Parker Ranch trust looking at redeveloping Big Isle properties
THE Parker Ranch Foundation Trust is looking for creative ideas to reinvigorate several of its Big Island properties to serve its beneficiaries over the long term. Possibilities include partial or complete redevelopment of its Waimea headquarters, the Historic Homes at Puuopelu and the Parker Ranch Museum & Visitor Center.
The 175,000-acre Parker Ranch, established in 1847, is one of the largest and oldest ranches in the United States. The trust benefits the North Hawaii Community Hospital, Parker School Trust Corp., Hawaii Preparatory Academy and Hawaii Community Foundation's Richard Smart Fund.
The trust is looking for operators for the properties and is not looking to sell the land, Vice President Diane Quitiquit said.
The trust, however, is looking to sell the Parker Ranch Center, a retail complex in Waimea town. Money from the sale will be reinvested, Quitiquit said.
Concepts for the ranch's visitor properties will be reviewed for revenue-generation potential and focus on the area's paniolo heritage.
The ranch's Puuopelu Heritage area is permitted for food services, retail sales, lodging, special events and other related uses on about 14.5 acres. Two historic homes on Parker Ranch are now open for public tours and are also part of the package.
Guests at the Parker Ranch Museum & Visitor Center currently take self-guided tours through exhibits detailing the history of the area and the transition of the culture from old Hawaiian to paniolo to modern times.
The trust is looking at a broad range of potential redevelopment partners, including tour companies, destination management companies, health and wellness companies, the State Foundation on Culture and the Arts, entrepreneurs, innkeepers, restaurateurs and other parties. Traditional players, such as developers and architects, are not being sought, but would not necessarily be out of the running.
The trust has been in a restructuring mode for the past few years and has taken many steps, including reduction of operating costs, said Chris Kanazawa, Parker Ranch's president and chief executive.
"Asset diversification such as the planned sale of the Parker Ranch Center will provide a more stable cash flow and investment income with more predictable returns," Kanazawa said.
"We're excited to see what kinds of conceptual proposals come in," Quitiquit said.
The deadline for submittals is Nov. 30.
When the trustees find a concept, or group of concepts they like, a request for proposals will be issued, likely next year.
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Erika Engle is a reporter with the Star-Bulletin. Call 529-4302, fax 529-4750 or write to Erika Engle, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., No. 7-210, Honolulu, HI 96813. She can also be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org