VIDEO: 2 Sites Considered as Maui Service Center Lease Nears EndMay 29, 2014, 2:50 PM HST · Updated May 29, 3:10 PM 0 Comments
By Wendy Osher
Maui Mayor Alan Arakawa says the county is considering two potential options for acquiring property as it faces the end of a lease at its Service Center site located at the Maui Mall in Kahului.
“One of the major challenges that we have is that we are very likely to lose our lease for the Maui Mall which is where our service center is–and the service center is the Motor Vehicle Registration and our property tax, different departments are there,” said Arakawa in an exclusive interview.
Arakawa explained that Alexander & Baldwin sold the property, and that group is now wanting to sell the property again. “So they’re not extending leases, or are very reluctantly extending leases, and we haven’t been able to get a confirmation on an extension of the lease. Our current lease expires in 2015,” he said.
“Because of that, we’re trying to find a piece of property where we can build our own service center and put our own facilities in. There are two strong potential sites that we sent down to the council for consideration, and it sits in Mike White’s Budget and Finance Committee right now.”
One of the options being considered is a four acre parcel in the Kahului industrial area that is owned by A&B, along with gifted land in Pāʻia.
“A&B was willing to gift us somewhere between 35 and 36 acres of property from Pāʻia/Baldwin to Baldwin Park. That gift alone would more than make up for the cost of the new property that we’re trying to acquire. The new property (in the Kahului industrial area) would cost roughly about $6 million,” said the mayor.
The other option being considered is a $5 million, five acre parcel in the Kehalani project area, next to Longs Drug Store in Wailuku.
“Those property owners have also told us they would be willing to give us 14 acres right on the opposite side of the roadway that’s there, if we were to acquire their property,” said Arakawa.
“The reason we’re able to get such good deals for the Kehalani property is because it’s a bank sale. The bank had foreclosed on the property and they want to be able to get their money out. If they find another willing buyer, the proposal could be pulled from the county,” said the mayor.
“A&B on the other hand, wants to sell their property in the industrial area, but there’s nothing that prohibits them from selling it to someone else as well,” Mayor Arakawa explained.
“Both of these need to be worked on very quickly if we’re going to be able to consider them, otherwise we may lose that opportunity,” he said.
Mayor Arakawa said that in order for the projects to be considered, they need to be scheduled for review before the Budget and Finance Committee. “Otherwise,” he said, “we may lose the opportunity.”
“We’ve actually recommended that they consider both,” he said, noting that the county would be able to build facilities on both properties and relocate departments that are dealing with permits, leases, and contracts on non-county owned land.