Bay View Golf Park, which features the 18-hole golf course above, also offers a driving range, 36 holes of miniature golf and an arcade.

Bay View Golf Park sold

A Shidler Group-led partnership
buys the property from
a Japanese company
for an undisclosed price

The Japan-based owners of the 120-acre Bay View Golf Park in Kaneohe have sold it for an undisclosed price to a Honolulu investment partnership headed by the Shidler Group.

Long popular with local residents for its restaurant and Hawaiian evening entertainment, the golf facility was purchased by a group of investors from Japan in increments starting in the 1980s. BVGP Inc. spent millions rebuilding the clubhouse, fixing up the grounds and developing new attractions, such as a digital-game arcade and 36 holes of miniature golf, but lost money on that and other U.S. investments, sources said.

Larry Taff, Shidler Group's managing partner, said the buyers have no immediate plans for changes at the complex, which also has an 18-hole golf course, a two-deck illuminated driving range and 200 parking stalls.

"We're not sure yet. We think it makes sense as an investment just to continue what they are doing there," said Taff, whose firm has well over $1 billion in commercial real estate investments across the country.

Shidler's pattern is to buy, improve and hold property -- generating its profits from increasing the attractiveness of the investment by physical and management improvements -- rather than buying to resell.

The group owns some prime Waikiki retail property, but is mostly in industrial and warehouse space. A golf complex is new to them, Taff said, but the investors think they can quickly turn it into a rewarding investment.

The Japanese owners invested a lot in capital improvements, but didn't have the cash for proper maintenance, he said. Just doing that deferred maintenance can increase the property's income, Taff said.

He said the golf complex is mostly used by local residents. "We don't believe we are dependent on tourist dollars to restore the property to profitability," Taff said.

The land is zoned "preservation," which limits what can be done with it, but the buyers will consider their options, he said.

There has been some form of golf activity at the site on Kaneohe Bay Drive between Kailua and Kaneohe since the 1960s.

BVGP, a group of Japanese golfers and their associates, bought 40 acres of the property in late 1980s. In several other purchases they bought the rest and started construction in 1996 on a new clubhouse, retail shop and other facilities. A grand opening party with fireworks launched the new facilities on July 2, 1997.

Golfers describe Bay View, which calls itself an "executive golf course," as relatively short at 3,000 yards and not particularly challenging, but a great place to get together and practice.

The buyers see its attraction for family outings as a strong point. Taff said parents like to drop the kids at the arcade of the mini-course and go practice at the driving range or play a round before getting together for a meal.


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