Kawamoto 'mission' is growing by 5 homes
The billionaire says he wants to assist native Hawaiian families in need
Japanese billionaire turned charitable-housing provider Genshiro Kawamoto is back in town to continue carrying out his "Kahala Avenue Mission."
He says he is ready to offer five more Kahala homes, in addition to the three he granted earlier, to struggling families, preferably native Hawaiian.
The homes, which he bought for between $2 million to $3.5 million apiece, will be prepared for the families, according to a statement released by Kawamoto yesterday, hopefully by the end of June.
Kawamoto, who owns more than 20 properties in the neighborhood, surprised three families in March by offering them furnished homes rent-free, along with $1,000 in cash.
Japanese billionaire Genshiro Kawamoto is back in town, and says he plans to offer five more homes to native Hawaiian families as part of his Kahala Avenue mission.
In March, he surprised three families by telling them they could stay in his Kahala homes rent-free. In all, Kawamoto says he plans to offer a total of eight homes.
The remaining homes to be offered in what he calls his "Kahala Avenue Mission" are at 4286, 4332, 4432, 4806A and 4806B Kahala Ave.
Letters of inquiry can be sent to:
P.O. Box 15547
Honolulu, HI 96830
Kawamoto, who owns more than 20 properties in the neighborhood, purchased them for between $2 million to $3.5 million apiece over the last few years.
Kawamoto said he is arranging to remove the homes' concrete gates, walls and swimming pools, which he said can be hazardous for small children.
He's targeting the end of June for the next move-in.
More than 3,000 letters poured in when Kawamoto announced last fall he would offer the homes for between $150 to $200 a month.
"Please continue to support Hawaiian families," Kawamoto said in a statement. "I am seeking for the families whose size is suitable for each house. I am very much looking forward to see(ing) each family with this great housing opportunity, especially the children to reach their potential and dreams. I hope everyone will continue to support my charity project for Hawaiian people."
Three large families -- the Kahales, the Worleys and the Gusmans -- moved into their Kahala Avenue homes in March, two from homeless shelters and one from a rental on Leeward Oahu.
Kawamoto surprised them by offering the furnished homes rent-free, along with the services of his maintenance staff and $1,000 in cash.
He had said then that they could stay in the homes for two years, renewable for up to 10 years or until the youngest child graduates from high school.
The billionaire, who made his fortune in Tokyo commercial real estate, plans to transform some of the other Kahala mansions into private museums for his art collection.
Despite the initial controversy, the neighborhood has remained peaceful. The families say their neighbors have been welcoming.