By Andrew Gomes
Advertiser Staff Writer
Alexander & Baldwin Inc. plans to develop a small, business-oriented hotel near Mauis Kahului Airport that would be managed by Marriott International.
The four-story hotel with as many as 140 rooms would cost $13 million to develop, and take at least two years to complete if requisite county approvals can be obtained.
Marriott would manage the hotel as a Courtyard By Marriott, the companys moderate-priced brand aimed at business and leisure travelers.
The proposed project needs a community plan land-use amendment, zoning change from heavy industrial to hotel use, and a special management-area permit because the site is near the ocean.
Maui Mayor James "Kimo" Apana supports the project. "Over the last several years, Maui County has seen an increasing need for accommodations in the Central Maui area," he said. "The new project will assist the growing number of business people who come to Maui to conduct business."
Terryl Vencl, executive director of the Maui Hotel Association, said the hotel would alleviate periodic shortages of rooms in Mauis civic center, especially during major sporting events or government meetings that draw kamaaina from Neighbor Islands.
"Its tight to find rooms sometimes," she said. "A business-person-type property is sorely needed in the Kahului-Wailuku area."
Observers anticipate the projects proximity to the airport will attract mostly short-term, business-oriented visitors, especially those who need to catch early morning flights.
The hotel would not have extensive meeting rooms or banquet facilities, but would have one meeting room, a restaurant/lounge, outdoor swimming pool and exercise room.
A&B, a major landowner on Maui, is proposing to build the hotel on 3.35 acres it owns at Haleakala Highway and Keolani Place, which leads to the airport. An adjacent piece of property just under an acre would be used for future commercial development, possibly retail and/or restaurants, according to an A&B official.
Currently, parts of the site are being rented to a car rental agency, long-term airport parking operator and a tropical-fruit vendor. The hotel would employ 30 to 40 people, according to A&B.
The project would be the first Courtyard by Marriott in Hawaii. "I think its a product long overdue," said independent real estate analyst Ron Gilligan. He said similar projects would do well near airports in Kona, Lihue and Honolulu.
John Limper, Marriotts marketing director for Hawaii, said similar accommodations are being considered.
"We are looking at other possible locations to bring the Courtyard By Marriott brand into Hawaii," he said.
On Maui, Marriott operates the 720-room Maui Marriott, the 345-room Renaissance Wailea Beach Resort and the 550-room Ritz-Carlton Kapalua Resort. It also operates the 1,304-room Waikiki Beach Marriott Resort, the 356-room Kauai Marriott Resort & Beach Club and the 387-room JW Marriott Ihilani Resort & Spa at Ko Olina.
A&B developed the master-plan for Wailea Resort, but has no plans to develop hotels or resorts other than the Kahului airport hotel.
A&B is a diversified real estate, transportation and food company based in Honolulu. It owns about 90,000 acres of property in the state, Matson Navigation Co., Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Co. and Kauai Coffee Co.
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