Varsity theater site bought by Kamehameha Schools
Kamehameha Schools has acquired the Varsity Twin Cinema site from Los Angeles-based Robertson Properties Group in exchange for its old Kamehameha Drive-In in Aiea and an undisclosed cash payment.
The deal included the 1.7-acre theater site at 1106 University Ave. as well as the adjacent Varsity Building and parking lot.
The 74,682-square-foot property's assessed value is $12.6 million, according to state tax records.
"This was a great opportunity for us to acquire a very valuable piece of property given the amount of land holdings we have in the Moiliili area," said Tara Young, Kamehameha senior asset manager.
She said there are no definitive plans for the theater, which was abruptly closed last week by owner Consolidated Theatres. The trust will continue operating the adjacent office building as usual.
The acquisition increases Kamehameha's land holdings in Moiliili from 9.6 acres to 11.4 acres, which the trust plans to redevelop as leases expire in the next few years.
"It's a very good strategic move for us," said Ann Botticelli, Kamehameha vice president for community relations and communications.
The trust is in the process of creating a master plan for Moiliili, which could include a college town concept aligning with the nearby University of Hawaii.
Since acquiring neighboring Puck's Alley last June, Kamehameha officials have been regularly attending monthly neighborhood board meetings to provide updates on renovations in the area, Young said.
"With Puck's Alley ready for upgrades and redevelopment, we can look forward to an exciting rejuvenation of the area within the next few years," she said.
Meanwhile, real estate developer Robertson Properties also will begin a master plan for the site of the Kamehameha Drive-In, closed in 1998, on Moanalua Road and Kaonohi Street.
"We will meet extensively with the city and the community before we evaluate a variety of possible uses, including retail, restaurants, office as well as other development concepts," said John Manavian, vice president of development for Robertson Properties.