Kauai Real Estate and Local News

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

Did you know that we are heading into our slow season? It’s true.
Unlike most of the mainland our sales actually slow down during the
summertime as our visitor demographic changes. Kauai has high
occupancy rates pretty much all year but in the summer it changes to
families who are interested in our market but financially are years
away from buying and here’s why; Vacation rental condos and homes are
not cash flow vehicles and are usually the purchases people make who
want to use them as a part time home with the ability to offset some
of the costs with rental income when they are not using it. The
monthly rental income will cover some of your costs but if you have a
mortgage you’ll be running at a negative for sure. Our family
travelers tend to be years away from financially being able to do that.
If you feel this would be a good time for you to take advantage of this give me a call. What came on the market and what sold last week here on Kaua’i? For an excel spreadsheet of last week’s new listings and closed transactions: CLICK HERE

*****Tour Plane Disappears Over The Big Island*****

The last time the Cessna 172 tour plane was seen was flying over Kilauea volcano on Tuesday. The Island Hopper tour plane was carrying the pilot and 2 Japanese tourists. The Coast Guard has scoured over 2,500 square miles and at lease 12 aircraft have been scanning the island for the missing plane. The plane took off at 10:25 a.m. on Monday but failed to return on its scheduled time of 1:30 that afternoon. No distress signals or radio contact came from the plane before the disappearance. On Saturday the Coast Guard suspended it’s search indefinitely. Hawaii county crews will continued to search through Sunday but there were no new developments as of this writing.

*****Stand off in Wainiha*****

Kauai resident Ka’iulani Huff has been camping out for the last three
months on a Wainiha property that she claims should be turned over the
her since the land was given to her family by the Hawaiian Monarchy
prior to the American takeover of the Hawaiian Islands. Current land owner
Joseph Brescia has been trying to build a home on the land since
2001. He’s considering a 2,350 square foot 3 bedroom home and he
considers himself a “regular guy” in a very uncomfortable situation.
It was discovered that 30 ancient Hawaiian burial sites are on the
property and the Kauai Island Burial Council determined in April that
they are to be left in place.

Ground breaking on Mr. Brescia’s home was to begin earlier this month
but construction crews walked off the job after 40 residents showed up
to protest. This Tuesday is the new date for construction to begin
and Kauai Police have notified Ka’iulani Huff that they will be there
on Tuesday to protect her right to protest and the land owners right
to build.

*****Koke’e Cabins Incite A Impassioned Crowd*****

Over 100 people showed up at the Mokihana building in Lihue on Monday to support a bill that had been introduced to address the State owned 140 cabins whose lease will be up soon. The House Bill 2872 will allow all existing tenants to bid on the cabins first and then second will be Kauai residents, third will be Hawaii State residents and lastly it will be open to the general public. 29 of the impassioned crowd testified to keep the park the same as it is now by making this bill law. Bill 2872 is before Governor Linda Lingle who has until Monday to notify Legislature of any bills that she’s planning to veto and until July 8th to veto or approve the bill. Any bill not addressed by the Governor will automatically become law. At the end of the meeting held in Lihue it was approved to send a letter to the Governor asking her to approve the bill which is thought of as “not perfect” but should become law as it will go a long way to preserve the way Kokee is as we know it.

Kauai Local News and Real Estate Update

*****Kauai Real Estate Update and Local News Items*****

Join me for highlights of our Garden Islands news and a full update on last weeks new listings and closed transactions. You’ll see quite a few land sales in Koloa and that’s the Kukui’ula development. Also that great buy of a house here in Poipu sold for $1,000 below asking price of $299,000! For a full excel spreadsheet CLICK HERE

*****Boulders Crash on the Road To Hanalei*****

Around 4 pm on Monday (6/9/08) boulders and rocks broke loose and the debris was substantial enough to shut one lane down until 7 pm. One boulder was 5 feet in diameter. Fortunately nobody was hurt and there were no damages reported to any cars. The DOT spokeswoman said they are not sure what caused the landslide.

*****Don’t Sell That Land Quite Yet*****

29 States have joined Hawaii in asking the US Supreme Court to overturn a ruling that the Hawaii Supreme Court made disallowing the State to sell or transfer 1.2 million acres of former monarchy lands until Native Hawaiian claims have been resolved. The ruling had been based on former President Clintons 1993 Apology Resolution in which Congress acknowledged the wrongful overthrow of the Hawaiian Monarchy in 1887 (King Kalakaua was forced to sign the Bayonet Constitution in 1887, sharply curtailing his powers and diminishing the Native Hawaiians’ voice in government. Source: Hawai`i Visitors Bureau) The ruling was intended to protect the lands from private interests from buying the land but the appeal states the President Clintons Apology Resolution was meant to be symbolic only and shouldn’t be used to infringe on the State of Hawaii’s rights to their land. The Supreme Court will likely review this in October when they return from summer break.

*****Kiahuna Land Company Asked To Not Build*****

BG Kauai Holdings attorney urged the Kauai Planning Commission to not consider the permit for Kiahuna Land Company to build an adjacent shopping center to the existing Poipu Shopping Village. Current shop owners showed up on Tuesday at the Mokihana Building in Lihue to protest the new shopping center which will be 81,932 square feet and will include restaurants, retail and office space and off-street parking. The new shopping center is broken into 7 buildings of which 2 portions will be 2 stories high. The manager of the current Poipu Shopping Village stated that the former plans created a synergy between the two shopping centers but the proposed plans fall short of that. The Koloa Community Association, shop owners and community member expressed concerns over drainage, parking and access routes. The seven member commission will hear final arguments on July 8 thh. Public impute will not be taken after Tuesday.

*****Marriott Employees and Guests Help To Build Homes*****

The Kauai Marriott recruited employees and visitors to come help build a home for Habitat For Humanity in ‘Ele’Ele. Earlier in the year Marriott contributed $60,000 towards the project of which 11 out of the planned 125 homes have been completed. Five more home sites are in the works at this time. All homes are going to Kauai Residents. Way to go Marriott!

*****Matson Shipping Lines To Raise Their Rates*****

Citing rising fuel costs Matson Lines will raise their rates 38.25% the largest rate hike yet citing records oil prices. This impact will be felt by all companies island wide and business’s are needing to pass these rates on to customers and tighten their own belts says City Mill President Steven Ai. “With rising expenses, we just have to manage our business better and watch our expenses and be as lean as we can because we can’t pass everything on to our customers.”

Kauai Real Estate and Local News

Poipu Beach Crash*****Runaway Truck Slams Into Sueoka’s Grocery Store In Koloa Town!*****
On Wednesday early morning shoppers had the surprise of their life at Sueoka’s General Store in Old Koloa Town. Just after 7 a.m. a trash truck ran the stop sign and plowed through the three foot lava rock wall and into the mom and pop store which is right by Crazy Shirts and the historic banyan tree in old Koloa Town. The force of the impact moved the front window freezer some four feet and about a dozen people were taken to the hospital however no serious injuries have been reported. My husband and I were driving into Lihue and 7:40 and I took this photograph. The front part of the truck is totally imbedded in the store and I did notice that it had rained. Police are still investigating and at the time of this writing no updates were available.

******The Royal Hawaiian Hotel, Waikiki Beach, Oahu*****
Royal Hawaiian Hotel It’s with special affection that I write about the renovation at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel. Living in Kauai it’s obvious that the big city is not for me and when I do need to go to Oahu we stay at the Royal Hawaiian (aka “Pink Palace”) where I feel transported to the 1920′s, the era that it was built. The last time this hotel was shut down was during WWll when the military had occupied the hotel and surrounded it with barbed wire. Before then it was the place to “see and be seen” and Hollywood celebrities, foreign dignitaries and heads of State all would stay at “The Royal”. The hotel will be a little less pink on the inside and the rooms, which now have furniture from the 1980′s and wallpaper that is less then appealing, will be completely updated but will still retain its 1920′s feel. Some shops will be eliminated in the lobby to open it up more and the line to check in will be eliminated. Guest will now sit in the garden area and sip guava juice while waiting to check in, afterwards they will be escorted to their rooms which will have soft Hawaiian music playing. This 110 million dollar renovation is currently being done and construction will last for 7 months. Will the room rate change? You bet. The current rate is $300 and it’s expected to go to $400.
Did you know: The Shirley Temple drink was invented at the Royal Hawaiian while the child star was visiting in the 1930′s? Also true: the hotel also popularized the Mai Tai and Dean Martin was once refused entry to the Monarch Room due to the hotels strict dress code. Dean went back to his room to change and showed back up in a coat and tie and-his briefs.

*****20 Acres of Beachfront Property To Be Preserved*****

The Kauai Public Land Trust received the remaining $700,000 it needed to purchase the 20 acre beachfront parcel in Kilauea that borders Kahili Beach. The LLCP (Legacy Land Conservation Program) is a new program within the state Department of Land and Natural Resources and it was this group that spearheaded the purchase. The Kilauea Coastal Preserve will now begin the process of finalizing the deal. This means that this gorgeous 20 acre pristine coastline will remain undeveloped for generations; open public access to the lands will remain the same. Improvements that are slated for the land are to reintroduce native Hawaiian plants and remove the invasive vegetation. Native birds will also be brought in. Its efforts like this that makes our Garden Island a truly special place.

*****Hawaiian Airlines To Add 4 Aircraft*****

In response to the ATA and Aloha Airlines shutdown Hawaiian Air is adding 4 aircraft to its interisland fleet. Two Boeing 717-200 jets will be added in September and 2 more later in the year. Mark Dunderley, who is Hawaiians CEO, says this purchase reaffirms the airlines commitment to servicing our islands.

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

The Honolulu Board of Realtors reported a 29.4 drop in home sales and a 29.7 drop in condominium sales but the median price from a year ago has stayed the same within a very small margin. The homes sales are within .01% of last year and the condo median sales price is up 3.8%. For an excel spreadsheet on this week’s new listings and closed transactions CLICK HERE FOR SPREADSHEET

Kauai Real Estate and Local News

Kiahuna PlantationAloha From the Kiahuna Plantation in Poipu Beach! My husband and I have owned a vacation rental condo at the lovely Kiahuna for the last ten years and have not taken the time to stay in it since we moved here four years ago. We checked into our unit on Friday and will be leaving Tuesday. We have not taken time off our jobs and are doing some fun projects to improve our unit in between our work shifts. People have often asked me what it’s like to move here and the fact is there are still responsibilities that we both have and it’s easy to get caught up in the daily grind (yes even here in Kauai!) and miss all the reasons why we moved here. Staying at our beautiful vacation condo brings back memories of the times when we vacationed here and dreamed of the day when we could move here and how sad we used to be that we had to go back to our home in Orange County, CA. Even though we only live right down the street at the Poipu Kai Resort its different staying where none of your “stuff’ is! I took this photo on my barefoot walk to the Kiahuna beach on Sunday morning at 8:30 a.m., enjoy.Kiahuna Plantation Beach

*****Kauai Real Esate News*****
Whether you’re looking to buy, sell or are in the information-gathering stage, I would like to be your Kauai Real Estate Connection. Accomplishing a successful real estate experience starts with building a positive working relationship with someone who knows Kauai real estate. I strive to provide the latest and most efficient ways of keeping you abreast of new laws, trends and events that will influence any transaction.

My “Monday Morning Coffee With Lynda” blog page has been a great way for people to stay connected no matter where they are in their buying or selling process. Every Monday morning be informed of Kauai’s latest news events, new real estate listings and closed sales. Even if buying or selling is years away, it’s not too early to start building our relationship. Please contact me for information on how to stay Kauai connected with “Monday Morning Coffee with Lynda”.

Here is an excel spread sheet on last weeks new listings and closed transactions: CLICK HERE

*****New Flights Between China and Honolulu*****
The Hawaii Tourism Authority has been aggressively pursuing the Chinese tourism marketplace for some time and their efforts have paid off. Three flights will start on July 28th of this year and three more in October. These flights will also go on to Las Vegas.

With the loss of two airlines travel to Hawaii has been off by 15.2%. Hawaii is not the only market to show a decline. The US to Japan travel is off 15.3% and the East Coast travelers were down 5%. Canada however is showing a 48.2% increase in vacation travelers.

Good news is Hawaiian Airlines is adding an Oakland flight this month and Alaska and Delta have announced plans to post new flights also. Marsha Wienert from the Hawaii Tourism Authority said that “This increased seat capacity will help offset the loss of Aloha and ATA seats”. Go! Airlines has increased their flights from 58 to 88 per day and they have seen a 50% increase in their number of seats sold. The Superferry is also reporting higher sales for their Maui the Oahu runs.

The HTA has been focusing on the local market and offering incentives to locals to take vacations interisland. This has been very well received and has helped to alleviate the loss from the mainland visitors.

As a side note: Aloha Airlines is going ahead with a lawsuit they had filed against Go! Airlines for trying to drive the now bankrupt airlines out of business by using market data that the airlines provided in a possible purchase situation when the airlines was facing financial trouble in 2006. The rights to the lawsuit will become one more asset to be sold off to pay off Alohas many legal claims.

*****First Hawaiian Bank Robber Nabbed*****

A Hanalei man is in custody after turning himself in to police on Tuesday night. The suspect hitch hiked a ride to the county jail from a local resident who remained nameless. The driver said the man told him that he had heroin and alcohol problem and had robbed a bank and wanted to turn himself in. The driver told him he was dong the right thing and dropped him off at the county jail where the officers treated the suspect in a very respectful manner as they cuffed him and took him into custody. The police had been using the bank surveillance cameras to look for clues for the robber and recently had been questioning bus drivers because it was believed, after seeing a bus in the film taken from the surveillance cameras, that the robber had taken the Kauai Bus to the bank. The suspect has had several robberies in his past record.

*****1.2 million dollars for Na Pali and Koke’e State Parks*****

Governor Linda Lingle released 1.2 million dollars for improvements on the Na Pali trail and Koke’e State Parks. The first two miles of the Napali coast trail are the most heavily used due to the fact that they do not require a permit to hike. One of the reasons this popular trail has not been touched is it’s an archaeologically rich area and studies needed to be done before trail maintenance could be addressed. The wilderness concept will be maintained says Diane Zachary who is the president and CEO of KPAA (Kauai’ Planning and Action Alliance). “We want the trail to look as
natural-looking as possible, but safe”.
The rest of the grant money will go to the CCC Camp in Koke’e State Park in Waimea Canyon. Renovations of camp are expected to be return of all electrical and plumbing services and completion of finish work in Barracks A and B, Mokihana Cabin, Wash House and the storage shed and fireplace. The CCC Camp was added to the National Register of Historical Places in