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Waikiki mall gains tenants

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Waikiki mall gains tenants

As Kamehameha Schools prepares for a $55 million renovation of its Royal Hawaiian Shopping Center in Waikiki early next year, retailers are beginning to fill up vacant space at the struggling mall.

Since June, Italian shoe manufacturer A. Testoni and local art and gift seller Elephant Walk have opened stores, and the British cosmetic maker LUSH plans to make the mall its seventh U.S. location next month.

The new tenants, which also included an April store opening of the irreverent-themed apparel and accessory retailer David & Goliath, are the first at the center since Cheesecake Factory opened in December 2003 as an anchor.

Besides the additions, several existing tenants are moving into bigger or improved spaces. In April, snowboard shop Island Snow moved to a more prominent location while swimsuit retailer Allure more than doubled its store size. Hermes and Cartier are also doubling their space with new stores expected to open in the fall.

Susan Todani, director of investments for Kamehameha Schools, said interest among potential tenants has been strong in response to mall renovation plans. "Our marketing for the revitalized center is well under way, and we are looking forward to announcing many new tenants," she said.

The 24-year-old mall, Waikiki's largest at 293,000 square feet, has struggled in recent years with vacancies that have been as high as 40 percent.

But the planned makeover has helped draw retailer interest at a time when other projects

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