Three parcels in Ka‘u for sale


By TOM CALLIS

Tribune-Herald staff writer

The land ranges from sea level up to 2,500 feet, covering coffee farms and ranch land on 5,880 acres in Ka‘u.

And it’s all for sale.

Lehman Brothers acquired the properties earlier this year through a foreclosure auction, and recently began looking for a new owner.

The land is separated into three locations — Waikapuna, Honuapo and Moaula.

The previous owner, WWK Hawaii Holdings, had planned to use the land to build high-end homes on large lots.

Lehman Brothers had agreed to loan it $105 million for the project, but that plan got shelved in 2008 when the lender went through bankruptcy, according to Pacific Business News. WWK Hawaii Holdings had borrowed $43 million by the time the bankruptcy occurred.

Lehman Brothers later acquired the land for $12.25 million at a foreclosure auction in June.

Joel LaPinta, vice president of Kennedy Wilson, the brokerage company hired by Lehman Brothers, said the lender is not looking to hold onto the properties and wants to sell them all together rather than individually.

The properties were listed for sale about three weeks ago, he said, and can be viewed at www.kaucoffeeandranchlands.com, though there is no asking price.

“They requested to go to market without a disclosed price,” LaPinta said.

“We’re going to be on the market for a few months to see who’s out there, who’s interested.”

The properties are assessed at about $13.59 million.

In total, there are 76 lots for sale. Almost all of the parcels are zoned for agriculture.

There are also a couple small residential lots and an acre of industrial land.

LaPinta said he has received inquiries from interested parties but wouldn’t say how many.

“I’ve set up a meeting with one person in Honolulu this week to go out and tour the properties,” he said Tuesday.

LaPinta said the most interest in the properties will likely come from those who want to sell the parcels individually.

“I think the opportunity here is somebody can buy these lands in bulk and offer individual parcels over time,” he said.

“We’ve moved away from the era of large-tract land owners.”

The coffee farms on some of the properties “create a lot of value,” he said, but there’s still potential for some of the vacant land to be developed for residential.

Email Tom Callis at tcallis@hawaiitribune- herald.com.

ABOUT THE LANDS

MOAULA

Size: 2,046 acres

Elevation: 660-2,500 feet

Location: West of Pahala between Moaula and Honomau gulches

Zoning: Agriculture, minimum of 20 acres

Planned Unit Development approved for 101 lots (98 home sites) in 2011

Use: 300 acres licensed for coffee farming and 345 acres licensed for pasture

WAIKAPUNA

Size: 2,029 acres

Elevation: Sea level to 740 feet

Location: Begins about a mile east of Naalehu

Zoning: Agriculture, minimum of 20 acres

Use: Two pasture leases, two cell tower leases

HONUAPO

Size: 1,753 acres

Elevation: 40-1,380 feet

Location: About 1.5 miles east of Naalehu

Zoning: Agriculture, minimum of 20 acres

Use: Three pasture leases, one cellular tower lease

 

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