Yamane buys a building

LIHU’E — Anyone who knows John Sydney Yamane knows it’s rare to see him not moving.

“Every six months, we were moving,” either out of one apartment or condominium into another, or out of one commercial location to another, his life changing as often as his work or home address.

In addition to recently purchasing a home in Pua Loke subdivision in Lihu’e, he and wife Yuko are also new owners of a commercial building, on Kress Street in Lihu’e next to Hamura Saimin.

It is now dubbed Hawaii Link Center, and also houses Hair Appeal, a busy salon.

Those who know John Sydney Yamane, president of Hawaii Link, providers of dial-up Internet service, high-speed DSL (digital subscriber lines), computer repair, Web design and hosting and business IT (information technology) support, also knows better than to think that, just because he bought a house and a building, he’s ready to slow down.

In addition to being extremely busy running his business, and renovating his new commercial space to be compliant with provisions of the federal Americans with Disabilities Act, he is president of the Garden Island Arts Council board, a Kauai Food Bank board member, and an active member of the Rotary Club of Kauai.

“I like to give a lot of my time to public service, to help people with the talent that I have, planning and leadership skills,” said Yamane, whose Hawaii Tech Products represented one of the first computer-repair businesses on the island, long before “World Wide Web” and “Internet” entered the local, state, national and international vernacular.

He purchased the Kress Street building from Dean Ishii Sr. for $470,000, in the face of stiff competition, Yamane said.

“I paid what they asked because three other people were asking for this building,” he said. “It was a great deal. For market value, this was a great choice.”

He has 950 square feet of vacant commercial space in the building. His wife, Yuko Yamane, who has been studying interior design (on the Internet, naturally), designed the Hawaii Link logos and color scheme of the business and building, and is handling leasing details on the available space, they said.

Hawaii Link has over 900 Internet customers, a number that even boggles John Sydney Yamane after just four years in business. “For growing an Internet business, it takes a very long time.”

For such a competitive field, his numbers are “amazing,” and provide him with the cash flow necessary to buy the building, he added.

His computer-repair business is “nuts,” too, with he and his brother Albert Yamane repairing between 15 and 20 computers a week.

“I try to fix four at a time,” and understands how being without a computer nowadays can really disrupt someone’s home or business life.

While lots of people had computers before, the Internet has just opened up so much more opportunity, for people to work at home, study at home, play at home, he said.

Now, people plan their shopping, travel, business, lives, using computers and the Internet, he said.

“We never thought that it would change everything, but it did. I guess I’m one of those pioneer type of guys,” he said.

“I’m glad about that.”

Because he knows computers aren’t just a fad that will pass, he figures he remains in the right business. “Computers aren’t going to go away. The future looks OK with the computer business,” he said.

“It looks bright. It’s always going to be there.”

And so is Yamane.

He plans to expand his Website-hosting services, and build a “mini-data center,” a place for IT professionals to build their Web presences using the new wave of technology, remote access to servers.

Lots of people, he said, are interested in having their own servers, but don’t necessarily want the space, battery backup systems, systems administrator, Web master, and other needs that go with server ownership and operation.

That’s where he comes in.

Converting a room in his new building to the mini-data center will allow those who wish to have a server for round-the-clock Web hosting locate it there, and have someone watch, maintain and monitor it, for a fee, of course.

That plan will likely be implemented in the summer of 2006, he said.

He bought the building in September, began renovating in October, and moved in Nov. 1.

A blessing and small grand opening are planned later this month. Now, though, a moving sale is taking place in the for-lease portion of the building on Kress Street.

For more information, please call 246-9300.

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