98-020, 98-040, 98-042, 98-044, 98-048 Kamehameha Highway, Aiea, HI 96701, USA
Hours vary by merchant
Coming from humble beginnings, Katsumi, a former plantation worker, understood the value of hard work at an early age. He began his entrepreneurial career by successfully selling vegetables and Christmas trees. Through hard work and dedication, he eventually saved enough money to purchase some former terrace and taro land in Waimalu on which he proceeded to make his and his wife Haruko’s dream come true.
Building on former terraced land was no easy task, and Katsumi and his team encountered many challenges along the way. With his architects by his side, Katsumi searched long and hard to find the materials and top quality steel needed for the projects and eventually imported the steel from Japan. They then proceeded to build an attractive and vibrant shopping center based on a unique architectural design that is still visible today through the center’s distinctive structural arches.
On March 15 1960, the Kazamas opened Waimalu Super Market on property. A restaurant, delicatessen, and Kaiser Medical Clinic were some of the other tenants in the first increment starting at the Ewa end of the property. In November of 1963, Waimalu Shopping Center opened its doors to its first customers with a total of 26 merchant shops, Waimalu Super Market being the anchor tenant. They are historically associated with the early development of strip malls on Oahu.
Over the years, Waimalu Shopping Center has grown to now include 33 merchants catering to the full range of community needs with a variety of independent small businesses, health and beauty shops, and family friendly restaurants. Katsumi’s vision for creating a gathering place where the community could come together to shop, dine, and fulfill all their daily needs in one location had become a reality.
In November of 2013, the center celebrated its 50th “Golden Jubilee” Anniversary and received a Certificate and Proclamation from the City & County of Honolulu, with Mayor Kirk Caldwell proclaiming November 16, 2013 to officially be Waimalu Shopping Center Day!
To enhance their long-term sustainability, Waimalu Shopping Center installed a state of the art photovoltaic (PV) system and starting in 2017, the center also created new, level sidewalks and redeveloped their entire parking lot, increasing the total number of stalls (with handicap and electric vehicle parking) as well as lighting fixtures. Huge improvements were made to the buildings as well. Among structural, electrical, and aesthetic upgrades, the iconic arched canopy was replicated and fitted with pink LED lights reminiscent of the original neon lights of the 60s.
In 2017, Waimalu Shopping Center’s buildings were officially listed on the Hawaii Register of Historic Places and have been nominated to the National Register of Historic Places.
Back in 1960, Katsumi and Haruko Kazama had a dream of building a place in Aiea where local people could gather and small businesses could flourish. Today, Waimalu Shopping Center is a thriving commercial enterprise and a centerpiece for community shopping and socializing. The Katsumi Kazama Family Partners, through the formation of the Waimalu Shopping Center Association, still manages all the day-to-day operations of the center.