Financing near, say Coco Palms developers

LIHUE — Developers who hope to rebuild the historic Coco Palms Hotel near Kapaa said on Wednesday that a final financial commitment on funding for the $23 million project “could come at any hour, any day.”

Tyler Greene, of Coco Palms Hui LLC, told the Kauai County Committee that his firm is working through the final stages of securing demolition permits for the site, razed by Hurricane Iniki in 1992.

The ambitious project has faced several setbacks in recent months, Greene said, due to challenges in the underwriting process to rebuild the resort.

“We’re doing our best to keep everything moving,” Greene said. “We are committed to give this our all until the Coco Palms is (once again) a reality.”

Committee member Ross Kagawa said it is unfortunate that the quest to rebuild Coco Palms has taken so long but added, in theory, he supports development of the area that has stood virtually stagnant for nearly 24 years.

Private development may be the best opportunity to make something happen with the property, Kagawa said.

“This is our chance to get it back for free and turn it back into what it was,” he said.

During the meeting, public concerns were raised about increased traffic congestion should the project move forward and some questioned whether the proposed 30 affordable housing units that would be built as part of the project were sufficient.

Others wondered if a public park would be a better use and warned that the area is in a tsunami zone.

Coco Palms Hui was recently granted an extension until April 26 to show progress for their demolition permits.

Greene said a local firm has been contracted for demolition work, which is expected to cost about $3.5 million and take around six months to complete.

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