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Kamehameha Schools considers Haleiwa land

By Rosemarie Bernardo

POSTED:
LAST UPDATED: 02:19 a.m. HST, Oct 13, 2010



Kamehameha Schools is getting more time to decide whether to reacquire prime undeveloped land owned by the city in Haleiwa where a developer wants a boutique hotel.

"Kamehameha Schools is seeking additional time," city spokesman Johnny Brannon said yesterday. "The city didn't rule it out."

The city asked the nonprofit organization to indicate by Thursday any interest in acquiring six parcels on the mauka side of Kamehameha Highway near Jameson's by the Sea Restaurant. The city is also considering selling the parcels to developer D.G. "Andy" Anderson -- who recently acquired the Jameson's property -- for the hotel project.

The city obtained the parcels from Bishop Estate, now Kamehameha Schools; Market Center Ltd./Federal Savings & Loan Association of Honolulu; and other private landowners through condemnation to expand Haleiwa Beach Park. The expansion never occurred, and the preservation-zoned land remained undeveloped for about 40 years.

If Kamehameha Schools is offered the land, Anderson said he would not pursue his plan, but he said it is the ideal location for a hotel in Haleiwa.

"I don't think there's another spot for this hotel," he said.

Anderson presented a conceptual plan for the hotel and "private-public park" at last week's North Shore Neighborhood Board meeting, but the meeting abruptly adjourned.

North Shore Neighborhood Board Chairman Mike Lyons said he plans to ask the board Oct. 25 whether it wants to reschedule community discussion. If members decide to do so, Anderson said he requested that he be allowed to rent a venue such as a school gym or an auditorium to accommodate a large group of people.

"We want the full community to have input," he said.

More than 250 people attended last week's meeting at the John Kalili Surf Center. Some complained of the lack of space. About 100 people could not get into the meeting.

Lyons said he received a stream of e-mails and phone calls since Tuesday from people both for and against the plan.

Anderson said, "We're in no rush to ram this through. It's a concept. We think it's a good concept."

Antya Miller, executive director of the North Shore Chamber of Commerce, which supports the plan, said a lot of visitors want to stay in the North Shore, but there is no place available in Haleiwa.

A hotel would mean a longer stay for visitors, said Miller, who is also a member of the North Shore Neighborhood Board. Some 51 percent of overnight visitors to Oahu venture to Haleiwa and the North Shore, she added. Visitors in Waikiki who head to Haleiwa, however, spend a lot less, she added.

"If they stay here, we would get more income per visitor than we're getting."

But longtime Haleiwa resident Earl Dahlin said a hotel would worsen traffic on an already congested roadway, especially during the winter season when many flock to the North Shore.

"It's a mess," Dahlin said. "It's a zoo out there."

The parcels should be developed as a park for public use as they were intended, Dahlin said. He also suggested more parking stalls.

On the weekends, many beachgoers heading to Haleiwa Alii Beach Park use the sides of the roadways for parking space because the beach parking lot is always full, he said.

 CORRECTION: Fifty-one percent of overnight visitors to Oahu venture to Haleiwa and the North Shore, according to Antya Miller, executive director of the North Shore Chamber of Commerce. A previous article said 51 percent of overnight visitors to Hawaii go to Haleiwa and the North Shore.






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