Haleiwa re-developement begins with relocating Aoki's shave ice
Tuesday was the last day to get Aoki's shave ice at its historic location. Re-development of Haleiwa is starting and that means stores in the area are beginning to move or close.
Ice has been shaved, flavored, served and slurped at Aoki's since 1981. Cathy Aoki's grandparents opened the place, and she's the one who has to shut it down for now because the portion of Haleiwa is being redeveloped.
"A lot of people are sad because they really love this building. The building has a character of its own, just having the pictures and memories. We have a lot of families who have brought in their children, their grandchildren, their great grandchildren," said Cathy Aoki with Aoki's Shave Ice.
During the busy summer months they serve about 1,000 customers a day. A lot of them are regulars.
"This is one of the places when I was a kid. Back in the days I used to come here and eat shaved ice here. A lot that's the reason why we come around the island today and stopped here," said customer Gary Costales.
Kamehameha Schools is the driving force behind the changes. The new development is expected to be 50 percent food and beverage businesses, and 50 percent retail and office spaces.
The historic character of the town is supposed to be maintained.
Kamehamameha Schools released a statement saying, "Kamehameha Schools' Hale'iwa Store Lots community revitalization project will retain the unique plantation qualities that have defined the region's character throughout modern history."
"I certainly like the area like it is now and I've been here 40 years. I have people from all over the world and they come here and they love these old buildings," said Scott Bechtor with Iwa Art Gallery next door.
Bechtor will have to move out on Saturday. Aoki's will re-open across the street from Matsumoto Shave Ice, but that will take about a year. The cost of the project is estimated at $6.8 million.
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