Business Briefs

Reported by Star-Bulletin staff & wire

Friday, April 30, 1999

Senate allows Pai to serve on PUC

Gregory Pai has won approval from the state Senate to serve on the Public Utilities Commission. Last night's vote was 19-3, with Sens. Brian Kanno (D, Ewa Beach-Makakilo), Colleen Hanabusa (D, Waianae-Makaha), and Carol Fukunaga, (D, Makiki-Tantalus), voting against Pai. It's the third time Pai, a former state economist, was named to the three-member commission by Gov. Ben Cayetano. The governor nominated Pai in 1996, but the nomination was withdrawn because of Senate opposition. He then was appointed on an interim basis, but resigned after senators complained.

Japanese firm selling One Capitol Plaza

The One Capitol Plaza building at Hotel and Richards streets in downtown Honolulu, is for sale. Douglas Pothul, senior vice president at real estate agent Colliers Monroe & Friedlander, said no price has been set. The Japanese owner, BIGI Corp., wants to sell it and use the proceeds for other Hawaii developments, Pothul said. The five-story building, also known as the Hemmeter Building, and its two-acre site were sold for about $80 million in 1990 by developer Chris Hemmeter, who acquired the former Armed Services YMCA for $11 million in 1987 and spent $30 million on renovations.

Economy expanded 4.5% in 1st quarter

WASHINGTON -- The economy keeps surging, defying expectations with a brisk 4.5 percent growth rate for the first three months of the year.

First-quarter growth in the gross domestic product, a measure of the nation's total output of goods and services, was faster than the economy's 3.9 percent growth for 1998, the Commerce Department said today.

In other news . . .

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- Three partners have sold the Internet domain name for $1 million to Players Only, a Venezuelan company that plans a gambling site. Eric "Wall Street" Wade, a former stockbroker, registered the name for $70 in 1994.

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