West Oahu Neighborhood News
By MidWeek Staff
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The Resort Group president Jeffrey R. Stone donated 300 acres of land in Makaha Valley to Kamehameha Schools last week to be used as the future site for a learning center and affordable housing complex for native Hawaiians.
The gift includes 70 acres of undeveloped land west of Makaha Valley Country Club, as well as 230 adjoining acres and the golf course itself, to the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands for housing and community development. Legal documents to transfer the land were signed March 24.
Kamehameha Schools intends to spend about $100 million to build the Kamehameha Schools Learning Community on the Stone Family Lands, which will act as a laboratory to strengthen public and private education along the Leeward Coast.
The developer of Ko Olina Resort and Marina, Stone decided to donate the property after learning that Kamehameha Schools needed a fee-simple land site. Though Kamehameha Schools is the state’s largest private landowner, it previously had no land on the Leeward side of Oahu, which is home to the largest concentration of Native Hawaiians on the island.
The Makaha property is zoned for residential and preservation use and was recently assessed by the city at $8 million. The Resort Group had previously purchased Makaha Valley Country Club and surrounding land in 2004 for $5 million and has since invested $2 million in improvements. Operations at the club will continue for now but will eventually close as the DHHL redevelops the property.
* Mayor Mufi Hannemann and Kapolei Property Development LLC signed a Memorandum of Agreement on March 24 that will provide the city with 34 acres of real estate in Kapolei in exchange for the completion of construction on Kapolei Parkway and resurfacing of Kamokila Boulevard.
Kapolei Property Development had been required to complete Kapolei Parkway as a condition of an earlier subdivision approval, but due to the poor economy, the company recently informed Hannemann that work would take longer than previously anticipated. Negotiations between the two parties ended in an agreement that will provide a net benefit to the city of approximately $24.6 million.
The deal includes 21 acres of land designated as “Restricted Lands,” which requires they be used for government purposes and will be removed by their conveyance to the city. The 13 remaining acres include eight lots fronting Kapolei Parkway and land near Kapolei Hale, the new Judiciary complex and other government facilities.
“This is a true win-win agreement that will benefit everyone for years to come,” said the mayor, adding that the city expects work on Kapolei Parkway will be completed by early 2014.
“Completion of Kapolei Parkway will not only enhance the value of the adjoining properties, but all of Kapolei. This agreement also will allow us to move faster toward transforming Kapolei not just into Oahu’s second city, but a great city.”
* Kapolei High School’s on-campus knowledge facility Malama Learning Center received a $100,000 pledge from Grace Pacific Corporation to help with the center’s fundraising campaign. David Hulihee, president of Grace Pacific, announced that the funds will be used for planning, design and construction of the facility. To date, $40,000 has been paid to the center, with the remaining sum to be donated over the next three years.
“We are extremely grateful for (Hulihee’s) leadership and continued support of Malama Learning Center. This generous gift puts us one step closer to bringing MLC to life,” said program director Pauline Sato.
The idea for this nonprofit originated in 2001 when Kapolei High School was seeking a performing arts auditorium for the community. A local conservation group happened to be looking for an environmental learning center at the same time, and so out of necessity was born MLC.
The vision now is that MLC will become a place where art, science, conservation and culture come together to promote sustainable living throughout the Islands. It will serve as a place where students, teachers, residents and businesses statewide can learn about environmental, economic and social sustainability through science, culture and the arts.
“We are proud to share our aloha with Malama Learning Center,” Hulihee said,“as we understand and believe in its innovative and approach to make learning about our environment and culture accessible to everyone.”
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