Duane Shimogawa of Pacific Business News reports on the potential brought by China investment in Hawaii land, below:
China Oceanwide Holdings Ltd., a company that is headed by one of that country’s richest men, is making a bold, but smart move by purchasing a planned 516-acre master-planned golf course community from a Hawaii company that would connect two key areas of West Oahu — the City of Kapolei and Ko Olina Resort, multiple sources tell Pacific Business News.
Steve Kelly, an executive with James Campbell Co., one of the largest landowners in Hawaii and the master developer of Kapolei, told PBN this week that it has an agreement with China Oceanwide Holdings for “potential property and infrastructure investments in the Kapolei West” property.
“The agreements are still subject to a number of conditions and discussions are ongoing,” he said. “The agreements are applicable to the entire Kapolei West project area.”
Local real estate expert Ricky Cassiday told PBN that it is a natural fit, one that Jeff Stone of The Resort Group , master developer for the Ko Olina Resort, foresaw a generation ago when he optioned this property from James Campbell Co.
“Given some views looking back towards Diamond Head, they should easily surpass the existing single-family resort home [prices],” he said.
Cassiday noted that homes developed there could fetch between $900,000 and $1.5 million, with a comparison to Wailea Meadows on Maui, where prices of homes range between $1 million and $4 million.
Stone, who, along with a subsidiary of The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, sold two oceanfront lots at the 642-acre Ko Olina Resort for nearly $200 million to China Oceanwide Holdings, told PBN that this company "will become a great steward for these lands that connect Ko Olina to Kapolei."
The Kapolei West land is zoned for the development of some 2,500 townhouses and apartments and preservation land for a planned golf course. It could also include an elementary school, commercial spaces and a mass transit hub.
Last year, Chinese investors spent at least $5 billion on real estate in the United States, according to Manny Menendez, who specializes in international business development, trade and investment, and has worked with China and the Asia-Pacific region for more than 35 years.
“That trend will go up and there’s a huge opportunity for Hawaii to partner with China,” he told PBN from his office in Beijing. “There are lots of positives from these purchases, including bringing lots of opportunities for the local business community.”