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Tuesday, February 15, 2000

Landmark Waikiki
hotels changing hands

The Ilikai's sale to a Taiwan
family is finalized while the
Hawaiian Regent is seeking a buyer

By Russ Lynch


One of Waikiki's best-known hotels has been sold and another is headed for sale.

The Japan-owned company that acquired the 783-room Ilikai Nikko Hotel Waikiki in 1990, Jowa Hawaii Co., has completed the sale of the property to a California partnership controlled by Taiwan's Zen family, owners of hotels in California and Washington.

And separately, the owners of the 1,300-room, two-tower Hawaiian Regent Hotel, also from Japan, have retained a local commercial real estate firm CB Richard Ellis to sell the property. Otaka Inc. bought the Hawaiian Regent in 1986 for $220 million and now owns it in partnership with Toho Life Insurance.

The parties in both cases declined to discuss prices.

The Ilikai's new owner, Forward One LLC, has obtained a franchise from a Marriott International Inc. subsidiary, Renaissance Hotels & Suites, to promote the hotel under the Renaissance brand and the hotel's name is being changed to Renaissance Ilikai Waikiki.

The Ilikai, at 1777 Ala Moana, is being managed by Interstate Hotels Corp., a Pennsylvania-based business, under the Renaissance franchise.

The seller, Jowa Hawaii, is a subsidiary of the Industrial Bank of Japan that bought the hotel in 1987 for $69 million and later spent about $50 million on renovations. Nikko Hotels International was brought in to manage the hotel in 1991.

The shift to Renaissance ends the Hawaii presence of Nikko Hotels, a subsidiary of Japan Airlines Co. It had managed the Ihilani Resort & Spa at Ko Olina until another Marriott branch, the JW hotels brand, took over late last year.

The Ilikai was developed in 1964 by Honolulu financier Chinn Ho as Hawaii's first luxury high-rise building, with a mix of hotel and condominium units. The new owners said they will soon begin an extensive refurbishing of the guest rooms and public areas.

The Hawaiian Regent, at 2552 Kalakaua Ave., was developed by a now-defunct travel wholesaler, American International Travel Service, in 1971. In 1972, the Regent was sold to Tokyu Corp. of Japan, which built a second tower and later sold the whole complex to Otaka. Scott Gomes, senior vice president of CB Richard Ellis, said his firm is gathering information and has not yet listed the Regent for sale.

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