Or you can read the article on KHON’s web site.Comments
Good news! Laie Ventures LLC has been selected as the developer to replace what used to be the Laie Inn. Construction of the new hotel, which will be adjacent to the Polynesian Cultural Center, is expected to begin later this year.
Laie Ventures LLC is led by Dan Gifford and Brent Wood, who have partnered to develop and finance the project. The team has more than 25 years of development experience in commercial, residential, hospitality and high-tech construction.
Though approved for four stories and 222 rooms, plans have been scaled back to three stories and for the first phase of the project 144 rooms are being planned. Future phasing will depend on various factors, including market demand. Initial permits for horizontal infrastructure and common areas have been filed and site preparation work is expected to begin soon.
An upscale pool, bistro and meeting space in the entry building are planned for the redevelopment. Final selection of other development team members is underway and more information about the team will be forthcoming. Redevelopment of the hotel is being facilitated through a ground lease by land manager Hawaii Reserves, Inc. (HRI).
“We are pleased to enter a development agreement with Laie Ventures, a welcomed next step for reinstating this important economic driver and community resource in Ko’olau Loa,” said R. Eric Beaver, president of HRI. “The entire region will benefit from this long-awaited, much-needed lodging facility.” Beaver added that the hotel is still expected to be a Marriott, and that the project will provide employment for residents and students and help bolster the neighboring Polynesian Cultural Center and Brigham Young University-Hawaii, as well as serve the needs of the community.
“This is a continuation of the positive things happening in Laie,” said Beaver. “There will be temporary inconveniences, but we are committed to keeping the community informed every step of the way.”
This announcement triggers the next step for relocating the Laie McDonald’s and Chevron, currently located on the new hotel site. Plans call for the Chevron gas station to relocate to the Laie Shopping Center, while the Laie McDonald’s will move further north on the property. Chevron has one more month of operation and then seven months to remove improvements, complete demolition and remediate the site, if necessary. McDonald’s has six more months of operation.
HRI will continue to work to minimize the break in service between the closing and opening of these businesses, but the length of down time will also depend on how long it takes third-party developers to obtain financing, complete design and permitting, and finish construction. HRI’s main role is leasing the ground to facilitate the projects.
Since Laie will be without a gas station for a period of time, we have confirmed with the owners of Vula Express, the gas station located at Kahuku Sugar Mill, that they are ready to serve the community’s needs. The station, affiliated with 76®Gasoline, recently added diesel fuel and is open 24/7, including during emergencies.
In coming weeks and months you’ll see activity on the hotel property, including some demolition work, tree removal, and other site preparation. We’ll keep everyone updated along the way with an info link, soon to be added to our home page and the HRI home page, that will provide details and photos of the progress.
We appreciate your continuing support and interest as we move forward with this exciting project that will benefit our community!Comments
More than two-thirds (68 percent) of Ko’olau Loa district residents support growth that improves the quality of life for families that live there, according to a recent survey.
This survey is the third study in three years to examine the values and priorities of the people living in the Ko’olau Loa region. Results from this study reaffirm results of earlier surveys that reveal concerns about the supply of jobs and housing, and support for the principles outlined in the community-inspired, final draft of the Ko’olau Loa Sustainable Communities Plan (KSCP).
Contrary to the previous survey, the majority of those polled say they feel the community is now going in the right direction. The survey was conducted by nationally recognized Heart+Mind Strategies in partnership with Ward Research from February 7 to March 5 of 2013. A total of 650 O’ahu residents, including 155 residents from the Ko’olau Loa district were polled.
“Our community has seen a fair amount of attrition, with folks moving away because they cannot find affordable housing or jobs,” said Verla Moore, Lā’ie Community Association board member. “It is important that new development meets the needs of area residents and workers while protecting our natural and cultural qualities.”
Residents across O’ahu cite traffic and bad road conditions as the most important problems on the island. People who reside in the Ko’olau Loa area also feel that traffic is somewhat of an issue, but they feel that crime, unemployment and the cost of housing are more pressing problems for their region. The North/East Shore community is also challenged by the lack of job opportunities, with 40 percent fewer jobs per household than the rest of the island. The community is also challenged with high housing prices. The average home value in the Ko’olau Loa district is $595,000 compared to $537,000 for the rest of O’ahu.
Island-wide, both O’ahu and Ko’olau Loa residents feel very strongly that residents should have the most say over what happens in their community. In Ko’olau Loa, 50 percent of families have participated in the community planning process by attending meetings about the KSCP or speaking on issues they care about. A solid majority of Ko’olau Loa residents support the policies outlined in the KSCP, including the development of quality affordable housing that fits the rural character of the area.Comments
Last week the Honolulu City Planning Commission approved the city’s Ko’olau Loa Sustainable Communities Plan (KSCP) amendment. The commission’s decision was a follow up to the public hearing held in March by the planning panel. You can click here to read the final plan as submitted to the Planning Commission.
After a short presentation by the city’s Department of Planning & Permitting (DPP), commission members asked questions of DPP staff. The commission also discussed various aspects of the city’s plan that allows for moderate growth and balance in Ko’olauloa over the next 25 years. After discussion, the planning panel decided to approve the KSCP, with a few conditions to help provide greater clarity to the plan.
The KSCP now moves to the Honolulu City Council for a series of public hearings, and ultimately decision making. We’ll keep you informed as public hearings are scheduled at the council. We’re grateful to the many residents who have been involved in the public input process as the plan moves forward.Comments