Kauai Real Estate and Local News

Poipu Beach Round About Opens

The Poipu Beach round about is officially open! The round about will help to diffuse traffic and is much more attractive then a stoplight. This makes the second round about for the island of Kauai, the first is on the Kapaa bypass road. Aloha Everyone and I hope you all had a great weekend. In addition to Kauai’s latest real estate activity I have a lot of local news for you so we’ll get right to it….

*****Kauai Real Estate News for March 24 to 31*****

Spring Break has brought a lot of activity to our island and with that goes lots of real estate inquiries. We expect to see another week of this kind of activity. On the South Shore the shops at Kukui’ula and the Poipu Beach Estates lots are showing a huge amount of progress. Koloa Landing is still laying it’s ground work but still does not have building permits. Contact me for more information on buying or selling here on Kauai. For now here is an excel spreadsheet on what has come on the market this last week and what has sold CLICK HERE

*****Aloha Airlines Stops Service March 31, 2008*****
Aloha Airlines announced on Sunday that its last day of operations will be Monday, March 31 2008. On that day, Aloha will operate its schedule with the exception of flights from Hawaii to the West Coast and flights from Orange County to Reno and Sacramento, and Oakland to Las Vegas. United Airlines and other airlines are prepared to assist and accommodate Aloha
Airlines passengers who are left with tickets. Effective immediately, Aloha will stop selling tickets for travel beyond March 31, 2008.

Aloha Airlines shutdown will affect some 1,900 employees statewide. Aloha also announced that its air cargo and aviation services units will continue to operate as usual while the U.S. Bankruptcy Court seeks bids from potential buyers. On March 27 2008, Saltchuk Resources Inc. a Seattle based company announced its intention to buy Aloha’s air cargo business. Earlier this week the State announced it was looking at ways to help the Hawaii based company which was founded in 1946. Waiving landing fees and GE tax on their fuel were some of the ideas. But David a. Banmiller, Aloha’s president and chief executive officer said “We just ran out of time” and Aloha Airlines could not find a qualified buyer and had no choice but to take this severe action. The airline has expressed deep regret to the people of Hawaii and its employees. Careful to not mention any companies Aloha Airlines stated that unfair and preditory competion drove them out of business.

*****Visitor Arrivals Up For February*****
Visitors arrivals were up Statewide by 5.9% from last year and visitor spending on Kauai alone increased by 6.3%. The largest increase were visitors from Canada up 31.5%, February marked the 7th consecutive month for Canadian arrivals on the rise. Stateside the West Coast sent us 1.9% more visitors, East Coast sent 3.2% more but Japanese arrivals were down 3.2%. Given that this is leap year the extra day in February added to this number.

*****City Council Supports 10 Moratorium On Genetically Grown Taro*****
A bill that was proposed to genetically develop Taro in order to find and promote a stronger strain of the crop had effectively split the Taro community and City Council in half. The bill to put a ten year moratorium on genetically grown Taro passed by a mere 4-3 vote last Friday. Taro farmers on Kauai grow 75% of the states Taro and it’s considered to be a sacred crop by the Taro Farmers, the belief is the food came from the Hawaiian Gods themselves. Genetically tampering with the Hawaiian ancient food source spurred the community to attend City Council meetings and speak out their feelings.

*****Not a Good Time To Be a Rooster on Oahu*****
The city of Honolulu is paying a local company $60,000 to round up feral roosters that have been keeping residents up at night. Complaints largely have been about the wild roosters crowing at all hours but some about owners of pet roosters. Councilman Charles Djou has tried to ban roosters as pets in residential areas several times.

Kauai Real Estate News and Kiahuna Plantation Easter Celebration!

Kiahuna Plantation Easter Egg HuntAloha! Kiahuna Plantation was the place for Easter Celebrations on Sunday. The day started out with a service on the Great Lawn overlooking the ocean. Then about a hundred guests and residents gathered for an Easter Egg Hunt and I even got to lead the 7 and 8 year olds out to their egg hunting area! The Easter Bunny was even there for photographs. It was great fun and a very beautiful morning.

Kiahuna Plantation Egg Hunt 2 Kiahuna Plantation Egg hunt 3

*****Kauai Real Estate News*****
Fractionals have been established in parts of the mainland but have been coming to Kauai only this last year, some with success and some not. A Prince Kuhio Penthouse unit was fractionalized and a second sale recently closed. If you would like more information on fractionals give me a call for a brief run down. Here is the new listings and closed transactions for this past week. Again our closed transactions are staying at that upwards bump we got a couple of months ago. For an excel spreadsheet CLICK HERE

*****Hawaiian Land Deal Voted Down*****
A complete turnabout was done by the Hawaiian legislature in a deal to give $200 million dollars to pay the Office Of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA) for land ceded to the U.S. government in the late 1800′s. The dispute between the government and OHA has been in negations for 30 years. When this bill was drafted it sailed through the House with only 2 “no” votes. Hawaiian groups became concerned that it was not in their best interest even after 42 public meetings were held by OHA that this deal was in their best interest. The groups felt this deal was “chump change” and if accepted would forfeit their rights over any future claims and the fact that officials could not explain how they came up with the $200 million dollar figure was a huge concern to them. State officials have sounded off over the rejected deal. Governor Linda Lingle said “We thought that the settlement was fair and reasonable, and we’re disappointed, very
disappointed, that it was rejected.” OHA and the legislature still have six weeks to try for another negotiation of the bill.

*****Aloha Airlines Files For Chapter 11 Bankruptcy*****

Citing predatory pricing by Go! Airlines and rising fuel costs Aloha
Airlines filed for bankruptcy for the second time in three years. In 2005 the two airlines had filed bankruptcy and they both claim that Go! Airlines used confidential information during that time frame to get into the Hawaii marketplace which they did with aggressive rock bottom interisland fares in 2006. Hawaiian Airlines had won it’s lawsuit against Go! Airlines to the
tune of 80 million dollars, Aloha Airlines case is still pending. Aloha Airlines made a follow up announcement on Friday that they are in negotiations to sell all or part of it’s operations. Aloha Airlines parent company is General Motors Acceptance Corporation. In a related news item: Investigations are still pending for two pilots of a Go! Airlines flight that overshot the Hilo airport. The pilots on the short island hop flight and did not respond for 17 minutes to nearly a dozen calls into their cockpit by a stewardess on the flight and another Go! airline pilot. Both
pilots have been grounded during the investigation, malfunction of the aircraft itself has been ruled out.

*****Ritz-Carlton Kapalua Sells $176 Million in 3 Hours*****
S&P Properties, which is the same company that brokered Trump Tower Waikiki, sold out 93 out of 107 condos in 3 hours. I called a representative and got more of the story; I was told that they have been working with their contract holders for the last 6 months and on the day of selection their buyers were contacted in the order that their reservation had been taken. They are now in the 30 day recession period and at the end of that their contracts will go binding and the buyers will commence with their financing to complete the sale. 40% of the buyers were from Japan, Canada and Europe. The price range of the one and two bedroom fee simple condos ranged from $895,000 to $6.4 million. A Japanese buyer purchased the Presidential Suite for $6.4 million. The hotel had recently completed $160 million major remodel.

Kauai Real Estate March 10 to 16, 2008

Lynda Gill Aloha From Sunny Poipu and I hope you all had a great weekend! Our weather has continued to hold up nicely but the trade winds have picked up a bit over the weekend. I could tell because on the golf course my drives were not going straight and I knew it must be the wind. I’ve got some great information on my blog today but first the Kauai Real Estate News….

*****Kauai Real Estate*****

On the South Shore; the Poipu Beach Estates Lots got word from their attorney to look for a May closing date. The final paving has been done and the new subdivision looks really sharp. For information on this subdivision please contact me. For the rest of the island I have a spread sheet which will give you all the new listings and closing. For that information…. CLICK HERE

*****Poipu Kukui’ula Shops Going Vertical*****

I took these photos on Sunday afternoon. A lot of the black paper is down and we can see peeks of the new shopping center at Kukui’ula. The last time we’ve had a new commercial center in Poipu was 1985. Kukui’ula plans to fashion their shops in the old plantation style encouraging people to take their time and browse among the one and two story “old Koloa” style buildings spread out over 10 acres. The new shopping center will have a raised grass stages and hula mounds which will be used for local events. There will also be farmers’ markets and craft exhibits within the shade of two large Banyan trees. Restaurant, retail and office spaces will be available in a year. Spaces range from 500 to 6,000 square feet. If you would like more information on this new complex email me and I’ll put you in touch with their leasing office.
Poipu Beach Kukuiula poipu-kukuiula-sign-small.jpg

*****Hawaii Sees Job Gains For Third Straight Month*****

Got Jobs? Our unemployment rate is holding steady at 3.1 percent as a state which is well below the national average of 4.9%. Hawaiis labor force increased by 5,200 workers and the biggest industries that gained were construction; trade; transportation and utilities; and educational and health services.

*****Monkeypod Tree Removal Injunction Denied*****

Judge Randal Valenciano denied preliminary injunction to stop any further removal of the monkeypod trees at the new Shops Of Koloa site.
Ted Erum and the Koloa Community Association unsuccessfully petitioned the Kauai Council Arborist Committee to give the monkeypod trees “exceptional” satus last month which would have gone a long way in saving the trees from being cut down. Attorney Greg Grimmer who represents the Knudson Trust said that “The trust is allowed to legally remove the trees. There were 37 trees when construction started and there will be 37 trees when we are finished.” Judge Valenciano said the main problem is the existing federal court order which was granted in September of 2007 that allows the developer to relocate and/or replace the existing trees. Ted Erum said the issue is finished at the County level and he waits to hear on the Federal temporary restraining order filed earlier this month. Trees continue to be removed, most notably the two in front of the Koloa Post office.

*****Kayaker Missing In Poipu*****

A Kalaheo couple got thrown from their Kayak off of PK’s on Saturday 2 ½ miles off shore. The woman was rescued but her husband is still missing. Search went on into the night and again on Sunday morning so far to no avail.

Kauai Real Estate News and Reviews!

Lynda Gill Thank you for joining me for another Monday Morning Blog session. The weekend was picture perfect here. Our trade winds are suppose to be picking back up but the temperature has been so perfect we haven’t been needing them. Lots of news here this week: Coqui Frogs; Monkeypod Trees; Ni’ihau Bill Banned and more! But first…..

*****Kauai Real Estate*****
Have you thought about buying or selling here in Kauai? Give me a call or email for a free market analysis of your property here. If you are in the market to buy contact me to be put on an automatic email update list for defined properties that meet the criteria of what you are looking for. For a list of what has come on the market and what has sold in the last week CLICK HERE

*****Coqui Frog Caught At The Poipu Grand Hyatt!*****

One loan Coqui frog was caught on the grounds located at the Poipu Grand Hyatt by workers. Having no idea how it got there the Hyatt turned the 1.5 inch frog with the mighty croak over to the Kauai Invasive Species. How can a 1 inch frog command so much attention? Here on Kauai we have not had the infestation to the extent that the other islands have and we are dedicated to keeping it that way given the fact that the Coqui Frog has no known predators and will endanger native insect populations and compete with Hawaii native birds for food. In also has a larger than life croak which is extremely annoying to residents. Ongoing eradications of the Coqui Frog are being done in Lawai where there is an infestation. To read more about Coqui Frogs and to hear a sound clip of their mating calls go to www.hear.org and click on the Coqui Frog link.

*****Exhausted? Then You Don’t Live In Hawaii*****

In a survey done by The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention rated Hawaii as one of the best states to get a good night’s sleep. 8% of our residents report that they are not getting enough sleep and this is below the national average. State such as New York and Delaware have 14% of its residents not getting enough shut eye. How much sleep is enough? Adults need 7 to 9 hours and children require 9 to 11 hours.

*****Koloa Monkeypod Trees Bulldozed*****
Protestors were caught off guard when and unannounced demolition of several monkeypod trees took place on Wednesday. The developer took out 4 trees on Wednesday and more are to follow. Of the 37 monkeypod trees 12 will be taken out, 5 will be relocated and 20 will stay put. A lawsuit had been filed against the Knudson trust asking the court to permanently stop the developer from removing or damaging the trees but fifth court circuit Judge Randall Valenciano instead set a March 13th hearing
to consider an injunction until final ruling on the case can be heard.

On Monday the developer had filed a police report after discovering their equipment had been broken up over the weekend. Windshields, broken headlights and cut wires had been done to the heavy machines sometime on Saturday or Sunday.

On the day of the tree felling a memorial was held and a protest organized at Kapaa Foodland whose parent company owns four soon to be tenants of The Shops Of Koloa. An email was sent out by Carol Ann Davis-Briant asking those protestors in attendance to respect the property and police and to refrain from using libelous signage.

*****Poipu Sheraton and Union Agree to 3 Year Contract*****
The new agreement between the Poipu Beach Sheraton and Union Local 5 has been reached. The new contract puts the Kauai workers at the same wage rate and benefit package as Waikiki workers. The last time the Kauai workers wages were on par with the other islands was before hurricane Iniki. The new contract also put Kauai, Oahu and Maui under the same time frame for contract expiration. Sheraton General manager Angela Vento and Local 5 representative Daniel Kerwin both endorsed the new contract and are looking forward to working together under the new terms.

*****Ni’ihau Coastline Bill Shot Down*****
In response to the public’s concerns over recreational use by
beachgoers and fisherman leaving debris behind this pristine coastline has been shelved. Non-residents of the “Forbidden Isle” have been taking advantage of the public’s legal access to public beaches and leaving their trash behind when they scoot over by jet skis. Social impacts have been expressed by local Ni’ihau residents whose island is inhabited by native Hawaiians who still speak the Hawaiian language and rely on generators for power. Some of the Ni’ihau children were scared of the new recreational activity on their previously deserted beaches. At that time a bill was hurriedly drawn up by State Reps. James Tokioka, Roland Sagum, Hermina Morita and Ken Ito on January 23rd and is now going to the Finance Committee for review instead of heading to the Senate so the public can get involved and lawmakers can
get their community feedback. Stating the bill was “too much too
fast” it’s now headed through the proper channels and both the
community and lawmakers are happy to have killed the bill and do a pull back.

Kauai Real Estate News and Reviews!

Lynda Gill Aloha From Beautiful Kauai! I hope you all had a great weekend and thank you for joining me for Monday Morning Coffee. Let’s get right to the real estate news.

Our office is located at the Kiahuna Plantation here in Poipu and their front desk has reported a record February. We know that to be true as we’ve had a lot of walk ins to our office, open houses and the steady real estate activity continues. For more detailed information on a particular project you are interested in contact me for details.

I have included an excel spread sheet for last weeks new listings and sales. On it you’ll see the number of recorded sales have tripled which is all those properties I had seen go into escrow during January hitting their closing mark. Good news! For a complete list of what has been listed and what has sold this last week CLICK HERE

*****Record Number Of Whales Off Maui Coast*****
More than 700 volunteers across the state participated in the National Oceanic whale watch count and a record number of whales were counted off the Maui coast. 1,726 whales were reported for 2007 which broke the 2006 record of 1,265.

*****Hawaii Foreclosures Less Then One-Tenth of 1%*****
As of late foreclosures have been the national headline news but how does Hawaii fit into this picture? Hawaii home foreclosure fillings are slowing down but is still up for the eighth straight month. RealtyTrac reports the Hawaii filings translates to less than one-tenth of 1 percent of local households nationally which ranks our state as one of the lowest in the nation. Resort properties have been affected even less then that by foreclosures. As shown by these figures real estate trends cannot be measured in blanket national figures and it’s important to get a reality check on how the market you’re looking into is performing.

*****2008 Tourism Off To a Good Start*****
Hawaii reported a 4.1 percent increase in tourism with the biggest increase being the Canadian market which is up 27.7%! Visitors from the western part of the USA were up 3.9% and the eastern part was up 2.2%. Visitors arriving by air vacation dollar spending rose to $84.1 million, cruise ship spending data was not in yet but their numbers have continued to rise.

*****Lihue Airport Opens Cell Phone Waiting Area*****
Those picking up arrivals at our Lihue airport can now wait up to an hour for passengers in the cell phone waiting area which is located by the rental cars. Before the system was to drive in circles around the airport until your party checked out of the baggage area creating a lot of congestion in our little airport. Lighted directional signs are being used to guide people to the new waiting area where you can wait for a cell phone call from your party when they are ready to be picked up. Similar systems are being used in Honolulu and some mainland airports.

*****Superferry Back In the News*****
The trouble plagued Superferry has made the front page of our newspaper twice this week. On Friday it was announced the Department Of Transportation are holding informational public hearings in conjunction with their Environmental Impact Study to allow for public input on the impact the Superferry will have on Kauai, the public meeting will be held from 2 to 5 pm and 6 to 9 pm on March 19th at the Community College in Lihue. On Sunday it was reported that the Maui Tomorrow Foundation, the Sierra Club and the Kahului Harbor Coalition filed an appeal to last year’s reversal decision to allow the Superferry to operate while an environmental study is being done. Judge Joseph Cardozas original ruling was to stop the Superferry from operating but Governor Linda Lingles enacted emergency legislation to reverse that decision. The appeal filed by the three Maui group’s states it is unconstitutional and allows a single business to not be held by the same rules as everybody else. Superferry officials have not commented on either news items. Currently the new mode of transportation is in dry-dock undergoing repairs and is set to resume service March 25.