Buyers wait to snap up
studio units in Waikiki

Prospective buyers flocked Kuhio Village Resort in Waikiki last weekend for the 166 studio units for sale there.

"We had very good sales for the two days and at this point, all the units are sold, however we are taking back-up offers," said Chason Ishii, vice president of Coldwell Banker Pacific Properties, the firm that handled the sales.

Properties were priced starting at $40,000 for a leasehold unit and $50,000 for a fee-simple unit. They ranged in size from 155 to 433 square feet of interior space with lanai sizes ranging from 37 to 138 square feet.

Coldwell Banker offered the properties for sale on a first- come, first-served basis.

Prospective buyers began arriving as early as Thursday to stake their place in line until the sales office at the property opened at 9 a.m. Saturday. Some spent the night in the lobby of the hotel/condominium. Others stayed outside.

One of the would-be buyers was Vicky Grimes, who said she arrived about 9 p.m. Thursday. Grimes said there already were eight people ahead of her when she arrived

"By noon on Friday, there were probably 60 in line and it just got longer and longer throughout the day," Grimes said. By Saturday morning, the line stretched around the block, she said.

Those who had waited in line had some complaints about the process, according to Grimes. Their displeasure centered on disputes about how many people were represented by each person in line and the perception that Realtors were given preferential treatment.

"There was one girl standing in line for four other people; she was No. 2. That's when things started and there were certainly words," said Marlene Marshall who was 17th in line.

"They should have had a sign-up list, said Karen Wood.

Coldwell Banker's Ishii said the company decided against issuing any kind of token or reservation system for the property.

"We had tried it in the past and that, too, came under some controversy. We tried to make it extremely fair. That is why, unlike a lot of projects, we didn't have private sales," he said.

As to line-jumping by agents, he said, they were allowed in to see preview models, but were not able to go directly into the sales contract line after previewing.

Despite their complaints about the process, Grimes, Marshall and Wood all were able to purchase units.


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