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A&B buys Kawamoto properties

By Andrew Gomes

LAST UPDATED: 11:31 a.m. HST, Sep 10, 2013

Genshiro Kawamoto has cashed out of Kahala, selling his collection of homes and residential lots in the oceanfront Oahu neighborhood to local real estate firm Alexander & Baldwin Inc.

A&B announced the deal today, and said it bought 27 parcels on Kahala Avenue and four others elsewhere in the state from Kawamoto for $98 million.

A&B said it plans to clean up, refurbish and resell the Kahala properties in an effort that will begin immediately and could take three to five years.

Kawamoto acquired the Kahala homes over the last decade and was in the process of converting a few of the properties into public art houses and gardens that drew ridicule from neighbors. Many of the homes were poorly maintained or had been demolished, and Kawamoto racked up numerous fines from the city.

The Japanese billionaire also had rented three of the homes to needy Native Hawaiian families for free. A&B did not say how its acquisition will affect tenants.

The Kahala homes represent about 16 percent of all the residential lots on Kahala Avenue. The other four properties included in the sale are two residential lots and a preservation-zoned parcel in Kahaluu on Oahu's Windward side, and a 146-acre agricultural-zoned parcel in Kihei, Maui.

"This acquisition is truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity," Michael Wright, an executive vice president with A&B, said in a statement.

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hilopango wrote:
on September 10,2013 | 11:34AM
1local wrote:
leave the rich kahala neighborhood to people like Hirono...
on September 10,2013 | 03:48PM
NotNasti wrote:
Good Riddance!
on September 10,2013 | 11:45AM
mcc wrote:
I would like to purchase a statue!
on September 10,2013 | 11:45AM
lee1957 wrote:
I guess this means the naked lady statues are gone.
on September 10,2013 | 11:46AM
Mei mei wrote:
Hope A&B doesn't sell them to neglectful foreign investors ~
on September 10,2013 | 11:58AM
loquaciousone wrote:
Richard Turbin celebrates tonight!
on September 10,2013 | 12:19PM
Rapanui00 wrote:
And Mark Blackburn
on September 10,2013 | 12:40PM
GooglyMoogly wrote:
Based on his legal troubles back in Japan, I'm thinking he's going to need the proceeds from this sale.
on September 10,2013 | 12:36PM
pgkemp wrote:
nice knowing i don't have to hear turbin whine.........
on September 10,2013 | 12:54PM
hanalei395 wrote:
He will still whine if the Hawaiian families stay where they are now, for free.
on September 10,2013 | 01:57PM
Aquarius1 wrote:
"Kawamoto acquired the Kahala homes over the last decade and was in the process of converting a few of the properties into public art houses and gardens that drew ridicule from neighbors."............clearly, "Degustibus non est disputandum". But, good riddance to him. What a nut case.
on September 10,2013 | 12:59PM
Hapa_Haole_Boy wrote:
"In matters of taste, there can be no disputes"
on September 10,2013 | 01:11PM
control wrote:
Kawamoto is the person we have to thank for out of control housing prices. When there wasn't enough inventory in the price range he wanted, the local real estate industry invented inventory by doubling and tripling home prices. What was a $400,000 home suddenly became a $900,000 home over night. He was the sole source of the so-called demand for housing by the japanese.
on September 10,2013 | 01:16PM
alohacharlie wrote:
I wonder if there are any outstanding fines related to any of his properties and if there are, who is going to pay them? I hope he gets put on the "Do Not Fly" list.
on September 10,2013 | 01:16PM
Bdpapa wrote:
Before the properties can be transferred, all accounts need to be paid.
on September 10,2013 | 01:29PM
Maneki_Neko wrote:
In fairness, A&B should erect some condos there. Not fair to build The Collection giant condo in Kaka'ako and then leave Kahala as low density housing.
on September 10,2013 | 01:37PM
allie wrote:
good point
on September 10,2013 | 01:44PM
GooglyMoogly wrote:
Good luck with that.
on September 10,2013 | 02:07PM
NanakuliBoss wrote:
Not zone for condos ,in fairness.
on September 10,2013 | 03:25PM
Maneki_Neko wrote:
Get a variance. They are given out like candy at Halloween in Kaka'ako.
on September 10,2013 | 08:08PM
pauliboy wrote:
on September 10,2013 | 02:06PM
HulaHair wrote:
Aloha! There IS a God.
on September 10,2013 | 02:19PM
Slow wrote:
I'll miss him. The Donald Trump of Japan.
on September 10,2013 | 02:48PM
hanalei395 wrote:
No comparison with four-time bankrupt Trump. Plus, Trump doesn't own anything in Hawai'i. Not even that condo apartment building with his name plastered on it.
on September 10,2013 | 09:20PM
Uncleart66 wrote:
Maybe Steve Wonder will buy one.....
on September 10,2013 | 02:54PM
NanakuliBoss wrote:
99.99 percent of these bloggers could not buy a lot from A & B.
on September 10,2013 | 03:19PM
NanakuliBoss wrote:
God Bless Genshiro! A true maverick.
on September 10,2013 | 03:22PM
hanalei395 wrote:
And hated by jealous non-Hawaiians.
on September 10,2013 | 06:15PM
LKK56 wrote:
The arrogance of some Kahala Avenue residence towards local beach goers at Kahala Beach Park (complaining about a small hibachi) and along the Kahala Beach have been long known by locals. I did not care for Kawamoto, but I sure enjoy the havoc he caused to some of the residence along Kahala Avenue. I will miss you Mr. Kawamoto, but you cannot last forever.
on September 10,2013 | 05:58PM
Pookie_Baby wrote:
Thank you A&B for stepping up!
on September 10,2013 | 07:54PM
username_required wrote:
He's asking for payment to be made in even-year nickels, and every armored van driver to be Hawaiian and wearing green slippahs. Cuz that's how he maki's...
on September 10,2013 | 09:25PM
brusselsprouts wrote:
i'd rather look at naked statues than over development. i could care less for AB.
on September 10,2013 | 11:05PM
pursuit2000 wrote:
Kahala is a pig farm.... Always has been, always will be... I have lived in Kahala for 40 years... This neighborhood has devolved from a great place to bring up children to a stuck up neighborhood that accepts no foreigners or different views... Kahala is a joke, enjoy it minions!! I can't wait till I can sell my house for $2.5 mil and leave you idiots behind!
on September 10,2013 | 11:29PM
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