by Adriana Pop, Associate Editor
The final environmental impact statement for the $770 million redevelopment of the 880-acre Turtle Bay Resort on Oahu’s North Shore has been approved. The Pacific Business News reports that the city and county of Honolulu’s Department of Planning and Permitting has accepted the owners’ proposal to build two new hotels totaling 625 units. The project will also bring 750 housing units, including 590 resort single- and multifamily residences and 160 affordable homes, which will be developed over a period of 11 years. Construction will be managed by Canada-based resort development firm Replay Resorts Inc.
Since 2010, the existing 443-room Turtle Bay Resort has been owned by a consortium of international investment management firms. The property’s expansion plans have been reduced by approximately 60 percent from an original 1985 master plan that called for the construction of 3,500 hotel rooms and residential units.
In other news, the Hyatt Regency Waikiki Beach Resort & Spa in Honolulu will undergo a major renovation in 2014. According to the Pacific Business News, the hotel’s new owner, Blackstone Group, is planning to invest $100 million in the refurbishment of the property.
“A lot of this is really kind of in the infancy stage,” Hyatt General Manager David Nadelman told the newspaper. “I’m really excited about Blackstone because Blackstone gets the hotel industry. They’re not only investors in the hotel industry but they get the hotel industry.”
The Blackstone Group acquired the leasehold interest in the 1,230-room hotel in July. A joint venture comprising Goldman Sachs’ Whitehall Street Real Estate Fund and Hyatt Hotels Corp. sold the property for approximately $450 million, or $366,000 per room. The transaction ranks as one of the largest hotel sales in the U.S. since the market downturn.
The Hyatt Regency Waikiki Beach first opened in 1974. In 2008, Whitehall and Hyatt formed a joint venture to purchase the hotel out of bankruptcy from Japanese firm Azabu Buildings. Whitehall’s interest was 92 percent, while Hyatt owned the remaining stake.
Photo credits: www.turtlebayresort.com