Sunday, July 8, 2001

AOL-Time Warner’s
Steve Case buys Kauai
lands for $25 million

By Leila Fujimori

AOL Time-Warner chairman Steve Case purchased 18,600 acres of land from Amfac for approximately $25 million.

The transaction, which closed Friday, includes two parcels, said David Pratt, president of Grove Farm Co., which is owned by Case.

The smaller parcel, an 800- acre around Lihue, includes 550 acres of urban-zoned land.

The larger 17,800-acre parcel runs from Puhi to Hanamaulu and is a little more than half conservation land and a little less than half zoned agricultural, Pratt said.

The owner of the property is Visionary LLC, a Virginia limited liability corporation, owned solely by Case. It will do business as Lihue Land Co., of which Pratt is president and chief executive officer.

"We're most interested in securing good farmers and ranchers for the property to lease to," Pratt said. "We'll be concentrating on that for now."

The company plans to maintain the existing irrigation system left by the sugar company.

Pratt said all that can be done with the thousands of acres of forested conservation land purchased is to pay taxes.

Pratt said Case had not spoken to him about any future plans for the land. Pratt and several others within Grove Farm will manage Lihue Land Co.

The Hawaii-born Case has ties to Kauai going back to his grandfather, who worked as Grove Farm's chief executive officer and his father was born on Kauai.

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