Grove Farm places
Kukui Grove center
on the market

After 22 years, ownership of the Kukui Grove Shopping Center on Kauai could change hands.

Grove Farm Land Corp., which developed and built the Lihue center in 1982, has listed the property with Los Angeles-based Eastdil Realty Co. for an undisclosed price.

Proceeds from the sale will go toward paying mortgage debt on the books from when Steve Case purchased Grove Farm in December 2001.

A shift in priorities toward residential development, along with Hawaii's hot commercial real estate market, prompted Grove Farm to list the property, said David Pratt, Grove Farm's president and chief executive.

"We want to focus Grove Farm on development of real estate and small business enterprises that will have long-term benefits to the community," Pratt said.

Grove Farm and its sister company, Lihue Land Co., together own about 40,000 acres on Kauai. Once one of Kauai's largest sugar cane producers, Grove Farm began diversifying its business in the mid-1970s and is no longer in the sugar business.

Today, the company is focused on developing housing, from affordable to market-priced, Pratt said. The company also intends to focus more strongly on development of commercial and industrial land in Lihue, he said.

During Grove Farm's long ownership of the center, the company made substantial reinvestments, he said.

Spread over 35 acres, Kukui Grove is anchored by Macy's, Sears, Longs and a Star Market, but also includes 50 specialty stores, restaurants, a theater complex and a nearby office park. The property, managed by CB Richard Ellis, is 95 percent occupied.

Kukui Grove underwent major renovation after Hurricane Iniki in 1992, and another $15 million in renovation was completed last year, Pratt said.

The upgrade also included putting in an additional eight holes at Puakea Golf Course and beginning construction of a water treatment plant for the joint use of Grove Farm and Kauai County, he said.

"We now plan to find a purchaser with a good track record in retail ownership and management so that Kukui Grove will continue to be an asset for Kauai residents, and will best serve their future needs," Pratt said.

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