The much-loved Coco Palms resort on Kauai has long been in trouble, but endless disputes and turmoil continue over the final solution.Blue Hawaii and Elvis Presley A wealthy and famous place once played and made famous by the 20 acres of land and 15 acres of leased land are in complete chaos as seen below.Kauai in September 1992 It’s been exactly 30 years since Hurricane Iniki hit the city.
The Kauai Planning Commission held a meeting today to discuss the annual renewals required for multiple permits dating back to 2015. And yet, years and decades pass, nothing materially changes in what we see. This appears to go against the county’s requirement for timely execution of permits. And then the question arises whether there is some trickery involved somewhere.
The new owner was announced as Coco Palms 2021 at today’s conference.
The new Utah-based company was first revealed at the conference, according to developer representatives in attendance. No website associated with that name was found. The developer said his company is Reef Capital Partners. The testimony of the representative was somewhat strange. He indicated that this was his first visit to Kauai and that the developer had never held a community meeting to address the myriad legitimate concerns about hotel development. He said all buildings should be demolished. He said it would happen in the next six months, but the foundations of the building below would be preserved intact. It made us and others at the hearing hard to believe.
Changes to Coco Palms’ plans for the future were not on the agenda for today’s meeting. However…
Over the past few days, numerous erroneous media reports have incorrectly portrayed the conference as defining the future of Coco Palms. However, the real purpose of the meeting was to receive and potentially approve the annual reports requested by the developers in connection with the release permits dating back to 2015. item. “
The testimony at the four-hour Planning Commission meeting was enthusiastic and emotional. It did not uniformly support future hotel development.
A native Hawaiian raised the issue of land ownership. Other Hawaii representatives spoke at the hearing and protested potential future hotel developments.
Former council member and environmental activist Gary Hooser testified against approval of the report from the current developer. He said the current permit had expired and was no longer valid. proposed that the application process and environmental impact study should begin anew if developers wish to proceed. He alleges that Kauai county has violated the law in multiple ways.
Representatives of the Surfrider Foundation and the Sierra Club said they filed today a petition to have the permit revoked after failing to make the necessary substantive progress over the past two years. A representative said the deadline for permits from 2015 was not enforced, just an annual report for the next 30 years of the abandoned Coco His Palms would be unacceptable.
Roger Netzer, a 50-year-old former otolaryngologist who lives nearby, testified. He said the former beach is gone, traffic is terrible and flooding is a problem. He said, “It’s totally unrealistic to build another hotel there…I’m shocked that there are developers out there who think they can make it work.”
Many testimonials were submitted against the development, some of which did not address the issue of the agenda. Instead, the meeting, which was widely attended via Zoom and in person, helped Coco blow off his longstanding distaste for Palms.
Council candidate Fern Holland testified that the site is of such cultural and historical importance that it cannot be allowed to become another hotel development.
A former Coco Palms employee also said the developers were “desecrating a sacred place.” Other testimony called on the county to consider the best interests of everyone in decisions regarding the future of Coco Palms.
Felicia Cowden, a board member and friend of the Beat of Hawaii editor, testified that the developer had previously shown too much was working against future hotel development. . “Looking at how deep cultural roots the property has, we found 86 bodies symmetrically buried in the ground.” He pointed out that he had never been caught. “Never hurt or upset another person’s heart again.”
City Councilman Mason Chock also testified. When the permit was issued in 2015, “we envisioned either owning the hotel or moving in another direction. rice field.”
What happened at today’s meeting.
1. The purpose of the meeting and the testimony were seemingly at odds. However, the testimony spoke of the larger issue of dealing with these 2015 permits.
2. There have been many requests to postpone the receipt or approval of the developer’s annual report in light of many facts. The goal of many who testified is to at least require developers to obtain new permits.
3. Last to speak was Parker Enlow, the head of the new developer. His company financed the initial acquisition and demolition of the building. He claimed that a fair amount of work had been done over the past two years, with a foreclosure actually taking place and a title change in May 2022. There are currently four “rich investors” involved in the development plan. He indicated that “there was some opposition”, which was no understatement. When asked about the state of the building’s collapse, he said that all buildings would be demolished to their foundations, all building elements would be removed, and the hotel would be rebuilt. They want to undertake the demolition of the building within six months.
The buyer is based in Utah, but a representative declined to name it, and Parker said a lack of capital was responsible for the failure of previous efforts. He didn’t mention other concerns that were expressed in meaningful detail. He said that if for some reason the hotel does not materialize, he also supports the cultural center.
Enlow also said that “a vagrant lives on the property” and that the developer had just obtained an eviction notice. In conclusion, he added, “We are within weeks of getting a building permit.” When asked if he had had meetings with community groups opposing the hotel, he was again confused. Parker said this was his first time on Kauai.
4. Ron Agor, the project’s local architect, also spoke on behalf of the developers. “We are committed to being both a hotel and a cultural center… [Coco Palms] Come back and do better than before… We want to invite people and do a presentation this fall.
5. The planning committee concluded by voting to participate in a closed executive session approximately three hours later. Understandable for legal reasons, but still personally disappointing.
Note: Any further updates will be published here when commissions return to public view or additional clarifications are provided.
Following the closed-door executive session, the committee briefly returned to the public. One of her commissioners indicated that the Planning Commission specifically approved an extension of her two-year limit on Coco’s palm permits. Our question, of course, is why.
Developers were asked about potential flooding issues in future property developments. He said, oddly enough, “I don’t want people to think we’re just building sheds.”
As a final matter, the Commission said, “The 2022 report has been received by the Commission and no further action is required on the report.” Other concerns are still under consideration.
Plans for the new hotel are progressing well from a developer’s perspective.
That is despite all the rationale and overwhelming opposition to going in that direction, including that real, non-ocean-facing, high-traffic locations have changed a lot. In addition, the site seems to hold great significance in recent and ancient history and culture and seeks something different from other Kauai hotels. It was mentioned by a community-based group working on plans to restore the site to be restored to and enjoyed by all, now and in the future.
Read the definitive article from Coco Palms with over 400 comments.
What is the state of the resort today?
The rot is getting worse and worse, the rebar is breaking through the concrete and it’s uglier than ever. An eyesore like no other on Kauai. Still, nothing has changed. There are no fences around the property. Graffiti is widespread and there are no signs of work. I did a recent drive-by as you can see below.
Last year’s foreclosure auction saw no apparent change.
Coco Palms was sold “as is” at a foreclosure auction scheduled for July 2021. His $22,000,000 sale to Private Capital Group (PCG) was in the form of a credit against the principal value of a loan by the previous owner/developer. Turns out PCG was the previous lender. The owner has defaulted on its debt. In a way, the owner may never have changed. His previous plans to recreate Coco Palms as his 350-room resort date back to 2015, but in 2019 it changed ownership again to the current group due to a previous mortgage default. .
Is the Cultural Park still a possibility? Yes, it is.
The county and countless community organizations have expressed interest in turning the facility into a cultural park. The developer has indicated that it believes it could be both a hotel and a cultural park, but has been unable to address most of the concerns expressed by the committee and attendees.
Coco palms love.
This post series has now been read over 250,000 times. This shows that you love and are fascinated by Coco’s Palms. We look forward to reading the hundreds of comments that share fond memories of Coco Palms and ongoing dreams for its future.