Jeff Stone

Ko Olina developer
sets sights on Makaha

Developer Jeff Stone, well known for revving up Ko Olina, is again investing heavily in Hawaii properties.

Stone, who turned the struggling West Oahu property into a growing resort that has generated nearly 2,000 jobs and yielded more $1 billion in investments, has similar plans for Makaha and Kauai.

Commercial development in West Oahu stalled first with the bursting of the Japanese economic bubble in the 1990s, then with Sept. 11, 2001, SARS and the Iraq war, according to Stone, developer of the Ko Olina resort, West Oahu's largest employer.

"We've gone through a long, arduous stall where world events and economies caused a lot of projects not to get off the ground," Stone said last year. "Now, we have some really progressive groups moving forward, and we are just starting to see the turnaround."

The resort, which contributed $4 million to the state's economy four years ago, was on track to finish 2004 with a $30 million contribution, Stone said.

Now, Stone plans to revitalize tourist zones by applying his master plan concept to Makaha and Kauai's Princeville region.

West Honolulu Investments LLC, of which Stone is managing partner, recently bought the Makaha Valley Country Club in West Oahu from Nitto Hawaii Co.

"We've always believed that Makaha Valley had great potential to be an economic foundation for local residents and the Leeward coast in general," said Stone.

Hawaiian Land Development Corp., owned by Stone, also is a minority investor in this year's purchase of Honsador Lumber.

The Stone-controlled Princeville Associates LLC announced in July it would buy the 9,000-acre Princeville Resort on Kauai. The Princeville acquisition includes the 252-room Princeville Hotel, two golf courses, the Princeville Tennis Club and Pro Shop, Princeville Health Club and Spa, Princeville Shopping Center and other land holdings on Kauai's North Shore.

With the new purchase, Stone said he expects to make substantial improvements: build housing units for employees, increase jobs and provide a strong base of work for the construction industry.

But Kauai residents are uneasy about plans for additional development on the largely rural North Shore.

"In short, our goal is to play a pivotal role in supporting Kauai's economy," Stone has said, adding that the Princeville Resort's undeveloped master plan was an attractive part of the deal.

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