Friday, December 10, 1999

Hollywood heavies
buying prime
isle real estate

Clint Eastwood and David
Geffen are the latest to signal
a market recovery

From staff and wire reports


Say aloha to Hollywood's A-list. Billionaire media mogul David Geffen and actor Clint Eastwood have each snapped up oceanfront lots in Hawaii for hefty prices.

But the amounts still represent relative bargains compared with the boom years of the late 1980s and early 1990s.

Geffen, a Southern California resident, purchased a prime oceanfront lot in Honolulu for $6.9 million, local brokers say and public records show. Geffen, a partner in the movie production company DreamWorks SKG, acquired just over an acre on Kahala Avenue, one of the priciest residential streets on Oahu.

The asking price for the vacant parcel was $7.8 million.

On Maui, Eastwood paid $7.6 million for a 1.5-acre waterfront parcel where he is building a house, local brokers say. His property overlooks Palauea Bay near the Wailea resort area.

The purchases are among several recent deals signaling a recovery in the Hawaii real estate market, which suffered during much of the decade as a consequence of the Asian financial crisis and a slumping local economy.

For example, Pat Bowlen, owner of the Denver Broncos football team, recently bought a 1-acre Kahala Avenue property with four small beach cottages for $4.9 million, local brokers say. The asking price was $5.1 million.

On the same street, Houston billionaire Fayez Sarofim bought a house for $15 million.

Broker Mary Worrall said the Kahala Avenue deals are averaging $130 to $140 a square foot, up from an average of $90 to $100 a year ago but well below the levels from the boom years. Worrall recalled selling one Kahala lot in the early '90s for $325 a square foot.

The lower prices are attracting wealthy international buyers looking for safe places to invest their money and for relatively secluded homes, Worrall said.

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