Friday, August 31, 2001

Kamehameha Schools to
extend leasehold moratorium

By Rick Daysog

The Kamehameha Schools plans to extend its moratorium on residential leasehold conversions.

Wendell Brooks, chief investment officer of the $6 billion charitable trust, said the estate will extend the moratorium, which was set to expire today.

Brooks referred questions to the trust's spokesman, who was not immediately available.

The Kamehameha Schools, Hawaii's largest private land owner, placed a 120-day freeze on the lease-to-fee sales on May 1 to re-evaluate prices on the 4,920 apartments and 390 single-family homes it has not converted.

The trust said at the time that it would conduct an extensive study of leasehold values to reflect current land prices. Some real estate experts said they expected the trust to lower the lease-to-fee prices by as much as two-thirds.

The moratorium represents a major milestone in the decade-old leasehold conversion controversy, which has been the subject of numerous court battles and legislative debates.

It also underscores the trust's long-term strategy to exit the residential leasehold market altogether.

Critics have complained that the estate's ousted trustees, Henry Peters, Richard "Dickie" Wong, Oswald Stender, Gerard Jervis and Lokelani Lindsey, charged exorbitant prices for lease-to-fee conversions.

The former board members accused lessees of trying to steal land from native Hawaiians.

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Kamehameha Schools

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