Makena Resort is sold
The 1,800-acre Maui property is selling for $575 million
Maui developer Everett Dowling and Honolulu-based Trinity Investments are partnering with Morgan Stanley Real Estate to buy the 1,800-acre Makena Resort on Maui for $575 million.
The long-anticipated sale of the resort, which includes the 310-room beachfront Maui Prince Hotel and two golf courses, from the financially-strapped Seibu Group of Japan is expected to close on March 27.
The buyers will retain the hotel's 503 workers, most of whom are represented by the International Longshore and Warehouse Union.
The sale also includes 1,300 acres of undeveloped land, which will be the site of a large residential community similar to plans originally envisioned by Seibu, said Dowling, president of the Dowling Co.
"The biggest thing that is different from what was going on at Makena Resort in the past is the commitment to rebuilding," he said. "We're going to fulfill that vision and add in our respect for the environment in terms of green building techniques in every aspect of the resort and support for the Hawaiian culture."
Green building techniques include using water conservation measures, alternative energy and native Hawaiian landscaping, he said.
Dowling said the group is reevaluating Seibu's master plan and may change the mix of single-family and multifamily homes.
Seibu's original master plan included the development of roughly 700 single-family homes and about 1,100 multifamily properties on part of the undeveloped land.
The buyers also plan to renovate the Maui Prince Hotel, but haven't determined how much they will spend on the upgrades.
Revenue generated from the resort will be used to support housing developments for native Hawaiians, preservation of archeological sites and cultural programs, Dowling said.
Meanwhile, Dowling is building a $220 million luxury condominium on 20 acres south of the Maui Prince. The project has been a source of contention for some area residents, who say it will impact the beaches and already stressed natural resources.
"We're not worried about the guy selling the hotels, we're worried about the developers who are going to come in and piecemeal the property," said Pat Borge, the 25-year owner of Makena Stables. "They are going to develop the property and increase the density from what Seibu had planned. Hopefully the county and state can step in and protect the natural resources and the open spaces down here."