Lotus owner files for bankruptcy


POSTED: Saturday, May 30, 2009

Big Island developer Brian Anderson has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy for the Lotus at Diamond Head, formerly known as the W Hotel.

The 51-room boutique hotel, which is currently managed by Castle Resorts, originally was scheduled for a foreclosure auction on June 12 under the receivership of Richard Emery.




The Lotus at Diamond Head


        Address: 2885 Kalakaua Ave.

Rooms: 51


Built: 1975


Manager: Castle Resorts


Owner: Anekona W LLC (manager Brian Anderson)


Status: Chapter 11 bankruptcy


The bankruptcy filing Wednesday in U.S. Bankruptcy Court by Anderson's company, Anekona W LLC, cancels that auction.

Anekona's first mortgage is with First Hawaiian Bank, which filed a foreclosure suit on the property in October for defaulting on a $5 million loan issued in August 2004. Anekona's second mortgage is with Central Pacific Bank.

In the filing, Anekona claims it owes from 100 to 200 creditors between $10 million and $50 million.

Among the 20 largest unsecured creditors are a number of vendors, including D. Otani Produce, HFM Foodservice and Southern Wine & Spirits, in addition to the City and County of Honolulu and Fireman's Fund Insurance of Pasadena, Calif.

Castle Resorts took over management of the 12-story boutique hotel, formerly the W Honolulu-Diamond Head, in January when it was facing foreclosure, and renamed it the Lotus at Diamond Head.

The Lotus, which markets itself as a tranquil boutique hotel inspired by the lotus blossom on Oahu's “;gold coast,”; has a second-floor nightclub as well as the Diamond Head Grill & Bar.

Rooms come equipped with iPod docking stations and Internet access, and are on sale for the month at $109 a night for Diamond Head views.

Anderson acquired the former W Honolulu in 2004 from Los Angeles-based investment firm Colony Capital Inc.

In recent years Anderson had tried to sell the property, which sits on both leasehold and fee-simple land, with no success. Three years ago he almost sold it to an operator of private yachts, but the deal fell through.

Emery said that prior to the bankruptcy filing, at least a dozen people expressed interest in the property. They have since been notified of the auction's cancellation. He will continue to oversee management of the Lotus, but what happens next is up to the Bankruptcy Court judge.

Anderson also faces foreclosure suits for several other properties, including Coconut Grove Marketplace on the Big Island, the Kauai Beach Resort and the Aloha Beach Hotel on Kauai.

He also foreclosed on a total of 203 residential units and 16 commercial units at the Ilikai in Waikiki, which recently were auctioned to lender iStar as the highest bidder at a total of $51 million.