BY MAUREEN N. MARATITA
So what will Guam’s new “big box” store look like?
Here’s what we know so far about the Guam Don Don Donki.
The Don Quijote group bases its store formats on market size, so the Guam store size is tailored to this market. It also will be the maximum size allowable for the property and it will have a significant allocation for parking, its architect told the Journal. At a combination of 595,000-plus square feet, the Pan Pacific property on which the new store sits is far larger than Kmart Guam, which is 168,315 square feet, according to Journal files.
Kilhak “Killy” Kunimoto, owner of the Kunimoto Architect Design Group Inc. in Tumon will design the Guam store.
Kunimoto said the building will occupy 175,000 square feet, will have a basement and will be one story. The Guam Kmart offers shoppers 110,814 square feet of retail space, according to Journal files. Kmart’s Little Caesars restaurant occupies 2,100 square feet.
“We will have over 500 parking spaces, which is more than enough,” he said.
By comparison, the Guam Kmart store has 836 parking stalls, according to Journal files, though some of that is roof-side parking on the second floor to the rear of the building.
The Don Don store has a timetable of two years to open doors. “As a matter of fact, the grand opening is scheduled for the end of March 2021 — exactly two years from now,” Kunimoto said.
He is well aware of the challenges to Guam’s construction industry affecting all projects, due to the lack of H-2B visas.
“I realize we have a shortage of labor, but we will find a way.” He said there has been a discussion about the use of pre-cast concrete in the building. “We are going to do that by ourselves,” Kunimoto said.
As to a construction company, Kunimoto said that a number of companies are under consideration. “We are in the process of selecting one.” The project has seen revisions to increase the building’s square footage during the planning process, he said, but potential contractors are submitting accordingly. “We have estimates from four contractors right now,” he said.
The specific design elements for the Guam Don Don are still in discussion.
“Each design suits the location,” Kunimoto said. He said he is working on some “localized ideas” and is mindful that many stores are in city locations. “I don’t want to copy that, because we live in a different environment.” mbj