Developer Wins Approval to Reclassify Agricultural Land in Maui

by Adriana Pop, Associate Editor The Hawaii Land Use Commission has approved Alexander & Baldwin Properties’ petition to reclassify 545 acres of agricultural land in Wailuku and Waikapu in Central Maui. The reclassification would allow the Honolulu-based company to build a master-planned residential community named the Waiale Community Project. The housing development will comprise 2,550 [...]

by Adriana Pop, Associate Editor

The Hawaii Land Use Commission has approved Alexander & Baldwin Properties’ petition to reclassify 545 acres of agricultural land in Wailuku and Waikapu in Central Maui. The reclassification would allow the Honolulu-based company to build a master-planned residential community named the Waiale Community Project.

The housing development will comprise 2,550 residential units, neighborhood parks, a community center, a middle school and necessary infrastructure. The Maui County is expected to receive 50 acres for affordable housing, a park and a community center.

According to the Maui News, A&B Properties Vice President Grant Chun stated that the project would now go before the Maui Planning Commission and Maui County Council for review and rezoning.

The 545 acres represent less than 1 percent of the approximately 246,000 acres of state agricultural land on Maui. It is estimated that the project would be completed in phases over a period of 10 years.

In other news, Japanese hotel and railway group Seibu Holdings Inc. is planning to sell its three luxury hotels and golf resort business in Hawaii for an estimated $500 million to $1 billion. The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reports that the company has appointed Eastdil Secured to market the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel and Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel on the Big Island and the Hawaii Prince Hotel Waikiki on Oahu.

Donn Takahashi, president of the local Seibu subsidiary Prince Resorts Hawaii, told the newspaper that the initiative is part of the company’s preparation for having its stock re-listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange. In 2004, the company was delisted due to falsification of financial statements.

According to the Wall Street Journal, over the past several years Seibu has been selling off properties as part of its restructuring efforts. In 2007, it sold the 1,800-acre, 310-room Maui Prince Hotel Makena Resort to Honua LLC, a firm owned by Morgan Stanley Real Estate, for $575 million.

Photo credits: Wikimedia Commons