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Business briefs

For Tuesday, April 12, 2011

By Star-Advertiser Staff and News Services

POSTED:


Free ice cream

Ben & Jerry’s is giving away free ice cream cones today to raise awareness of the importance of organ and tissue donation in Hawaii. The event will benefit the nonprofit Legacy of Life Hawaii, which recovers organs and tissues for transplant. The free cones will be available from noon to 8 p.m. at Windward Mall on Oahu and on Maui at the Queen Kaahumanu Mall.

Kapolei developer files for bankruptcy

A company that planned to develop an industrial park subdivision in Kapolei has filed for bankruptcy with about $24 million in debts. LV Kapolei 54 LLC, led by Paul Lambert and Mark Whiting of Lokahi Ventures LLC, filed for Chapter 11 protection Friday.

The company had planned to develop 54 acres as the second phase of Kapolei Business Park at an estimated cost of more than $20 million for infrastructure work, but held back on the plan a few years ago as the economy weakened.

Last year, Central Pacific Bank filed a foreclosure suit against LV Kapolei. The bank is owed $22.7 million on a loan that helped LV Kapolei buy the land in 2005 for $22 million.

The bankruptcy filing effectively stalls the foreclosure case. LV Kapolei claims the land is worth $34.7 million, according to the bankruptcy filing.

After the bank, LV Kapolei's largest creditor is the city and county, which is owed about $645,000 for property taxes. Thirteen other creditors are owed about $640,000.

2 new retailers to open in Kailua

Retail stores Fighting Eel and Lily Lotus each will open new locations in Kailua and be part of the ongoing Kailua Town Center redevelopment proj­ect, set for completion in the fall.

Fashion retailer Fighting Eel, incorporated by Lan Chung and Rona Bennett in 2003, has a store on Bethel Street in Chinatown and will open in 1,300 square feet of retail space on the Kailua Road side of the under-construction Whole Foods Market.

Momi Chee established yoga apparel company Lily Lotus in 2001 and opened a flagship boutique in Kaimuki in 2008. The Kailua store, to open next to Cold Stone Creamery on Kailua Road, will become the new flagship for the nationally sold clothing line as the town store will be closing.

UH business school gets reaccreditation

The University of Hawaii's business school has been granted another five years of accreditation by an international education association.

The Shidler College of Business at the University of Hawaii at Manoa said yesterday that 607 business schools — less than 5 percent internationally — are accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. To be accredited a business program must undergo review every five years and demonstrate a commitment to standards relating to faculty qualification, management of resources and other areas.

University officials say the business school is the only graduate program in the state accredited by the association.

Toyota warns of summer car shortages

DETROIT » Toyota Motor Corp. is telling U.S. dealers that new vehicles could be in short supply this summer because of production slowdowns in Japan and North America.

In a memo to dealers obtained yesterday by The , Toyo­ta's U.S. General Manager Bob Carter said To­yota is producing cars and trucks at significantly reduced levels in April and hasn't set its production schedule for May through July.

Toyota probably has a sufficient supply of vehicles until the middle of May, said Jesse Toprak, an industry analyst at TrueCar.com, a website based in Santa Mon­ica, Calif., that tracks auto market trends.

On the Move

The Gas Co. has named Pamela Moore its environmental health and safety director. She has 26 years of experience in occupational and environmental health and safety, including as regional safety and health manager at Burns and McDonnell.

***

Aqua Engineers has hired Vince Gallo as Kauai operations manager. He was previously a president and chief executive officer of Tano Tasi Inc., a research-focused real estate investment group.

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Sheraton Waikiki has announced Matthew Grauso as hotel manager. He will oversee general operations, including security, Asia guest services, engineering, front office and housekeeping departments. Grauso was previously director of rooms at Sheraton Waikiki.

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The following three Hawaii executives have been appointed to the Pacific Asia Travel Association:

 >> Juanita Liu is professor and dean at the University of Hawaii.

 >> Walter Smith is president of Smith’s Motor Boat Service on Kauai.

 >> Juergen Thomas Steinmetz is publisher of global travel industry publication eTurboNews and president of the Hawaii Tourism Association.






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