Savio Converts WW2 Bunkers Into Waikele Storage Park
A prime example of “adaptive reuse,” a military equipment storage compound has been converted into the Waikele Storage Park with a variety of options available to the public for commercial, industrial and personal use.
Previously available only as rentals, the units, which include warehouses, fenced yards and concrete and steel bunkers, are being condominiumized by Realtor/developer Peter Savio and offered for sale on a fee simple basis by Savio Realty. The approximately 1.7 million-square-foot complex, located near the Waikele Shopping Center, includes 500,000 square feet of covered space and 1.2 million square feet of open storage and yards.
The Waikele bunkers came to Savio’s attention approximately 13 years ago when he was serving as a consultant to a company that had won the rights to develop Ford Island Navy housing.
“What were called the ‘Caves at Waikele’ and previously leased out are actually munitions storage facilities created prior to World War II by the Navy,” Savio said. “The 128 bunker-like compartments were dug out of solid rock in the lower portion of Kipapa Gulch and used by the Navy through the 1970s. They were totally cleared out and cleaned by the Navy when they shut them down about 23 years ago. I had been watching the project because it always fascinated me, and I saw its potential for commercial and personal storage which is in short supply in the area.”
Located at the end of Pakela Street in Waikele, the complex has on-site security, parking and paved roads and is scheduled to be open from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. seven days a week when condominiumized. The commercial storage units include lighting and ventilation systems, which currently require a generator for operation.
Guidelines for protection of the rural setting have been established by Savio, who has expressed his intention to preserve the integrity of the natural environment and, in fact, enhance it. “The Waikele Storage Park is actually a park-like environment with industrial components. Two streams flow through the property, and we will eventually plant more native Hawaiian trees. We will leave as much as possible in its natural state and maintain the landscaping along the roads.”
Savio noted that each of the 120 covered warehouses of 4,000 square feet plus the loading dock are located in yards that range from 6,000 to 10,000 square feet and can accommodate one or more 40-foot containers, plus parking space for additional vehicles. These facilities are priced at $300,000, but are being offered to existing tenants for $275,000. He added that a comparable industrial property in Kalihi would cost more than $1 million.
The outdoor storage lots will range from 5,000 square feet to 4 acres in size and are priced from $15 to $30 per square foot. The project has approximately 1,215,000 square feet of land that has been approved by the city for outdoor storage but with a restriction on construction of permanent structures. Savio said he is willing to sell the lots at sizes to accommodate the needs of buyers.
The Waikele Storage Park will retain a public self-storage component managed by StorQuest. Units of 150 to 625 square feet are available for rental at prices Savio said will be well below what is currently offered by other facilities.
“We plan to retain these mini rental storage units since they provide an alternative for small local businesses that need economy-priced storage,” Savio said.