Kahuku land to be sold to developer
Tenants are told they will be able to buy their homes
Florida-based Continental Pacific LLC has agreed to purchase 230 acres in Kahuku from the Estate of James Campbell, including the Kahuku municipal golf course, Kahuku Hospital and 70 rental homes, the estate has confirmed.
Last month, Mayor Mufi Hannemann and Continental Pacific executives met with Kahuku residents to discuss a plan that would allow the Florida developer to build at least 18 luxury homes while letting residents purchase their plantation homes for about $75,000 each.
"We are pleased that Continental Pacific has publicly expressed a willingness to work with the community to address their concerns," estate Executive Vice President Bert Hatton said in a statement confirming the agreement.
Estate spokeswoman Theresia McMurdo said the sale would close at a later date, and declined to release the sale price.
McMurdo said the sale would not affect the current leases in place.
"It doesn't change their circumstances, whether it's the residents, the golf course or the hospital. All that's happening is a change in owners. So if they're all subject to their leases, it doesn't change their circumstances. Their circumstances would almost be if they were working with us, so you're really looking at a change in owners," McMurdo said.
Residents have month-to-month leases with the estate, while the city has an agreement that is renewed annually for operation of the municipal golf course, community leaders said. It is uncertain what will happen to those leases under a new owner once the current agreements expire.
The hospital property is a relatively new add-on, and the impact of the sale on hospital operations is not yet known.
The mayor is out of town and could not be reached for comment, but he has previously said he got involved in helping to prepare the proposal out of concern for residents losing their homes. He also cautioned residents about the need to compromise.
Attempts to reach Continental Pacific executives last night were unsuccessful.
Since Campbell Estate announced last summer that it was looking to sell 2,000 acres in Kahuku, residents of the North Shore community have rallied to keep their country lifestyle and affordable plantation-era homes.
Continental Pacific plans to buy the land, sell existing land and homes to tenants for $75,000 each, give the golf course to a nonprofit to run and provide beach access, in exchange for zoning to build at least 18 oceanfront and near-oceanfront luxury homes.
Margaret Primacio, a Kahuku Village Association Inc. vice president and co-chairwoman of the Phase V East Kahuku Planning Committee, said some residents are unhappy with plans to develop the oceanfront land, which they fear could bring skyrocketing property values that could change the character of the former sugar plantation town and increase the cost of housing.
"It's going to be a fight, and we're here to stay -- those of us that want to keep the ocean front open and not bring about the high costs," Primacio said. "It's not a good deal and it should be rejected."
Leslie Llanos, also a KVA board member, said some residents had hoped for some other proposal that would not require developing the oceanfront property.
City Council Chairman Donovan Dela Cruz, who introduced legislation calling for the city to condemn the property, said the Council would scrutinize the plans.
"I really hope the owner is going to listen to the community's comments and input, and address every concern that they have," he said.