Spotlight: From the Ground Up
Constructors Hawaii makes its mark on the Town Center of Mililani.
Workers complete the finishing touches on 
Building M at the Town Center of Mililani. PHOTOS BY RICHARD MELENDEZ

The Town Center of Mililani was constructed in 1988 in what was a growing planned community built upon former plantation land.

Now home to a Consolidated Theatres multiplex, Times Supermarket, Walmart, a UFC Gym and assorted retailers and eateries small and large — not to mention the home to several popular regularly scheduled events every month, including an annual New Year’s Eve Pineapple Drop — the center is now one of the state’s largest, and an integral part of life for Mililani town’s approximately 27,000 residents.

Over nearly four decades, the shopping center has undergone multiple upgrades, renovations and expansions, the newest being the construction of Building M, a completely new structure located between Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen and a Hele gas station.

Honolulu-based Constructors Hawaii Inc. landed the $10.5 million contract with the Town Center of Mililani to build the core and shell of the new building, joining the project in December 2020 as Peter Vincent Architects was working on schematic drawings.

According to Constructors Hawaii Vice President David Thom, who served as estimator and project manager, there was work to do before they could even break ground.

David Thom

“We were contracted to build a new 22,000-square-foot, two-story building shell. However, the building was going up in an area of a parking lot that was going to obstruct the traffic flow coming from the adjacent Popeyes restaurant,” he says.

“The first phase of the work was to redirect the traffic flow at Popeyes to have cars exit in a different direction. That involved new concrete curbs, resealing the asphalt, new landscaping and restriping the arrows and parking stalls to accommodate the new direction of traffic.”

Meanwhile, underground utilities, including telephone, electric and cable, needed to be relocated as they ran through the footprint of the construction site. This meant that the project team couldn’t break ground on Building M until the cabling was moved, an endeavor that pushed back the start of construction.

Another factor that impacted construction time was the rain, a common occupational hazard for projects in Mililani, that “drenched” the jobsite.

“The hardest part of the project was getting out of the ground,” Thom says. “[It] rains a lot in Mililani and the progress on any ground-up construction is always dependent on the weather. We had to line our footings with plastic so our excavations would stay intact and pump out water the mornings after an overnight downpour.”

Things went more smoothly once construction got underway, with the building taking 12 months to complete, a process made even smoother through constant communication with the architect and owners.

“The owner and the design team were great to work with. [The owner’s] representatives were on the mainland, so weekly Teams meetings made discussions easier,” Thom says.

The diverse team of subcontractors gathered by Constructors Hawaii worked on the grounds under and around the Building M site, as well as the shell of the new building, its interior and exterior, completing their work this year.

Despite the challenges faced early on, Thom sounds pleased with how everything turned out in the end, as he recounts the accomplishments of his team and the designers.

“The exterior finishes came together very nicely. There were fiber cement panels, corrugated metal panels, aluminum sun shades, high and low canopies, metal soffit panels, metal flashings, storefronts and wood sills that all got integrated,” he says. “The architect put a lot of attention to detail to ensure a weather-tight envelope.”

With construction almost complete and finishing touches being placed, the final stage would be for a new tenant to move in. Building M will be home to a new Straub Medical Center, the largest of Straub’s neighborhood clinics in Hawai‘i. Services provided at the new facility will reportedly include primary and urgent care, as well as OB-GYN, sports medicine, dermatology and other specialty services.

As of publication, an opening date for the new Straub clinic has not
been announced, but initial news reports following the September 2022 groundbreaking predicted a 2024 opening.



In alphabetical order:

Alakona Corp.
BEK Inc.
CMC Rebar
Commercial Roofing & Waterproofing Hawaii Inc.
David’s Fencing Inc.
Grace Pacific LLC
Honolulu Fire Protection LLC
Island Landscaping & Maintenance Inc.
Jayar Construction Inc.
KWL Services Inc.
Mega Construction Inc.
Pacific Preferred Contractors Corp.
Preferred Mechanical LLC
Progressive Landscaping Inc.
Quality General
Reflections Glass Co.
Schindler Elevator Corp.
Skippy’s Plumbing & Repair
D. Suehiro Electric Inc.
T. Taketa Sheet Metal Inc.
Tulba’s Roofing Inc.
The Zelinsky Company

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