquisition “continues Westwood Development Group’s strategy of building a high quality portfolio throughout the islands.” Bowen comments that Laulani Village “fits perfectly into that strategy.”

Aaron Eberhardt, director of development in Hawaii for Westwood, points out that continued residential growth on the Ewa Plain and the subsequent increase in automobile traffic are factors driving the demand for the Laulani Village project. The 20-acre Laulani Village site is located at the corner of Fort Weaver Road and Keaunui Drive. It is expected to open in the spring of 2009.

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