KGMB building sold
Property sells for $12M
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The owners of KGMB-TV have sold the station's building and land for $12.35 million to local investors.
The station ownership is unchanged, but it will now be a tenant, rather than landowner on the high-value Kapiolani corridor. It will also continue its search for a new home.
"This property sale and future relocation to a new, larger facility enables us to further develop our local programming and news capabilities, prepare for HD television, and strengthen our leadership position in the marketplace," said Rick Blangiardi, president and general manager.
The buyer is Lionking II LLC, formed last month, of which local Realtor associate Donna Walden is principal member. Other members include her husband, Brian Sakamaki, the Lorene Anastasi Chang Trust and the Hing Dat Sum Chang Trust.
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KGMB-TV will go from landowner to tenant in a $12.35 million sale of its long-held 40,166 square feet of land, studios and offices at 1534 Kapiolani Blvd.
The buyer, Lionking II LLC, comprising local husband and wife investors Brian Sakamaki and Donna Walden, the Lorene Anastasi Chang Trust and the Hing Dat Sum Chang Trust, was formed in December for the transaction.
The station has not changed ownership.
The sale "enables us to further develop our local programming and news capabilities, prepare for HD television and strengthen our leadership position in the marketplace," said Rick Blangiardi, president and general manager.
Walden said yesterday she has "many memories of watching the evening news, as well as some of Hawaii's most unforgettable shows on KGMB. This station and this building have a special meaning for me."
She has contributed $100,000 to Roosevelt High School and funds a scholarship at Iolani School, she said through a spokeswoman yesterday. Her name has repeatedly appeared in the Star-Bulletin for supporting education and performing arts.
Last April, it appeared when state Circuit Court Judge Derrick Chan granted her deferred acceptance of guilty plea to six felony counts and one misdemeanor count relating to tax law violations.
Through her spokeswoman Walden said, "My tax matters ... have been completely resolved and paid in full."
Local real estate experts say the purchase price is consistent with area values and that the land has long been underutilized, given its one-story, single-purpose building and broadcast tower. The parcel's zoning allows for mixed residential, retail and office use.
"We've had notable transactions involving land on Kapiolani," said Mike Hamasu, director of consulting and research for Colliers Monroe Friedlander Inc. He cited recent sales valued at $250 per square foot and in excess of $400 a square foot, "so $307 fits kind of right in between the two."
While not privy to deal details, it makes sense for KGMB to become a tenant, he said.
$12 million "is a lot of money if all you need is a 5,000-square-foot building."
"They can go out and buy another location ... or if they're going to lease, take that money and put it into construction ... or put it into the bank for alternative use," Hamasu said.
Separately, the station has terminated four part-time employees, including nearly 12-year veteran reporter Julia Norton-Dennis -- who remains employed full time by radio station KSSK -- as part of a staff realignment. The action was decided upon last month, but not enacted until after the holidays.
The station is not downsizing, Blangiardi said, and is in the process of hiring three full-time employees in different capacities.
"I told everybody as soon as we get further, I'm going to try to hire them back," he said.