The Bratton Team

‘Super prime’ land in Keauhou sold for just over $4M

A privately owned global real estate firm headquartered in San Diego has sold a 24.5-acre parcel of undeveloped land within the Keauhou Resort to a Los Angeles-based real estate developer and investor.

Colliers Hawaii on Thursday announced the sale of the parcel from Pacifica Companies LLC to Watt Capital Developers Inc. The property is located in the northeast corner of the intersection of Kamehameha III Road and Alii Drive.

According to Mark D. Bratton, Colliers senior vice president, the sales price was “just over $4 million.” The listed price for the property was $3.95 million. Bratton said the parcel “represents not just land, but the future of community and development in one of the most breathtaking locations on the Big Island.”

“It’s super prime,” Bratton said. “It looks out over Keauhou Bay and a lot of other successful condominium residential developments around there.” The county land use designation is medium density urban (major resort area), and it’s zoned for multifamily residential with a minimum land area of 3,000 square feet for each dwelling unit or each separate rental unit. Units can be used as time-shares, according to the sales prospectus. The assessed market value for the land, according to the county Real Property Tax website, is $3.48 million, but the property is entitled — which means all necessary permits for final plans submitted for the development of 3.69 acres of the land were previously approved. Those approvals had expired in 2017, but according to Bratton, they have been extended. They’re for Phase 1 of the property, which includes the construction of 184 condominium units within two- to three-story structures in the master-planned resort area. Phase 2 of the development, for a later date, would be on the remaining 20.81 acres of the property. Pacifica bought the land from Kamehameha Schools for $2.9 million in 2014.

According to Bratton, Pacifica “worked hard on it up until the pandemic, but were kind of stymied and decided it was a long way from their home base, so they put the property up for sale.” “It is very expensive to develop in that lock condition, and there’s also the fact that you have to bring (construction equipment and materials) over by barge. That drives up the construction costs.” The property was listed for a brief “three or four months,” Bratton said, describing the sale as perfect timing with the right prospective seller and buyer. “Watt has a long history of development of residential units in Hawaii,” he said. “They’ve been working here 25, 30 years — on Oahu, mostly — but they’ve been a great provider of housing throughout the market.”

Email John Burnett at jburnett@hawaiitribune-herald.com.