Coco Palms faces wrecking ball

LIHUE — Demolition of the long-shuttered Coco Palms Resort could begin in the next 60 days, a sign of the island’s slowly materializing efforts to revitalize the historic hotel.

Chad Waters of the Honolulu-based redevelopment firm Coco Palms Hui said the group is in the process of pulling demolition permits and selecting a company to do the work.

The firm plans to rebuild the 350-room Wailua resort made famous by the Elvis Presley film “Blue Hawaii.” Coco Palms never reopened after Hurricane Iniki tore it apart in 1992.

Conditions approved by the County of Kauai Planning Commission require Coco Palms developers to complete demolition work within six months once permits are issued. Construction permits, meanwhile, must be submitted within the next year.

The entire resort is expected to open as a Hyatt-branded property in the spring of 2017, Waters said. It is an estimated $135 million project.

The redevelopment firm is also working on fulfilling requirements of the state Historic Preservation District, Waters said. The developers must contribute $50,000 to assist the Planning Department’s historic preservation mission through its efforts to perpetuate the cultural and historic significance of the Wailua area, according to county documents.

Additionally, the developers must contribute $50,000 to the county for moku and ahupuaa signage and $10,000 to the county Transportation Agency for a new bus stop along Kuhio Highway in Wailua.

The developers must also pay for all road improvements on Apana Road, including sidewalks, turn lanes and road widening projects.

Coco Palms Hui representatives have said they are working with community groups along with county and state agencies to resolve some of the traffic and transportation issues anticipated with the reopening of the resort.

The developers have agreed to fully fund two new shuttle services from the hotel to Lihue Airport and other popular Wailua destinations, create a bike-share program and contribute funding toward future traffic and pedestrian issue resolutions.


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