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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Friday, June 8, 2001

350-acre Kapolei project planned

By Andrew Gomes
Advertiser Staff Writer

A company managed by local developer Jeff Stone will buy about 350 acres of Campbell Estate land in Kapolei to build a master-planned community that would include 2,900 homes, an 18-hole golf course, a park and a 33-acre commercial center.

The massive project is the latest in a surge of projects in West O'ahu that are propelling the greater Kapolei area closer to becoming the "second city" that was initially envisioned in the 1990s, a plan that was stalled by the weak local economy.

Seaside at Kapolei LLC, managed by Stone, notified Kapolei-area homeowners in a letter that it wants the city to change the zoning of about 350 acres between Kapolei and Ko Olina Resort & Marina from agricultural use to apartment and community business district use.

Campbell Estate spokeswoman Theresia McMurdo confirmed that the Seaside firm has an agreement to purchase part of a 500-acre parcel of old sugarcane land valued at $21 million.

Seaside at Kapolei would be a mix of townhouses and low-rise condominiums in the $200,000 to $300,000 price range, Stone said.

Stone hopes to start the the residential project in the next 24 months. It would be built over roughly 10 years and cost more than $500 million, he added.

"We need a support community where (Ko Olina) workers and their families can afford to live, own and rent, as the resort grows," he said.

The project's golf course would also allow Ko Olina to offer its course for professional tournament play without displacing resort guest use.

The proposed project will be on the agenda of the Makakilo/Kapolei/Honokai Hale Neighborhood Board meeting June 20 at 7:30 p.m. in the Laulima Room of the Campbell Building at 1001 Kamokila Blvd.

Seaside consultant Keith Kurahashi of Kusao & Kurahashi Inc. said the zoning being sought is already approved on the city's development plan. The master plan is still being fine-tuned, he said.

Interest in new projects

As part of the greater Kapolei area, the Seaside project would join a number of other residential developments, most of which have enjoyed strong sales and have sparked interest in other new projects in the area, which is about 20 miles west of downtown.

Ricky Cassiday, director of research for the residential real estate firm, The Prudential Locations Inc., said area residential developments Kapolei Knolls, Iwalani and StarsEdge have all done well, as have projects farther east in Kunia, Gentry and 'Ewa Beach.

"In the aggregate, (the residential real estate market in) West O'ahu is doing really good at the moment, and because of that people are looking to buy and develop out there," he said.

Stone is manager of Ko Olina Co., which first acquired much of what had been a moribund and mostly undeveloped resort project in 1998. Since then, the company, alone or with other partners, bought the J.W. Marriott Ihilani Resort & Spa hotel and golf course, and attracted other developers who are building homes and vacation units on the property.

Last month, Sand Island-based homebuilder Armstrong Builders Ltd. bought an 11-acre Ko Olina site to build 120 multifamily homes scheduled for construction early next year.

And earlier this year, Canadian homebuilder Brookfield Properties Corp. started construction on a first phase of 18 townhouse units as part of Coconut Plantations, a planned community of 270 townhouses being marketed as second homes to Hawai'i visitors.

Time-share units

Other projects at Ko Olina include 750 time-share units being built in phases by Marriott International, a 270-slip marina and an oceanfront restaurant, athletic club and meeting facility that recently broke ground. Stone also has said the development of a second hotel at the resort could be near.

But Stone also is betting that Campbell Estate will be successful in continuing to attract offices, industrial park users and other businesses to Kapolei, which will boost demand for homes, according to Cassiday.

"They're banking on Campbell and Kapolei to pull through in the sense of creating and realizing the 'second city,' " he said of plans to make Kapolei a second self-contained suburban city rivaling Honolulu in its residential and commercial base.

The Kapolei Master Plan, adopted by the city in 1977, called for 32,000 acres of development on Campbell Estate lands. The 890-acre city of Kapolei broke ground in 1990.

Today, the greater Kapolei area has 20,000 homes, nearly 68,000 residents and 16,000 jobs. By 2010, the area is projected to have 27,000 homes, 89,000 residents and more than 32,000 jobs.

Andrew Gomes can be reached at 525-8065 or by e-mail at agomes@honoluluadvertiser.com.