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New BX to offer 'one-stop shopping'

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Chris Marasky
  • 18th Wing Public Affairs
(Editor's Note:  This is the second in a series on  major construction projects here.)

The new Kadena Base Exchange is tentatively scheduled to be completed in the fall of 2009 and will be nearly double the size of the current BX, while providing a 'one-stop' shopping mall for the military community.

The two-story structure is currently under construction adjacent to the base commissary, and will provide a large increase in floor space as the BX portion will increase from the current 116,000 square feet to a projected 195,000 square feet.

"The new AAFES Kadena Mall will be comparable to a one stop stateside shopping center," said Erika Pfauntsch, AAFES Kadena BX manager. "This will provide more merchandise selection, increased BX aisle space, more parking and a diverse eating destination. The fun shopping experience will be an event for families and friends."

While the BX will be primarily on the second floor of the new structure, the bottom floor will be allotted to a number of concessionaires as well provide room for a food court.

Overall, the entire structure is projected to encompass 325,000 square feet, and will cost around $81 million, most of which will be funded by the AAFES. Demolition of the existing BX will be funded by the 18th Wing.

The current BX area will be turned into a larger, more accessible parking lot with roughly 880 new parking spaces planned with the new parking lots to be opened in early 2010.

The current plans call for a new Main Street Food Court with nine food restaurants, a book store, barber and beauty shops, vendor concessions, ATMs, and a new Military Clothing Sales Store with an alteration shop.

The existing laundry & dry cleaners, newly opened approximately a year and half ago will remain at the Olympic Mall.

"Everyone is very, very excited," said Arthur Arao, 18th Wing base project manager for the new BX. "Being part of this project for over one and a half years, I know that everyone on Kadena and Okinawa is finally realizing that a brand new shopping center is finally coming to Kadena."