Friday, March 26, 2004

City blocked in bid
to condemn condos

The city must terminate its condemnation proceedings on the upscale Kahala Beach condominium project, a state judge has ruled.

Circuit Judge Eden Elizabeth Hifo ruled earlier this month that the city did not have enough qualified applicants to move forward with its condemnation proceedings against landowner Kamehameha Schools.In a ruling in favor of the estate, Hifo disqualified nine lessors listed by the city because they rented their units, sold them or do not use the apartments as their primary residences.

By law the city needed at least 25 owner-occupants to go ahead with the condemnation.

Kamehameha Schools' Chief Executive Officer Dee Jay Mailer welcomed the decision, saying the lands are a vital part of the legacy left by the estate's founder Bernice Pauahi Bishop.

"Kamehameha Schools opposes the forced sale of our land," said Mailer. "Not only does this violate our rights as a property owner, but it also would force us to part with a gift Pauahi left to benefit her people."

Martin Anderson, an attorney for one of the lessees, declined comment.

Built in 1967 at a cost of $4 million, the Kahala Beach apartments are located on some of Oahu's most valuable real estate, across from the Waialae Country Club and next to the Kahala Mandarin Oriental Hotel.

The low-rise condominium complex, which covers 6.68 acres, has operated under a 60-year lease with the estate.

For the first 30 years, the lease rents were set at a fixed amount.

Lease rents for the second 30 years are tied to current property values, which have soared since 1967.


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