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Hualalai home developer files for bankruptcy


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POSTED: Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Sunra Coffee LLC, developers of a subdivision offering 5-acre lots on Hawaii island, has filed for voluntary Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

Sunra Coffee, which does business as Royal Hualalai Gardens, listed between $10 million and $50 million in estimated assets and liabilities in its filing Friday.

The subdivision, set on the slopes of Hualalai above Kailua-Kona, was selling 39 5-acre estate lots and one 10-acre estate lot while setting aside about 5.6 acres for coffee production.

Don Gelber, Sunra Coffee's attorney, said the developers won subdivision approval last year, invested about $29 million in improvements, and had three potential buyers at one time. But the sales did not go through due to foreclosure proceedings.

Gelber said his clients are filing for bankruptcy in order to resume new sales efforts.

In a mid-August special meeting, according to court documents, members of the limited liability company unanimously voted to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Majority members listed include Toshio Masuda and Mariko Ejiri.

The largest creditors include two landscaping companies (which are owed more than $350,000), along with a construction company, and a coffee plantation management firm based in Jamaica. Sunra Coffee also owes more than $88,000 in Hawaii County real property taxes.

Various real estate companies, including Island Land Co. Inc., have listed the 5-acre lots for $750,000 each.

The Royal Hualalai Gardens subdivision is off Mamalahoa Highway, about half an hour from several golf courses.

It has roads, underground utilities, landscaping and a gated entry, along with a sales office and model home, according to its Web site, which features a photo gallery.