By Wendy Osher
Maui Mayor Alan Arakawa today announced the county’s purchase of more than 148 acres of land at Launiupoko as part of the planned “Pali-to-Puamana” parkway.
The parcel is one of two being acquired for a total price tag of $13 million, following an agreement reached with the seller, Makila Land Co. LLC, and approved by the Maui County Council  in December.
“This land acquisition is extremely important in that it sends a message to future generations on the importance of preserving open space,” said Mayor Arakawa in a press release statement. “I’m grateful that the purchase was approved in the nick of time, and that our community can now benefit from having this land remain undeveloped in perpetuity.”
The Council vote took place at the last meeting of the year, and came just ahead of a Dec. 31, 2013 deadline to close the deal with the seller.
The initial parcel, identified as “Lot 7,” was acquired for $9.9 million, and was recorded on Monday, Feb. 24, 2014, the mayor announced.
The parcel is being paid for with $6.5 million from the Open Space Fund, and the remaining cost is covered with General Obligation Bonds, according to information released by the mayor’s office.
The second parcel, “Lot 12” of the Makila Ranches Subdivision, is nearly 38 acres and is being acquired at a cost of $3.1 million, pending final subdivision approval, county officials said. The second lot is set for escrow closing by March 2016, according to the mayor’s office.
The combined lots stretch an estimated 2.5-miles from Olowalu to Puamana, and are intended for use as future park space. Both lots are located mauka of the Honoapiʻilani Highway.