Development approved for Big Island

HONOLULU — A new community with close to 2,000 homes, two golf courses, a shopping center and other facilities is about to be constructed near Waikoloa on the Big Island.

Bridge Capital, a California real estate company, is set to break ground on Aina Lea within a month.

The 1,060-acre project, which will also include a 30-acre site for a public school and 26 acres of parks, as well as walking and biking paths, was approved last week by the state Land Use Commission.

The plan is a modified version of a project that was never built after being approved in 1991.

Nansay Hawaii of Japan had wanted to build Puako Hawaii, with 1,550 homes and six golf courses on about 3,000 acres of land. Financial troubles and Hawai’i’s flagging economy in the early 1990s derailed the project. In 1998, the land was sold at foreclosure, and an affiliate of Bridge Capital acquired it a year later.

Nansay had originally promised to sell 60 percent of its homes at affordable prices.

Bernie Bays, an attorney representing Bridge Capital’s development entity, Bridge Aina Lea, said the commitment proved to be an economic barrier to developing the property in today’s market.

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