The Banyan Golf Course in Hilo may quickly have new administration as its house owners search to finish their lease of the property.
The state Board of Land and Pure Assets as we speak will take into account a movement by WHR LLC, proprietor of the Grand Naniloa Lodge, to take away the Banyan Golf Course parcel from its lease of a number of properties on Banyan Drive in an effort to scale back lease prices.
Based on a state Division of Land and Pure Assets report, WHR presently owes the state $615,536.64 in lease and different charges related to the Grand Naniloa properties, which embrace the golf course. Along with these charges, which have gathered since August of final 12 months, WHR has additionally not posted a $1.1 million efficiency bond that will be paid to the state within the occasion of such a default.
In a letter to the DLNR in November, Ed Bushor, CEO of WHR managing companion Tower Growth, mentioned WHR did not make lease funds due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Because of the present COVID-19 state of affairs and the state of Hawaii journey restrictions which have shut down tourism, based mostly on the typical 25% occupancy and big losses, (WHR) is unable to proceed to generate enough revenues to cowl all operational prices,” Bushor wrote. “It’s unlucky, however till tourism is allowed to reopen and revenues are generated to permit leases to be paid, we’d like help from the state and DLNR to assist to defer floor lease lease for an affordable time period.”
Bushor requested in November that the DLNR defer lease funds between August 2020 and January 2021, proposing a 60-month deferred cost plan whereby WHR would make incremental funds to the tune of $10,000 a month, along with commonplace lease funds. Bushor wrote that he thinks tourism will return to a degree enough to renew overlaying lease by August of this 12 months.
DLNR Chairperson Suzanne Case denied Bushor’s request, writing in response that the DLNR can’t provide any deferment on lease to a lessee who already is in default.
Bushor made an identical request in March of this 12 months, however no response from DLNR was publicly accessible. Nevertheless, in April he proposed a brand new plan: for the DLNR to withdraw the Banyan Golf Course from WHR’s lease for the advantage of public makes use of.
“(WHR) has supplied to supply the golf course for a lot of forms of makes use of similar to a hula and cultural arts facility, conference area, common parking for the parks round Banyan Drive together with Reeds Bay, Lili‘uokalani Gardens and the Bayfront strolling paths and every other public makes use of wanted within the Banyan Drive group,” Bushor wrote.
Bushor additionally steered that WHR would proceed to take care of the golf course till public use for the land was carried out.
Case wrote again in April that DLNR couldn’t settle for Bushor’s proposal as written. As an alternative, she really helpful that the golf course be withdrawn from WHR’s lease in its entirety, giving the state full management of the property for all future makes use of, whether or not public or industrial.
Bushor agreed to the phrases after some additional dialogue, though based on a Could 13 letter from Case — the final publicly accessible communique between the 2 events — there nonetheless is an open query of how WHR can pay its default. Bushor has repeatedly supplied to deposit overdue and future lease into an escrow account, which Case has repeatedly referred to as unacceptable.
“If WHR doesn’t conform to the state’s circumstances, then the choice is to go to the board with a request to cancel the lease,” reads the final sentence of Case’s Could 13 letter.
Based mostly on accessible paperwork, it’s unclear whether or not the DLNR will search a distinct lessee to handle the golf course or convert the land for various functions. DLNR representatives declined to remark, whereas WHR representatives didn’t reply to requests for remark.
The BLNR will talk about the matter throughout as we speak’s assembly starting at 9 a.m. The assembly will probably be viewable on-line at www.youtube.com/c/boardoflandandnaturalresourcesdlnr.
Electronic mail Michael Brestovansky at firstname.lastname@example.org.