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Friday, April 18, 2003



Plan in works for
new Kona development


By Russ Lynch
rlynch@starbulletin.com

A Big Island development partnership plans to seek land-use approvals soon for a 725-acre residential and golf course development in North Kona that would include a "university village" to provide housing and other amenities for the planned University of Hawaii West Hawaii campus.

Hiluhilu Development LLC, a partnership of Kona contractor Guy Lam and nationally known stockbroker Charles Schwab, said it is preparing an environmental impact statement for the project, planned for a vacant parcel near Keahole Airport.

The site is mauka of Queen Kaahumanu Highway and adjacent to the 500-acre site acquired for the UH campus.

"We're working on a joint plan with the university to share roads, water, wastewater facilities and so on," said Guido Giacometti, the project's manager.

"There are some real benefits for both sides," he said. Working with the university will lower some of Hiluhilu's costs and Hiluhilu will benefit from the presence of the university population, Giacometti said. At the same time the university will benefit from facilities Hiluhilu will provide, he said.

The university acquired its parcel in 1991 but the campus has not been built. There was $13 million in the original state budget proposed for this year's Legislature but it was taken out at the request of Gov. Linda Lingle, said Sam Callejo, UH director of capital improvements.

The money wasn't replaced, so for now there is no funding for the campus, Callejo said.

The Hiluhilu partnership envisions its university-connected portion as including single-family homes, residences for the university, a mixture of classrooms and teaching labs, a cultural center and conference facilities.

Giacometti said the plans are in the early stages. "It's very preliminary. It's not really planned," but steps are being taken to get the initial approvals, he said.

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