Reed Travel Features
HONOLULU -- Visitors traveling from Honolulu Airport to Waikiki
will notice a complex of buildings painted yellow.
Best seen from the highway, the complex stands out in the
distance as visitors look down on the gray of the industrial
district, before they pass downtown's high-rise buildings.
Clients taking the Nimitz Highway route will see it at ground
It looks strange, and that is the intention. The complex is
painted seven shades of yellow to catch the eye.
This is Dole Cannery, which became a shopping center
specializing in Hawaiian-made products when pineapple processing
ended in 1992.
Now, it is being expanded and transformed again, to a brand-name
outlet (the new name for factory stores) while keeping the
Two years ago, Horizon Group, one of the nation's largest retail
center operators, took over its operation and development.
Brand-name outlets are displacing Hawaiian-product outlets.
Horizon is planning a "grand opening" for late summer for what
is now called the Dole Cannery by Horizon.
In all, 60 retail outlets, including fast-food operations, are
slated to open.
Half are in business now, with retail space boosted by the
completion last March of a second construction phase.
Already open are such retailers as Big Dog Sportwear, California
Luggage Outlet, Dockers', Levi's, Famous Footwear and the lingerie
Hawaiian products are not forgotten. Stores such as Hawaiian
Island Gems, Island Brewing Gift Shop and Pineapples to Go are part
of the complex, too.
Merchants opening during the first quarter of 1997 include Anne
Klein, Oshkosh B'Gosh and American Tourister Expo.
And that is not all.
Last summer, Horizon announced it will build a two-story, $40
million aquarium as part of the complex.
Groundbreaking for the attraction, a joint venture with Tarlton
Aquastar, is expected during the first quarter of this year, with
an opening during the first quarter of 1998.
UnderWater World Hawaii will be Tarlton Aquastar's third
aquarium in the U.S.
This version will be larger than the UnderWater Worlds opened
last year at Pier 39 in San Francisco and Mall of America in
According to Valerie O'Brien, Dole Cannery's marketing director,
about half of the cannery visitors are tourists and the other half
This demographic mix is expected to continue after the aquarium
project is completed.
The 44-acre cannery is located at Iwelei, just west of downtown.
The last of Oahu's three pineapple canneries, it had been
processing pineapple for 82 years when it closed in November
Dole Food Co., which had attracted only small numbers of
visitors on its cannery tour, planned to go into tourism in a big
In 1988, Dole opened its shopping facility, then called Dole
Cannery Square, in its administrative building adjoining the
Cannery Square expanded to include more than 30 tourist-oriented
stores, specializing in pineapple and other Hawaiian-made products,
while maintaining the cannery tour.
Six years ago, Dole built a nine-building complex across the
street, with kitchens, ballrooms and parking floors, in addition to
briefing rooms for tour operators.
Displayed throughout the center were exhibits on pineapple and
Visitors saw a multimedia presentation focusing on the history
of the Hawaiian pineapple and Harvard-educated James Dole, who
arrived in the islands in 1899.
Dole began pineapple production in the central Oahu plains in
1903, expanding to the island of Lanai, which he bought in
Dole exported Hawaiian pineapple and made it famous, directing
the operation for 50 years until selling to Castle & Cooke (now
called Dole Food Co.) in the early 1950s.
Today, after clients enter the main entrance, they see a
Leathermode store to the right, which replaced a shop selling
The free multimedia presentation continues to be shown (a new
one is being created), and the photo and historical displays remain
throughout the complex.
One familiar sight will return.
Three years ago, Dole took down the old pineapple water tower,
four stories high, which had long been an industrial area
The 22-foot-long pineapple will be rebuilt and erected before
the grand opening, a $1 million project.
Dole Cannery is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through
Saturday and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday.
It shares a free shuttle service from Waikiki with the nearby
Hilo Hattie, which specializes in Hawaiian products.
For further information, contact Dole Cannery at (808) 531-2886;
fax (808) 531-3159.