BY WAYNE CHARGUALAF
After a delay of nearly one year, Bank of Hawaii’s new $10 million Guam headquarters branch in Tamuning is expected to begin construction in 2020.
“We are currently in the programming and design stage of the development process,” Michael Taylor, executive vice president of Bank of Hawaii’s corporate real estate group, said. “We anticipate opening for business sometime in 2021 and are very excited to serve the financial needs of our customers out of this state-of-the art facility. In the meantime, we will continue to operate out of our Hagåtña location as we move forward with the development plans.”
The site of the future headquarters — which is currently an empty, grassy lot surrounded by a chain link fence — will be located on Chalan San Antonio Street between Personal Finance Center and the Shell gas station. The lot was formerly part of the parcel of on which Guam Premier Outlets sits.
“It’s the same piece of land, it’s just that the road splits it up,” Monte D. Mesa, general manager of GPO said. “Bank of Hawaii owns it now.”
Plans to construct the new headquarters were announced in July 2018 and the building was originally set to open in 2020. The reason for the delay was not addressed as of press time.
The branch will be based on Bank of Hawaii’s “Branch of Tomorrow” concept — which was most recently implemented in the Pearlridge branch in Hawaii — and is slated to include easy-deposit ATMS, wi-fi, private meeting rooms and an open-floor concept in a facility with more than 10,000 square feet of space.
“All employees will likely be transferred [from the Hagåtña branch] to the new location,” Taylor said. “I do not suspect there will be a need to add additional staff, although that may be up to individual business unit managers as we move forward. The Harmon branch will continue to operate as usual.”
The Hagåtña branch currently has about 50 employees.
Bank of Hawaii has not finalized which firms it will work with on the project, but Taylor said he expects that decision to be made in the coming months.
Bank of Hawaii’s current long-time headquarters on West Soledad Avenue in Hagåtña was put up for sale by the bank in July 2018 and is still listed for sale or lease with Today’s Realty. The list price for the building is more than $12.9 million dollars.
“We’re working on leasing the building,” Anthony Godwin, realtor and principle broker with Today’s Realty, said. “There have been a couple of new tenants and there are still spaces available for rent. It’s still available for sale and we’ll entertain a buyer, it’s just that we haven’t found the right fit yet.”
The four-story Hagåtña building was built in 1977 and has more than 62,200-square feet of office space. It also has a parking garage, two elevators, escalators, an open street-level lobby and a back-up generator. Bank of Hawaii still owns the building.
Bank of Hawaii closed its branch in Tamuning near Table 35 and Lone Star Steakhouse in 2015 and sold it for $2.1 million to Coco Commercial Property LLC. The bank also sold one of its executive residential properties for $1.68 million the same year. Bank of Hawaii had operated the branch since 1971.
Bank of Hawaii entered the Guam market in 1961. It closed its prior Tamuning branch on Marine Corps Drive — which the bank had occupied since 1971 — in May 2015. It was purchased by Coco Commercial Property LLC on Nov. 20, 2015 for $2.1 million, according to Journal files. In total, Bank of Hawaii has 69 branches and about 400 ATMS throughout Hawaii, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands and Palau. mbj