Plots for Princes

SUBHEAD: Big money is moving in on Kauai to make secure refuges for banksters and the elites.

By Juan Wilson on 18 November 2014 for Island Breath -

Image above: The golf course at Kukuiula near sunset. A come-on promo photo featured at Kukuiula real estate website. From (

Here we go again. Undeveloped properties in desirable places are the target of people with money who want much more money. (see TGI article below)

How do make so much money out of land? You offer privacy, security exclusivity and pander to people with more money than they know what to do with.

Remember the Kukuiula Development Plan ranging east of Poipu Road to Spouting Horn. It was getting under way just about the time of the crash that started the ongoing Great Rcession of 2008. There were many unrealistic and unfunded schemes back then to cash in on real estate speculation.

Build it and They will Come
Kukuiula was one of the few that survived the real estate bubble pop. By "survived" I mean just barely. They didn't have the sales that they had expected but they had enough resources to go into hibernation.

The Kukuiula Development Company (and their partners DMB Associates of Scottsdale AZ) held onto their high prices and exclusivity figuring that eventually the those with millions to spend would come - they figured all they had to do was wait until the banksters have to flee Greenwich, Connecticut and Newport Beach, California. Half acre lots with 4,000 sqft house start about $6.5 million.

It must be getting close to that evacuation time for the 1% because the real estate bubble speculation money is starting to flow to our north shore from China.

Golf and Guards in the Tropics
The flaks are reving-up the propaganda machine favoring upscale development once more?

They describe their mission as stewardship of the land,  honoring the local culture, protecting the environment, resilience and sustainability.

When these developers talk about sustainability and stewardship of the land you have to realize that means maintaining chemically filled blue swimming pools and green Chem-Lawns. A horse pasture or cattle ranch is more sustainable.

What they really are offering is year round golfing, and maximum security in a tropical setting. These elite will be isolated from the ravages to come on the mainland. They will be safe from the burning brands and pitchforks when the system slumps in a steaming pile of decay.

Given the motivation for moving you can guess why the Princeville Airport is being upgraded. It's so rich people won't have to drive through the traffic in the "slums" of Lihue, Hanamaulu, Waipouli, Kapaa and Anahola to reach paradise. They can fly in from an international flight to Honolulu.

Private Property - No Trespassing
Moreover, don't be surprised to see ex Blackwater, Navy Seal and Secret Service agents relaxing in old Hanalei when off security duty protecting the elite at the new and even more private/secure Princeville Development.

One thing is clear - the access that regular people had to mauka and makai (the mountains and beaches of Kauai) had been greatly lessened since the plantation era days. Privatization is on a rampage cutting off most people's access to an important reason they live on Kauai.

We don't live here for the night life, high culture, or shopping opportunities. We live here because of the island itself and the people on it. The direction things are heading you'll only be able to drive to a shopping center, authorized county beach park or back home.  Everywhere else will be off limits.

Developing a Bunker Mentality
Many rich and famous have tried Kauai as a retreat to Paradise. What they soon find out is that there is nothing for them to do here. There is no Rodeo Drive or Fifth Avenue shopping. There are not dozens of first class entertainment venues to select from. The are only a handful of places they would even deign to eat at. Owning a Ferrari or Lamborghini on Kauai is like a bad joke. As a result, there is nowhere to go unless you get on a jet.  So goodbye sucker.

Of course, if things get shitty enough on the mainland the elite may come and stay anyway - Hell, the German elite did well enough in shabby Venezuela and Brazil.

One thing we local peons might hope for is if the 1% start a mass immigration to Kauai they may not put up with the a resurgence of the Hawaii Superferry carrying hundreds of cars a day to Kauai, or the PMRF military base making Kauai ground-zero for a direct nuclear strike, nor allowing chemical companies to endanger them with experimental pesticide spraying on the back of their mountain.

One can only hope.

Private Prince

By Chris D'Angelo on 14 November 2014 for the Garden Island -

Image above: Plan for new Princeville Resort development of over 1000 acres. From original article.

A private 8,000-acre, 350-unit residential community will be developed over the next decade in the North Shore community of Princeville, with the Prince Golf Course as the centerpiece.

When finished, “Princeville at Hanalei” will have its own polo and beach clubs, lodge, nature trails, golf course, restaurants, airport, spa and more.

Jeff Stone, Hawaii landowner and founder of The Resort Group, unveiled details of the project during an exclusive interview with The Garden Island on Thursday.

“The idea is to create a private community where the members will agree to pay to be great stewards, to maintain the land,” he said.

Start to finish, The Resort Group and its new partner Reignwood International, an investment firm owned by billionaire Thai-Chinese businessman Chanchai Ruayrungruang, plan to spend at least $500 million on the project, according to Stone.

The resort community will be managed by Discovery Land Company, which operates 17 private projects around the country, including Montana’s exclusive Yellowstone Club ski resort, Makena on Maui and Kuki‘o on Big Island.

The Prince Golf Course is slated to close Dec. 31, with Discovery assuming management the following day. It is expected to reopen in mid-2016 following $50 million in renovations, including a brand new clubhouse and improved greens, fairways and cart paths.

Course renovations will be overseen by original architect, Robert Trent Jones, Jr. The overall layout will remain the same; however, Stone said the plan is to make the course easier and more playable.

Stone said the Prince is the best course in Hawaii, but cannot sustain itself without a resort community around it. For the last 10 years, he said it has been losing $3 million annually.

“It is magnificent,” Stone said of the Prince. “But there’s no one on it.”

By bringing in Discovery and establishing a private community, Stone plans to save it.

Discovery takes over management from Montage Golf, a division of Montage Hotels & Resorts, which will result in 58 employees being laid off Dec. 31. Stone said that while he doesn’t want to lose the employees, the course must remain closed between 12 and 18 months.

Discovery plans to employ about 250 people — more than four times the current labor force.
“It’s just a great opportunity to have Discovery as part of our community,” Stone said.

As for what it will cost to become a member of Princeville at Hanalei, Stone said fees will likely be comparable to the Yellowstone Club.

According to one CNBC report, membership at the Yellowstone Club costs an initial $300,000, plus annual dues of $30,000. Additionally, members must purchase a property, which start at $2.5 million for a condo and go up to more than $10 million for a ranch.

Stone said Phase II of the community master plan for Princeville Resort was initially approved for about 3,500 units. His plan for the private community is to start with 268 units and eventually reach 350.

Twenty “equestrian homes,” as Stone called them, will be built on 75 acres surrounding the now-abandoned but soon-to-be-reborn polo fields at Anini. Seventy-five homes, each on a 5-acre lot, will be located along the ridge. And an additional 173 units will make up what will be known as the Lodge Villas, located near the golf course.

A private Anini Beach Club will be located just inland from the western end of Anini Beach. Stone said plans also call for upgrades to the Princeville Airport, including rebuilding hangars and expanding the runway.

Stone said while the word “private” often leaves a bad taste in people’s mouths, there is nothing negative about the sustainable, low-density, one-of-a-kind resort community he has planned.
“How do we take this beautiful environment, lower the density to a density that fits with the vision of the North Shore?” he asked. “That’s what we’ve done.”

In 2005, The Resort Group, with Morgan Stanley as partner, acquired the 9,000-acre Princeville Resort from Japanese beer maker Suntory. The sale included the 252-room St. Regis resort (formerly The Princeville Hotel) now managed by Starwood, the Prince and Makai golf courses and club facilities, Princeville Tennis Club, Princeville Health Club and Spa, Princeville Shopping Center, Princeville Airport, Princeville Ranch and historic taro lands in Hanalei Valley.

During Phase 1 of the development, Stone led the $15 million renovation of the Makai Golf Course and its facilities, the update of Princeville Shopping Center, the $85 million renovation of St. Regis Princeville Resort, the $200 million construction of the Westin Princeville Ocean Resort Villas and the $10 million renovation of the Prince Golf Course.

In September, 1,103 acres of the Princeville Resort was acquired through a partnership between The Resort Group and Reighwood International, valued at $343 million. And earlier this month, Discovery Land Company was selected to manage the development.

“The Princeville lands are truly sacred, and we intend to develop them in a way that pays homage to their purity,” Discovery founder Michael S. Meldman said in a recent release.

“We are fortunate to be in partnership with The Resort Group and Reignwood, both of whom share our strong belief that responsible development draws inspiration from the environment and local customs of the property’s location.”

Thai-Chinese Businessman buys Princeville

By Duane Simogawa on 10 September 2014 for Pacific Business News -

Image above: Photo of heavy duty earth moving trucks from Reignwood International's Facebook page. See (

Billionaire Thai-Chinese businessman Chanchai Ruayrungruang’s Reignwood International has purchased 1,103 acres at the Princeville Resort in Hanalei, including the Prince Golf Course, on the North Shore of Kauai for $343 million, the resort's master developer told PBN Wednesday.

Hawaii developer Jeff Stone’s The Resort Group, one of the largest resort development landowners in the state, confirmed the sale to PBN.

The sale signals one of the first major investments by Chinese investors in Hawaii, which up until now, was mostly just rumored to be in the works.

A company spokeswoman told PBN on Wednesday that no employees will be affected by the sale and that operations will continue as usual.

Stone, who is also master developer of the Ko Olina Resort in Leeward Oahu, will continue to manage the Kauai lands; Reignwood International is buying out Morgan Stanley as the finance partner.

Reignwood International, which has interests in consumer, lifestyle, industrial and financial products, will own and oversee the long-term development of Princeville Resort. The partnership between Stone and Ruayrungruang will manage the long-term planning and development aspects of Princeville lands.

Reignwood Group, the parent company of Reignwood International, was founded in Thailand in 1984 by Ruayrungruang, who has a net worth of $2 billion, according to Forbes.

In 30 years, Reignwood Group has grown into a multinational enterprise with diversified investments in key growth industries in Asia and around the world with branch offices in Singapore, Thailand, the United Kingdom, Canada and the United States.

“Hawaii’s culture has deep roots in Asian heritage as many of my good friends cherish the Islands and have made them their preferred vacation destination or home,” Ruayrungruang said. “We’re excited to be part of the Kauai and Hawaii communities. “The island’s natural beauty is spectacular, and its open countryside translates well to our sustainability goals for our communities.”

Ni Songhua, the London-based head of global investments and acquisitions for Reignwood, said the partnership underscores its long-term confidence in the state.

“We’re committed to preserving Princeville’s regal heritage and cultural roots,” he said. “We believe that Reignwood’s profound respect for Hawaiian history, along with our green vision for the future, will help to advance the long-term vision of Mr. Stone.”

The 9,000-acre Princeville Resort, once the site of sugar plantations and cattle ranches, became Hawaii’s first and largest master-planned community in the 1960s. The Resort Group and Morgan Stanley purchased Princeville in 2005 from Suntory, Japan’s largest beverage company.

Stone helped bring the St. Regis luxury brand to Hawaii, a pivotal component to securing the development of the Westin Princeville Ocean Resort Villas, and oversaw the renovation of Princeville’s Prince and Makai golf courses and its retail shopping center.

Annual operations at the resort currently support 2,500 jobs and generate $1 billion in economic impact to Kauai and the state, according to The Resort Group.

Beijing-based Reignwood Group, which is involved in 16 industries through its more than 60 subsidiaries around the world, is the distributor of Red Bull drinks in China, and just this past July, bought a stake in the producer of Vita Coco.

See also:
Ea O Ka Aina: Kukuiula Ghost Town 9/27/11
Ea O Ka Aina: Princeville Development 1/20/09
Island Breath:Annals of False Advertising - Kauai Lagoons  5/18/08
Island Breath: TGI #21 Koloa Monkeypods 1/11/08
Island Breath: Annuls of False Advertising - Kevin Showe 7/15/07
Island Breath: Koloa Landing 6/28/2007
Island Breath: Coconut Coast & Ko Olina Coast 6/1/2007



Aina Pono Makamaka said...

One thing many may not know is that the supreme court has said that over half of the water is to be returned to the streams , that puts a real damper on any major development, we know there are few projects on Kauai wanting to be pushed thru and in my op-pion where they want to put them should be told NO, Iwi , scenic etc. it was talked about recently on chnl 54 in a committee meeting with the council it was a good and productive meeting even though it is a defacto council.

Stream Restoration | Maui Tomorrow Foundation
Na Wai Eha water releases less than required? Leave a...
MAUI-TOMORROW.ORG remember this seem to all start withMaui, but effects all the islands ,, Hawai‘i Supreme Court (No. SCAP-30603, August 15, 2012). this is just part of it .

VIDEO: Water, Tears Flow After Decade Long Battle at ʻĪao | Maui Now
We're hopeful that with the return of stream flow to Nā...

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Juan Wilson said...

Aloha Surelia Dev,

I note that you are chopping up Bali for commercial real estate geared to western monied people too. Good luck with that. But I think you'll find yourselves out in the cold if you succeed.

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