The Hawaii Medical Service Association (HMSA) on Tuesday announced it will develop a new office building in Keaau.
The facility will be located “in the heart of Keaau town on two acres recently acquired from W.H. Shipman,” according to an HMSA news release.
HMSA and Shipman began discussing the project three years ago, when HMSA representatives started looking for land for new customer service, sales, and call center operations.
“This is an investment in the health care infrastructure on Hawaii Island,” says Steve Van Ribbink, HMSA chief financial and services officer. “HMSA opened its first Hawaii Island office in 1946. Since then, we’ve grown our operations to include 45 employees in three separate offices.”
The choice of Keaau shows a continuation and even acceleration of job growth in Puna, said Shipman President Bill Walter.
“What we’re seeing are good quality jobs coming to Puna, which is important for Keaau and Puna,” said Walter, pointing to the Department of Education school complex and Big Island Bio Diesel as recent examples.
The new two-story building will be located at the corner of Old Volcano and Keaau-Pahoa Roads. Shipman has retained the front portion of the property to provide retail services.
Parking for both the HMSA office and future retail space will be accessible from both Old Volcano Road and the entrance to the Shipman gym.
The 20,000 square-foot complex is expected to be ready for business by the end of 2014 and the building’s design will be reminiscent of the plantation era, with gabled roofs, ample overhang, and breezeways.
See Wednesday’s Tribune-Herald for more coverage about this project.