Hawaii Pacific University has resolved a dispute over the ownership of Aloha Tower Marketplace with a development partner in a move that will allow a planned $32 million makeover of the retail complex to proceed.
The university announced the resolution today, and said the redevelopment effort financed by special purpose revenue bonds will proceed in the spring.
HPU plans to add student housing and other university amenities along with new retailers and restaurants at the 165,000-square-foot open-air retail center that has struggled with low tenant occupancy since it opened in 1994.
Real estate developer Ed Bushor of Hawaii Lifestyle Retail Properties LLC initiated the redevelopment plan and bought the marketplace with HPU as a partner and financial backer.
But in October, HPU executed a contract provision to buy Bushor’s interest in the marketplace for $5 million, and removed Bushor as project manager in November.
Bushor objected to the move, and in January his attorney Michael Green alleged that Hawaii’s largest private university fraudulently seized control of the retail center.
Under the resolution, Bushor and HPU agreed to proceed with the buyout. Terms were not disclosed.
Bushor said in a written statement that he is honored to assist with the effort that will expand the university. "I believe this will further HPU’s ambitious program of development and place it on the map worldwide," he said. "This is a win-win for all — HPU, its students, Bushor and Hawaii."
HPU President Geoffrey Bannister expressed optimism for the marketplace’s future. "This project holds great potential, not only for Hawaii Pacific University, but also for downtown Honolulu and for everyone who believes that Aloha Tower Marketplace can be the downtown jewel that so many have hoped it would become," he said in the written statement.