Friday, November 5, 2010

More News on Purchase of Cultural Site in Hawaii Kai from Developer (of Hale Alii)

After I wrote last week about the developer of Hale Alii (Hale Kalai) in talks with 2 local groups to purchase some of the land by the proposed 300-unit luxury condo project at the corner of Keahole Street and Hawaii Kai Drive, the StarAdvertiser ran a story confirming the developer has agreed to sell.

The article stated that the developer "agreed to sell part of the land at the heart of the controversy to a community group for preservation...If completed, the sale will help advance the long-delayed project, which enjoyed early support from the Hawaii Kai Neighborhood Board before trouble over the cultural site erupted.

"Under the agreement, the nonprofit Livable Hawaii Kai Hui would buy five acres of the 8-acre project site for $650,000.  The 5-acre parcel is zoned for preservation use and contains ancient Hawaiian petroglyphs and other historical features connected with a pre-contact Hawaiian village.

"The condominium would still be built on the three acres as previously planned, though it is being redesigned. Construction is anticipated to begin early next year, according to the developer.

"'It's a huge turnaround,' said Ann Marie Kirk, a Livable Hawaii Kai Hui member. 'We went from being threatened with being arrested and threatened with lawsuits to a place where the community has a chance to acquire this sacred place in perpetuity. It's pretty amazing. This is so great.'"

The nonprofit hui has partnered with another nonprofit, the Trust for Public Land, to help facilitate the purchase.  The Trust has submitted applications for two $325,000 grants from the state Legacy Land Conservation Program and the city Clean Water and Natural Lands Fund.

The paper quotes Laura Hokunani Ka'akua, native lands coordinator for the trust, who said,  "the site has a rich cultural value given the presence of a heiau complex, ancient dwelling sites, petroglyphs, agricultural terraces, a coconut grove, remnants of a spring-fed well and a wetland that is home to the endangered alae ula, or Hawaiian moorhen.  'This site is really like a treasure,' Ka'akua said. 'It's in the middle of Hawaii Kai, one of the most built-out communities on Oahu. This little 5-acre property, which is walking distance from a Costco, is a reminder of our ancestral past.'

"A stewardship plan will be created to restore and preserve the site, which could include rebuilding parts of the Hawea Heiau complex some historians believe was on the site.  Though state officials believe Hawea Heiau was not located on the site, many other archeological features on the property have been well documented by surveys over the last few decades. Other features are believed to have been destroyed by previous owners of the property."

Read more at (Photo above from the article.)

I'll stay in touch with the project so if you are interested in eventually purchasing in this development, call or email and I'll be sure to keep you up to date.

Barbara Abe, Realtor