Thursday, October 28, 1999

Investors purchase
Kauai hotel
for $5.2 mil

The Garden Isle buyers
plan to refurbish the
Islander on the Beach

By Rick Daysog


A group of Kauai investors has acquired the 198-room Islander on the Beach Hotel for $5.2 million.

Real estate broker Terry Kamen, his wife Helene and part-time Garden Isle residents Steve and Gloria Cohen on Tuesday completed their purchase of the beachfront Kauai hotel from Pacific Rim Partners LLC.

The buyers have hired Aston Hotels & Resorts to manage the property and plan to retain most of the hotel's 53 employees. Kamen said that the investors will spend about $1.5 million to refurbish the property.

"It's an elegant hotel that we want to restore to its old grace," said Kamen.

The seller, Pacific Rim Partners, is affiliated with San Diego-based lender First Commercial Corp., which acquired the hotel for $3.8 million in a foreclosure auction two years ago.

The prior owner, Nansay Hawaii, paid $13.1 million for the six-acre property in 1989 during the height of the Japanese investment bubble. But financial troubles in Japan and a tourism downturn brought on by Hurricane Iniki in 1992, forced the property into foreclosure.

Built in 1969, The Islander on the Beach is located in Kauai's Coconut Plantation Marketplace, an area between Waipouli and Kapaa that includes several hotels as well as a resort shopping center. The hotel includes eight low-rise buildings, a gift shop and a swimming pool.

Kamen said that his partners, the Cohens, are New York residents who have owned property on Kauai since 1986. Steve Cohen is a former advertising executive who has turned to commercial development. His wife Gloria Cohen is a designer of fine jewelry.

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