Buyers Guide to Wailea & Makena Property for Sale Now!


Hawaii is not a state of mind, but a state of grace. ~ Paul Theroux

As the fall swings into the Holiday Season we are seeing a increase in new listings island wide!There is some fresh inventory and some great price reductions as the Maui Real Estate market transistions into “high visitor season” There are lots of great homes for Buyers on the market now at competitve prices.

Expect the Market Inventory and the Listing prices to increase by Jan 2013.For Buyers it’s a great time to take advantage of the low interest rates and secure the best prices on top properties in the slower season when there are less other buyers to compete with.


Wailea/Makena Condos
Under $2 Million
Over $2 Million


Wailea/Makena Homes
Under $3million
Over $3million


Wailea/Makena Oceanfront Homes
Link to All

If you know you love Maui and you’ve been curious about Maui home or condo ownership, contact me. I’m here to assist you with all your questions, and help you with previewing the right properties for your ownership goals!

If you are curious about pocket listings in the Wailea/Makena area, I am also privy to many unlisted ocean front homes and luxury oceanfront condos.

If you know someone else that might be interested in buying or selling real estate on Maui I would be honored to assist!

Mahalo Nui Loa,
Meghan Clair
Realtor(S), EcoBroker

San Francisco based windfarm partner eyes Hana Ranch $55M

Wind farm partner eyes Hana Ranch July 11, 2012
By NANEA KALANI -The Maui News

The San Francisco-based investment firm co-developing a planned wind farm on Molokai says that it is interested in buying Hana Ranch in rural East Maui.

Bio-Logical Capital – which describes itself as a land investment, development and conservation company – said Tuesday that it is exploring the purchase of the 4,500-acre ranch that surrounds Hana town.

“As a company that is committed to making long-term investments in projects that heal land and communities through stewardship development, Bio-Logical Capital is interested in historic Hana Ranch as a place where it could realize these goals and continue the legacy of this remarkable ranch,” the company said in a statement provided to The Maui News.

Hana Ranch is listed for sale for $55 million by Island Sotheby’s International Realty. Owner Hana Ranch Partners originally put it on the market for $65 million in 2008.


San Francisco attorney Harrison Sheppard, a member of the executive committee of Hana Ranch Partners, said he had no comment on a potential sale to Bio-Logical.

“We are subject to a confidentiality agreement,” Sheppard said. In general, he said, the ranch is “looking for a buyer who has the money to buy the ranch at a price we can accept.”

Keiki-Pua Dancil, vice president for Bio-Logical Capital’s Hawaii operations, did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

The real estate listing for the property describes the ranch as having “nearly two miles of oceanfront property, located in one of the last places in Hawaii untouched by the stresses of urbanization and over-development. Evocative of yesterday’s Hawaii, Hana is famous for its scenic location and idyllic isolation, combined with a rural atmosphere and small town friendliness.”

The ranch’s landholdings include more than 3,800 acres mauka of the roadway that meanders through the town, and another 667 acres on the makai side. Most of the land is rolling pasturelands.

Media mogul Oprah Winfrey in 2002 bought about 105 acres in Hana from Hana Ranch Partners for $15.5 million. (Winfrey bought another 1,000 acres of Haleakala Ranch land in Upcountry in 2004.)

Hana Ranch, with about 1,200 head of cattle today, was founded in 1944 by Paul Fagan with 14,000 acres of land and a herd of cattle from Molokai. It has since changed hands several times.

Hana Ranch and Hotel Hana-Maui were bought in 1984 by Rosewood Corp. of Texas, which in turn sold the properties for $63 million to Keola Hana-Maui, made up of mostly Japanese investors.

Meridian Financial Resources bought the ranch and hotel in 2000 and split the entities up, selling the ranch in 2001 to Hana Ranch Partners for $24 million, and the hotel to Passport Resorts of California for $10.6 million.

Ohana Hotel Co. bought the hotel in 2009 and sold it the following year to Amstar Group of Denver, which has renamed the luxury resort Travassa Hana.

It’s unclear what Bio-Logical Capital would do with Hana Ranch.

The company’s website says that it “invests for the long term and integrates sustainable, land-based businesses with ecological restoration and conservation.” Under a “what we do” tab, the company lists: sustainable agriculture, renewable energy, water stewardship, real estate and eco-tourism.

Bio-Logical Capital and Pattern Energy, also based in San Francisco, last year formed the joint venture Molokai Renewables LLC to study the feasibility of developing a 200-megawatt wind farm on Molokai.

The company has said the controversial project could include roughly 70 large wind turbines sited on 11,000 acres of Molokai Ranch land.

An earlier attempt by First Wind to build a wind farm on Molokai fell through last year when the company failed to secure land rights for the project.

The Molokai project would be one-half of the state’s so-called Big Wind project that would join another 200-megawatt wind farm planned for Lanai. The farms would feed the energy to Oahu through undersea transmission cables.

This blog post is a reprint of the Maui News “Article Wind farm partner eyes Hana Ranch” printed July 11, 2012 LINK By NANEA KALANI

FOR MORE MAUI REAL ESTATE NEWS CONTACT MEGHAN CLAIR REALTOR (S), ECOBROKER OF COLDWELL BANKER ISLAND PROPERTIES SHOPS AT WAILEA

Oracle CEO, Larry Ellison buys 98% of Lanai

HONOLULU (AP) — Oracle Corp. CEO Larry Ellison is closing in on a purchase even lottery winners can only dream about — 98 percent of Hawaii’s pineapple island, Lanai.

Ellison hasn’t said what he plans to do with the vast majority of the island’s 141 square miles, but the sellers said he plans substantial investments that will create jobs and stimulate tourism to the island once owned in the 1920s by the founder of Dole Foods Co. Ellison’s involvement in the deal was publicly announced by Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie.

With nearly 50 miles of coastline, two resorts and zero traffic lights, Lanai boasts plenty of unspoiled charm. Tourism officials tout the luxury at its Four Seasons hotels and rugged rural areas that can only be reached by vehicles with four-wheel drive.

If all goes as planned, most of the island that is home to 3,200 residents and near Maui will be owned by Ellison — the world’s sixth-richest billionaire, according to Forbes.

The outspoken Silicon Valley software magnate is known to race sailboats and make occasional unusual purchases. He once, for example, bought a tennis tournament to keep it in the United States.

The land’s current owner, Castle & Cooke Inc., filed a transfer application Wednesday with the state’s public utilities commission, which regulates utilities on the island that serve its two resorts.


Lodge at Koele Four Seasons Resort
The sale price for the property was not immediately clear. Lawyers for the seller redacted a copy of the sale agreement signed May 2, saying it includes confidential information that would competitively hurt Ellison and the seller if disclosed. The Maui News previously reported the asking price was between $500 million and $600 million.

Self-made billionaire David Murdock, who owns Castle & Cooke, said he would keep his home on Lanai and the right to build a wind farm, a contentious project that would place windmills on as many as 20 square miles of the island and deliver power to Oahu through an undersea cable.

Murdock said in a statement that selling Lanai was not an impulsive decision, but he has been looking for a buyer who would have the right enthusiasm, commitment and respect for the island’s residents.

“I have learned in life that change is inevitable and can be quite positive when guided in the right direction,” Murdock said.

Ellison co-founded the Redwood City, Calif.-based business software company in 1977. Forbes ranks him as the third-richest American, with a net worth of $36 billion as of March.

Abercrombie said Ellison has had a longstanding interest in the island.

“We look forward to welcoming Mr. Ellison in the near future,” Abercrombie said. “His passion for nature, particularly the ocean, is well known specifically in the realm of America’s Cup sailing.”

Maui County Mayor Alan Arakawa wished Murdock well and said he looks forward to meeting Ellison.

The deal involves 88,000 acres of land, plus two resorts, two golf courses, a stable and various residential and commercial buildings, lawyers for Murdock told the utilities commission in its application.

Ellison plans to pay cash, and the deal should result in new jobs, economic stimulus and a reinvigorated local tourism industry, the application said.

“The buyer anticipates making substantial investments in Lanai and is looking forward to partnering with the people of Lanai to chart the island’s future,” Castle & Cooke lawyers said in the application.

Lanai is Hawaii’s smallest publicly accessible inhabited island, with some 3,200 residents. It is known as the “pineapple island” even though Murdock closed its pineapple operations to make way for luxury resort and home development. The majority of the island was once owned by James Dole of Dole Food Co. Inc., who bought it in 1922.

Murdock bought out fellow Castle & Cooke shareholders for nearly $700 million in 2000 and took the company private.

According to the Hawaii Tourism Authority, more than 26,000 people visited the island from January to April of this year, a 6 percent decline from the same period last year.

Four Seasons Manele Bay

The utilities commission is reviewing the prospective deal because it involves indirectly transferring public utilities Castle & Cooke owns on the island — a water company, a bus and shuttle service, and the island’s wastewater utility. Castle & Cooke asked for interim approval by June 26.

Hawaii law requires commission approval to transfer public utilities, and the commission will try to make its decision by that date, said Sean Mikell of the PUC’s research division, which is considering the application. The commission does not have jurisdiction over the sale of the island, aside from the transfer of public utilities.

J. Kalani English, a state senator who represents Lanai in Hawaii’s Legislature, said he’s hopeful the sale to Ellison will mean a return of agriculture to the island.

Before Murdock announced he would keep wind farm rights on the island, Kaye said he hoped Ellison wouldn’t pursue the project.

“Lanai is worth more than supplying power to Oahu,” Kaye said.

Seventh-generation Lanaian Sol Kahoohalahala said he hopes to see an end to high unemployment and more opportunities for economic development beyond tourism.

“I look at this as a potential opportunity for us to get the new owner to look at Lanai in terms of an island that needs to work at sustaining itself” he said. “Tourism cannot be the only economic engine on Lanai”

Kahoohalaha’s family managed to hold on to some Lanai land. The 2 percent Ellison isn’t buying is owned by the state, county and private residents.

___
THIS BLOG POST CONTAINS EXCERPTS FROM THE MAUI NEWS ARTICLES DATED June 20 2012 and BLOOMBURG BUSINESSWEEK NEWS LINK LINK 2
Articles by Oskar Garcia, Jennifer Sinco Kelleher, Lisa Leff this report.

For more information on this purchase or other real estate opportunities in Hawaii, Please contact Meghan Clair Realtor (S) , EcoBroker of Coldwell Banker Island Properties-Shops at Wailea office.

Meghan Clair Realtor(S), EcoBroker Luxury Buyer’s Agent on Maui

If you are curious about the Best Deals in the Maui Luxury Property Market, contact Meghan Clair of Coldwell Banker Island Properties at the prestigious and award winning Shops at Wailea office.

Meghan has 10 years experience assisting Luxury and Resort clientelle both in Montecito,CA and Maui Hawaii.

Meghan will help educate you on the market, assist you in finding and previewing properties that meets you family’s needs, and she is privy to many UNLISTED beachfront homes and luxury condos.
Including two listings of her own currently absent from the MLS for privacy.

Whether you have been curious about owning on Maui for a long time, or the idea of resort ownership recently piqued your interest, Meghan Clair can assist you in making your Maui property ownership dreams come true!

Maui News Article: New Kihei Mall

Kihei mall project touted as ‘job generator’
Calif. developer aims to start work in spring on state’s largest outlet center

Maui News Article
By CHRIS HAMILTON

KIHEI – A California developer wants to begin construction this spring on a shopping center that would be the largest outlet mall in Hawaii.

The 300,000-square-foot first phase of the project, Maui Outlets, would be located on 30 acres mauka of Piilani Highway and would generate an estimated 1,200 retail jobs, according to Eclipse Development Group LLC, of Irvine, Calif. A second, 400,000-square-foot shopping center is planned for an adjacent 45-acre parcel. When both phases are completed the project would add around 90 shops and restaurants to South Maui.

The site straddles the terminus of the planned Upcountry highway. Zoning and land-use entitlements are in place for the project, which is located on former Kaonoulu Ranch land.

As a condition of approvals, developers have agreed to provide land for the Upcountry highway, and make improvements to the Kaonoulu Street intersection.

“We are thrilled the project will not only bring additional shopping opportunities to both local residents and the island’s visitor market, but that the outlet center will bring more than 1,200 jobs to the region,” said Eclipse President Doug Gray in an email.

He said the company would start announcing its tenants in the coming months.

“This is a tremendous job generator in the middle of a recession,” Gray said.

Maui County Council Member Don Couch, who holds the council’s South Maui seat, acknowledged that some residents had raised concerns about the project, and said he was still trying to get more information.

“I haven’t formed an opinion yet because we don’t know what it is, and they’re not talking to us,” Couch said.Couch added that he already had some questions about the project’s design, and didn’t like that the shopping center’s sprawling parking lot would be located in front of the main buildings.
He said the current thinking in urban planning is to create more of a small-town feel, with green space and walkways, and parking located out of sight.

“We can’t please everyone; however, I think most residents will be pleased with the development and tenants,” Gray said. “If we let a committee develop a site, it never would get built. When the community wants to risk $200 million in this economy; they can become developers.”

“We expect to be part of the community for a long time; and have bicycle and walking paths along all the roads.”

Eclipse will devote $20 million just for infrastructure, said Charlie Jencks, its local consultant.

Jencks said a 13-acre affordable housing subdivision being developed in conjunction with his 670-acre Honuaula project would benefit from the mall’s new intersection, roads and planned 1-million-gallon water tank.

“Eclipse has a reputation,” Jencks said. “They have done this so many times in so many places, I’m sure it’s going to be successful. They know how to get things done.”

He also said the stores will cut down on traffic in Kihei by saving South Maui residents shopping trips to Central Maui. As a result, Central Maui’s traffic will be less congested, Jencks said.

But Couch questioned whether the project could actually bring additional traffic to the already-crowded Piilani Highway.

He also questioned the need for such a large outlet mall on an island with 155,000 people.

But Mayor Alan Arakawa expressed strong support for the project.

“We need the jobs,” Arakawa said. “We’re going to be supporting businesses that create jobs.”

Arakawa said he met with Eclipse about six months ago to help fast-track building permits. Streamlining permitting is an administration goal, and Eclipse received no special treatment, he said.

Arakawa also said he hasn’t seen the plans. Still, he said he thought the shopping center won’t have any negative visual impact because of the landscaping. It’s next to the proposed Kihei high school, too, and other planned housing developments.

“I haven’t seen the specifics because it’s a shopping complex,” said Arakawa, who expects more details once the leases are signed.

Jencks said Eclipse purchased the property a year ago from Maui Industrial Partners, where he was a partner.”The heavy lifting was done long before we bought this land,” Gray said. “It was in the entitlement process for over 14 years.”

The ranch devoted about half of the 1990s to getting all the necessary environmental impact studies done as well as county zoning and state land use designation changes and Maalaea-to-Makena community plan amendments for light industrial development, said county Planning Director William Spence and others.
“Sometimes, it’s time to move ahead,” Spence said.

Arakawa said the County Council and the community set this land aside years ago for exactly this kind of use someday to discourage urban sprawl.There are people who want the malls, and those who don’t,” Couch said. “It’s Maui.”

LINK TO ECLIPSE DEVELOPMENT GROUP SITE PLAN FOR MAUI OUTLETS

For more information on Developments in Maui Contact Meghan Clair of Coldwell Banker Island Properties


Meghan Clair
Realtor (S), EcoBroker
Coldwell Banker Island Properties
MauiGreenRealEstate@Gmail.com
(808) 874-8668 office
(808) 463-8485 cell

Article from this Blog post is originally from The Maui News.

Maui News Article: Home Sales & Prices are UP for 2011


*excerpts from this blog post taken from online Maui News article:
Statistics: ’11 valley for real estate market
January 10, 2012 / By Harry Eagar

Was 2011 the year the real estate market touched bottom and started back up? Statistics published by the Realtors Association of Maui and released Monday suggest it might have been.

After four years of decline and a flood of foreclosures and short sales, the average price of a single-family house on Maui went up 5 percent to $787,552 during 2011. The number of sales rose 10 percent from 817 in 2010 to 898 last year.

Terry Tolman, chief staff executive of the association, said strong sales interest is being confirmed by actual reported sales, “with multiple offers competing for well-priced properties.”

There are still plenty of lender-owned repossessed properties and desperate underwater owners trying to escape via short sales out there.

Broker Billy Jalbert at The Maui Real Estate Team writes a blog about conditions, and he noted this week that half of all single-family sales in December and two-fifths of condo sales were either short sales or bank-owned properties. “It is safe to say buyers are still looking to the bank-owned and short-sale market for opportunities,” he wrote.

For years now, Tolman has been cautioning that until the overhang of distressed properties is worked through, the market cannot return to normal, whatever that is.

Still, prices are low now, even if they go lower still, and mortgage rates are very low So he believes now is a chance for “Maui’s worker bees” who want to own their own homes to buy at comparatively low prices and absolutely low interest rates.

But in doing that, the buyer should be prepared to buy and hold – “at least five years” – and not try to get rich quick, he said.

MAUI HOME VALUES/NUMBER OF SALES WENT UP ISLAND WIDE
In Spreckelsville, Paia and Kuau, (about two dozen sales of single-family homes) average prices zoomed 92 percent from $595,000 to $1.1 million. Somewhere in between were Pukalani (five-dozen, single-family home sales), up 8 percent to $515,000; and Lahaina (about 40 sales), up 17 percent to $967,000.

LUXURY MARKET IS APPRECIATING QUICKLY!!!
Median prices are thought to give a clearer picture, because they are not affected when prices at the very top end are rising faster than the overall market, which was the case in 2011. Kapalua average prices were up 25 percent to $4.3 million; and Wailea-Makena averages were up 20 percent to $4.5 million. Wailea-Makena medians were up 32 percent to $2.3 million.


Makena, Maui Golf Course views of Molokini

HERE IS A LINK TO ALL THE HOMES FOR SALE IN MAKENA AND WAILEA
WAILEA/MAKENA MEDIAN PRICES ARE UP 32%!!!

CONDOS
“The lower ends of the market for homes and condos have relatively limited inventory. As you start to go up in price, you see a greater range of inventory.”

Tolman has an explanation for that: “The majority of condos on Maui are second homes or investments and experienced a steeper price drop as Mainland owners ‘let go’ of them in order to keep their ‘primary’ residences on the Mainland.”

Still, he noted, not all condominiums are for the well-to-do. For aspiring homeowners who find $250,000 too high, a lower-priced condo can be the ticket in, he said.

If Maui real estate prices start going up again (which has been the long-term trend, no matter what the past five years have shown), then the appreciation could generate the down payment that is often the obstacle to buying a single-family house for working people.

For the moment, not only Maui’s real property economy but the general outlook seems to be rosier than it has been for a while.

____________________________
For more information on the Maui Real Estate Trends or assistance in finding the best deals on Maui contact Meghan Clair!

EcoBroker, Realtor(S) Meghan Clair of Coldwell Banker-Wailea Shops Office specializes in assisting Buyers find THE BEST South Maui Oceanfront and Luxury Investments.

She is pleased to represent you as a Buyer’s Agent on any unique Maui home or condo.

Meghan Clair
Realtor (S), EcoBroker
MauiGreenRealtor@Gmail.com
Coldwell Banker Island Properties-Shops at Wailea
(808) 463-8485 Direct Phone
(808) 874-8668 Office Phone

LINK TO MEGHAN CLAIR ON FACEBOOK

UH economists say ‘recovery has slowed, but not stopped’

Here are excerpts from a new Maui News article about the movement of Real Estate in 2011 specifically in Maui and throughout the Hawaiian Islands.

September 2, 2011
The Maui News Online
By BRIAN PERRY – City Editor WAILUKU –
Link to article in full

While keeping a wary eye on Washington politicians and acknowledging U.S. and global economic turmoil, University of Hawaii economists nevertheless predict modest growth in 2012 in an annual Hawaii forecast released today.

“Hawaii’s recovery has slowed, but not stopped,” the economists say in their conclusion. “We expect growth to continue in 2012, although at a somewhat slower pace than earlier projected.

“The substantial weakening that has occurred in the U.S. and Europe, the blow to confidence from D.C. theatrics and the looming fiscal contraction weigh on growth prospects. At the same time, we now have some local growth momentum, with job gains now under way and an ongoing boom in non-Japanese foreign travel.”

The economists also deliver an ominous cautionary note.

“There is a significant risk that things will turn out much worse than this,” they say. “While our view is that the U.S. will avoid an outright recession, clearly the risk has risen substantially in just the past few months.”

NEW DEVELOPMENT

But they say that on a statewide basis, conditions in the construction sector appear to have stabilized, “although there is not yet evidence of significant improvement.”

They point out that July employment in the construction industry was up about 700 jobs from the beginning of the year, and that was 1 percent higher than the level seen in July 2010.The economists report that the market for residential real estate in Hawaii “continues to be quite soft, with fluctuating sales volume but no recovery yet in prices.”

Statewide, the volume of single-family home resales in the first half of the year was 1.3 percent lower than in the first half of 2010, the economists say, citing data from Prudential Locations. The statewide median price was 2.8 percent lower than the same period of 2010. Condominium sales were up 1.1 percent, with the median price down 6.1 percent.

On Maui in July, the median single-family home cost $410,001 down 18 percent from the $500,000 median price a year earlier, according to the Realtors Association of Maui. The volume of sales was slightly higher, however, with 61 single-family sales on Maui in July 2010 and 65 sales in July. Maui condominium prices also were down, with a $325,000 median price in July, or nearly 16.7 percent less than the $390,000 price for the same month a year earlier.

“Neighbor Island (real estate) markets have yet to show the signs of stabilization we see on Oahu,” the economists say in their forecast. “Their continued decline reflects the aftereffects of their more pronounced building cycles during the past construction upswing, and, related to this, their relatively larger volume of distressed sales.”

TOURISM IS UP

The economists predict that visitors from countries other than the United States and Japan “will continue to be a bright spot, rising 16 percent this year and averaging roughly 5 percent annual growth over the next three years.”

Earlier this month, the Hawai’i Tourism Authority reported that visitors to Maui from Canada were able to nearly offset declines of tourists from the United States and Japan. Spotting the trend, the Maui Visitors Bureau has been marketing the island heavily recently in Canada.

Meanwhile, the administration of Mayor Alan Arakawa has reached out to tourism leaders in South Korea to encourage travel from its rising affluent middle and upper class to Maui County.

The university economists say that statewide, “the tourism recovery is now behind us, and further industry gains will be more incremental.”

FORCLOSURE UPDATE…

The market is saturated with many bank owned properties…this explains the slight decline in median
sold price points island wide. The investment buyer and savvy home buyer are going after the low end REO market which is lowering the dollar closing amount…but the number of sales occuring is ahead of years past. The prices are soon to go up once the best inventory is depleted.

(Last week, Pacific Business News reported that more than 39 percent of all home sales in Maui County in the second quarter were foreclosures. The 250 foreclosure sales on Maui, Molokai and Lanai represented an 8 percent increase from the second quarter of 2010, it reported. Maui County’s foreclosure sales percentage outpaced the state’s three other counties: Kauai, 33 percent foreclosure sales; the Big Island, 27 percent; and Oahu, 13 percent.)

“Prices are going up very, very slowly generally speaking,” he said, which is a trend he expects to continue.Hansen said there’s 20 percent less inventory now than there was a year ago, and when supply gets short, prices go up. Another 20 percent of the inventory is in escrow, he said, “so you can see how fast inventory is shrinking. That is kind of unprecedented.”

LUXURY MARKET

As usual, luxury properties in Wailea and elsewhere are expected to lead Maui out of the recession.

“Neighbor Island sales activity has picked up a bit over the past two years as homebuyers with available resources shop for bargains,” the economists say. “On Maui, areas with high-end homes, including Kapalua, Wailea-Makena and Maui Meadows, saw increases in median prices in 2010, even as the island as a whole saw a net price decline. Somewhat encouragingly, we are now beginning to hear anecdotal evidence of a return of offshore money, particularly from Canada, into Neighbor Island real estate markets.”

Interested in MAUI REAL ESTATE???Contact Maui EcoBroker Meghan Clair for a custom Homes search Island Wide

EcoBroker, Realtor(S) Meghan Clair of Coldwell Banker-Wailea Shops Office specializes in assisting Buyers find THE BEST Maui Oceanfront and Luxury Investments.


Meghan Clair
Realtor (S), EcoBroker
MauiGreenRealtor@Gmail.com
(808) 463-8485 Direct Phone
(808) 874-8668 Office Phone
Coldwell Banker Island Properties-Shops at Wailea

Maui News Article: Makena Resort SOLD for $95M

Lenders win Makena Bid
The Makena Beach & Golf Resort was purchased Wednesday in 2nd Circuit Court with a bid of $95 million by the group of lenders that foreclosed on the 1,800-acre property last year.

Article by HARRY EAGAR, Staff Writer

WAILUKU – Wells Fargo Bank, trustee of the mortgage lending trust group that foreclosed on the Makena Resort last year, fended off two additional bidders Tuesday and prevailed – with a $95 million bid – to purchase the 1,800-acre property and the Makena Beach & Golf Resort.

The action occurred in 2nd Circuit Judge Shackley Raffetto’s courtroom, with the judge confirming the sale during the completion of a foreclosure auction that started on the Wailuku courthouse steps in May. Raffetto agreed to reopen bidding to allow two additional bidders to participate.

Miles Furutani, who was the receiver in the foreclosure, said now that the ownership is settled, “a lot of good things are going to happen in the near future.”

The ownership of the property will move from court receivership to a “new owner designated by the bidder,” according to a news release from the lender group. The new owner was not identified.

Furutani said the new owners will be able to command investment capital to expand the resort, which opened as the Maui Prince Hotel in 1986.

Former owners Morgan Stanley and local partners Everett Dowling and Trinity Investments had big plans for Makena before the national real estate market cratered. They paid about $570 million in 2007 to acquire the resort, hotel and golf courses from Seibu Group, which had its own financial problems in Japan. Then they invested at least another $100 million in plans and projects before their investment group failed to keep up the payments on a $192.5 million first mortgage last year.

Among the plans then was to replace the 310-room Maui Prince Hotel. During the receivership, the hotel has been managed by Benchmark as the Makena Beach & Golf Resort.

In May, at a brief auction on the courthouse steps, Wells Fargo, acting as agent for the creditors, bid $55 million, using its credits as tender. Only one other bidder, who did not identify himself, made a bid. By that time, the junior lenders had already been wiped out.

In Hawaii, foreclosure auctions have to be submitted to the court for confirmation. If the property is desirable, that is usually where the real action occurs, and that is what happened Tuesday.

The purchase includes the resort’s golf courses and county authorizations for up to 1,100 residences. The authorizations come along with obligations to build up to 400 units of affordable housing and many other conditions.

During the foreclosure period, which lasted about 10 months, the creditors authorized considerable expenditures to keep the hotel operating and to expand the resort. A Makena Ranch guided horseback ride was one, as well as reopening a restaurant and other improvements.

Furutani said the employees had been magnificent during the period of uncertainty. “The employee family has been the biggest asset,” he said.

Willie Kennison, Maui director of the International Warehouse and Longshore Union, which represents the employees, said the auction sale was a step in the right direction.

“We feel very positive about this outcome,” he said. “We have talked to representatives of new ownership, and we know they are really committed to Makena and to Maui. That is good news for employees and good news for our island guests.”

Furutani said the resort’s hotel occupancy is double what it was a year ago.

“The resort is in better condition, and morale is high since we were able to rehire most of the employees who had been let go when the prior owner went into default on its debts,” he said.

He acknowledged that the economy is still down but predicted that the infusion of capital to remake the resort will “also be for the benefit of Maui County.”

For additional Information on Makena, Maui contact
Meghan Clair
Realtor (S), EcoBroker
Coldwell Banker Island Properties
MauiGreenRealEstate@Gmail.com
(808) 463-8485

Hawaii goal: 70% of energy with alternative sources by 2030

Though Hawaii announced its goal of producing 70% of its total energy needs from renewable sources by 2030 back in January, the program got further support yesterday with the announcement that a “historic accord” has been reached between the current state government and the Hawaiian Electric Company.

Though the details of many of the agreements points have yet to be worked out, what is planned is certainly a step in the right direction. Here they are:


Ban on Coal Plants, Increased RPS, Feed-in-Tariff Creation, Biofuels

The Renewable Portfolio Standard for electricity is doubled to 40% by 2030.

A new feed-in-tariff system will be created to encourage renewable energy installation. Details on how much different renewable energy technologies will be receiving have not been disclosed. Conversion of existing fossil fuel generating plants to “renewable biofuels, ultimately using crops grown locally and in a sustainable manner.” Currently Hawaii generates about three-quarters of its electricity from oil-fired plants. A prohibition on construction of any new coal plants in Hawaii.

Solar Hot Water Program Expanded
In addtion to a mandatory installation of solar water heaters on all new developments by 2010, there wil be an expansion of the Pay-As-You-Save program, under which customers can install solar hot water systems with no money down.

Transmission Grid Integration
Construction on an undersea cable connecting Maui, Molokai and Lanai into one electric grid so that 400 MW of wind power generated on Maui can be transmitted to Oahu. Integration of 1100 MW of “already identified additional renewable energy” into the grid, 700 MW of which will be done within five years.

The complete list of items to be implemented under the agreement is available here: Hawaiian Electric Company