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International Market Place Waikiki: Saks and the city

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Shopping is part of the travel experience, whether it's needed incidentals, seasonal clothing, souvenirs or luxury indulgences.

The International Market Place Waikiki, circa 1950's, has been disbanded to make room for a staple franchise in luxury wares, Saks Fifth Ave.

The ground breaking ceremony takes place today, according to the March 3, report by KHON 2 News.

This is the first Saks Fifth Ave "retail" store in the state. The only other Saks branding is the Saks Fifth Ave-OFF 5th outlet store, on West Oahu.

The International Market Place consists of a number of small mom-pop retail booths, offering a mishmash of local merchandise.

Did it have local charm? Sort of. Did it have great customer service to the visitors and locals? Absolutely not. It's a flea market of sorts.

Taubman Centers, secured a 65-year lease with Queen Emma Land Co. for $87.2 million in November, 2013, Anchor tenant Saks Fifth Avenue will occupy 80,000 square feet of space with a “Grand Lanai” outdoor seating area taking another 50,000 square feet. The entire site spans six acres and will have a five-story, 750-stall parking garage with valet service.

Overall about 130 kiosks and restaurants vacated the area on Dec. 31, 2013, to make room for the redevelopment. The Miramar Hotel-Waikiki, adjacent to the market place will close it's doors in Jan. 2015, as part of the said redevelopment.

The grand opening of Saks Fifth Ave is slated for Spring of 2016, along with 75 other stores, and seven restaurants.