Hanalei land sold to hotel developers
A company led by local developer Jeff Stone has sold 122 acres of land at the Hanalei Plantation on Kauai's rural North Shore to an affiliate of California luxury hotel operator Montage Hotels & Resorts.
Princeville Associates LLC, which bought the 9,000-acre Princeville Resort in 2005, closed the sale on Monday. The transaction includes a historic fishpond and a number of contiguous parcels adjacent to Hanalei Bay and the luxury Princeville Hotel, operated by Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc.
Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Montage eventually plans to build another luxury resort at Hanalei, though it has no timetable for development, the company said in a release.
The buyer also is considering restoring the Kamoomaikai fishpond, but hasn't decided on a long-term plan for a half-acre parcel across the Hanalei River and the former site of the Hanalei Plantation Hotel, which is currently being used by a canoe club.
"We take our new role as a steward of this precious land very seriously and we will move slowly and with great care," said Alan Fuerstman, Montage founder and chief executive officer.
Princeville Associates has been seeking strategic alliances to help restore the Princeville and Hanalei areas, Stone said.
"(Montage) was a natural fit to join Princeville Associates and the resort's other projects under restoration," he said.
Keith Vieira, Starwood's senior vice president of operations for Hawaii and French Polynesia, said that it is important to have community input in any new development in the rural Kauai community.
"Any culturally-sensitive development in Princeville will help the overall destination attract higher-spending visitors," he said.
Starwood expects to begin a $60 million renovation next spring at the 252-room Princeville Hotel, which has average rates ranging from about $400 to $500 per night. The hotel is expected to be re-branded as a St. Regis property, part of Starwood's Luxury Collection.
Montage opened its first hotel, Montage Laguna Beach, in February 2003 with 250 rooms and rates ranging from $595 to $6,000 per night. It plans to open a second hotel, Montage Beverly Hills, in fall 2008.
Montage also is building luxury hotels in Utah, Mexico and the Bahamas.