PBS’s Kalakaua site for sale
The sale proceeds will allow the station to a sign long-term lease
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The Hawaii Public Television Foundation is selling a vacant parcel next to the Hard Rock Cafe just outside Waikiki, to raise proceeds to secure a new long-term broadcast site.
The private, nonprofit organization, which operates PBS Hawaii, bought the parcel for $2.4 million as a potential relocation site in November 2003, but technical issues made the property difficult for broadcast use. It is zoned commercial, with a 60-foot height limit.
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The Hawaii Public Television Foundation is looking to sell a prime vacant parcel next to the Hard Rock Cafe, at the entrance to Waikiki.
The foundation, which operates PBS Hawaii, said it has received several unsolicited offers for the 28,761 square-foot property, which has been vacant for at least a decade.
The private nonprofit organization, which bought the parcel as a potential relocation site in November 2003, expects to list the land at 1812 Kalakaua Ave. with CB Richard Ellis this month.
The foundation bought the parcel for $2.4 million from bankrupt Honolulu financier Sukamto Sia, who had acquired the site -- the home of a veteran's club facility until it was demolished in the 1980s -- in March 1994 for $5.4 million. Its assessed value since the last sale has tripled to $6.18 million.
Some of the parcel's appeal stems from its location adjoining the Hard Rock Cafe, which is moving in spring 2009 to a new $45 million retail complex being built in Waikiki, after nearly 20 years on the corner of Kapiolani Boulevard and Kalakaua Avenue.
"There's been a buzz of interest in our Waikiki property with news of Hard Rock's departure," said Neil Hannahs, chairman of the PBS Hawaii board of directors. "Certainly buyers, if you will, are interested and some of them are looking or at least asking the question of what are the prospects of consolidation."
But the owner of the Hard Rock site, Aloha Securities & Investment Co.
, is not interested in selling, according to Beall Corp.
vice president Cory Beall. He said his company is entertaining two offers for tenants to replace Hard Rock.
Meanwhile, the Hawaii Public Television Foundation isn't pursuing changes of zoning for its site, which has a 60-foot height limit, and has not received an offer from Aloha Securities, Hannah said.
The nonprofit will invest proceeds from the sale of the Waikiki property into a long-term home for PBS Hawaii, which has been unable to secure a long-term lease with the University of Hawaii for years.
The organization has offered to invest private money into renovating and expanding its current space at the Manoa campus in return for a 30-year lease, according to PBS Hawaii president Leslie Wilcox.
An expansion would enlarge square footage by 40 percent and could be used for UH's Academy for Creative Media and School of Communications, she said.
"Our significant private investment in a building that belongs to the UH would relieve school funders from rehabilitating and maintaining the building," Wilcox said.
Hawaii Public Television bought the Waikiki property after former UH President Evan Dobelle indicated he had other plans for the current PBS station building. However, technical issues later emerged at the site making it difficult for broadcast use, she said.