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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Friday, December 14, 2001

Aston to operate Parkside Hotel

By Frank Cho
Advertiser Staff Writer

The new owners of the Waikiki Parkside Hotel have awarded a 10-year, $80 million contract to Aston Hotels & Resorts Hawai'i to operate the 255-room hotel starting next week.

LaeRoc Partners’ mid-scale hotel at 1850 Ala Moana will be renamed the Aston Waikiki Parkside Hotel.

Aston Waikiki Parkside Hotel photo

Manhattan Beach, Calif.-based LaeRoc Partners purchased the fee-simple property in August for an estimated $16 million from K.S.K. (O'ahu) LP, a subsidiary of Honolulu-based Hawaiiana Group Inc.

It will be the second LaeRoc property and the 34th overall to be managed by Aston when the management company takes control of the hotel Monday.

"Aston has proven their ability to take a property, stylize a renovation and make it profitable for its owners and investors," said Kim Benjamin, president of LaeRoc Partners. "Our confidence in that ability outweighed other bids from competing local, regional and national brands."

As part of the deal, Aston has agreed to invest $2 million to renovate the hotel over the next several months and will change the name of the property to the Aston Waikiki Parkside Hotel.

"I think it fits really well. We fill a niche in the marketplace where we are not currently represented and the property is strategically located near the (Hawai'i) Convention Center," said Kelvin Bloom, Aston Hawai'i executive vice president and chief operating officer.

Bloom said Aston intends to hire most, if not all, of the hotel's 70 workers.

The mid-scale hotel at 1850 Ala Moana, across from Hilton's Kalia Tower, is the second in Waikiki to be owned by LaeRoc, which bought the Aston Aloha Surf in 1999. Rates range from $125 to $155 a night.

Bloom said the hotel's marketing will focus on the small-business meeting market, conventioneers and group business coming for the Mainland. The hotel, which will continue to operate during the renovations, plans a grand reopening after renovations are completed sometime in the middle of next year.

Hawaiiana and K.S.K. are subsidiaries of Tokyo-based Kenchiku Shiryo Ken-kyusha Co. Ltd. In Hawai'i, affiliates of the Japanese firm manage properties valued at more than $6 billion, own real estate and invest in high-tech startup businesses.

Kenchiku also operates Hawaiiana Management Co. Ltd., the state's largest property management firm, which manages about 270 residential, commercial, retail and industrial properties.