By Adriana Pop, Associate Editor
Hawaii’s largest private landowner, Kamehameha Schools, intends to sell the buildings at Royal Hawaiian Center in Waikiki while retaining ownership of the underlying lands.
The properties are located on a 6.3-acre parcel along Kalakaua Avenue and total more than 322,000 square feet of leasable space. Built in 1979 and renovated in 2005, the center features more than 110 shops and restaurants, as well as The Royal Grove, a unique 30,000-square-foot cultural venue reminiscent of Waikiki’s historic Helumoa coconut grove.
According to the Pacific Business News, Kamehameha Schools has selected Eastdil Secured to market the property. The buyer will be offered a ground lease of between 50 and 60 years.
“A successful sale of these improvements would reduce risk to our endowment through greater diversification. It would create better balance in our overall portfolio,” said Elizabeth Hokada, Kamehameha Schools’ vice president for endowment. “The thriving business at Royal Hawaiian Center should continue as usual under a Kamehameha Schools ground lease, similar to the successful ground lease Kamehameha has with the neighboring Royal Hawaiian Hotel.”
Hokada also emphasized that the organization will seek potential buyers who understand and value the historic and cultural importance of Helumoa. Their commitment to this vision will be an important factor in the decision-making process.
Other retail centers on Oahu for which Kamehameha Schools is ground lessor include Pearlridge Center and Kahala Mall. Windward Mall in Kaneohe and the land beneath it are also under the organization’s ownership.
A private, educational, charitable trust founded and endowed by the legacy of Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop, Kamehameha Schools operates a statewide educational system enrolling over 6,900 students of Hawaiian ancestry at K-12 campuses on Oahu, Maui and the Big Island, as well as 30 preschool sites statewide. Over the past 10 years, the trust has spent more than $2.6 billion on education in Hawaii.
Photo credits: www.royalhawaiiancenter.com