Stone: Princeville Lodge a positive project

I am writing because a recent article about new plans for the old Hanalei Plantation Hotel did not fairly present the proposed project to the North Shore community. I want the community to have the opportunity to evaluate our collaborative plans objectively and to see how carefully we have worked to address all of the community’s concerns to the best of our abilities.

At just 80 units, our Princeville Lodge is the smallest, least visible, most environmentally sensitive project that has ever been proposed for the Kaunu’opua Ridge and far smaller than anything that has ever been built on it before. Princeville Hanalei Plantation is proposing a small, low-key hotel that architecturally strives to capture and respect the surrounding sense of place.

The plans are carefully designed to replace a small portion of the old footprints left by the former Club Med Hotel, from which the worn concrete platforms still rest exposed. The plans contemplate less than half the former density, and a notably smaller footprint than both the former hotels, Hanalei Plantation in the 1960s and Club Med in the 1970s.

Despite being compared to a “perfect storm” contributing to a surge in tourism, we are proposing a small, unique, and what we think is a sensitive project that should not be viewed in conjunction with other tourism plans that are not related to this project. We hope the community will take the time to review the plans, and perhaps even appreciate them.

We listened to the community say they didn’t want luxury homes spilling over the side of the ridge. We listened to concerns about intrusive, bulky, unattractive buildings looming over the river. We heard the concerns about resort properties intruding on the Kamo’omaika’i Fishpond. We took to heart our neighbors’ desire for public access down the ridge. I challenged planners to address all these concerns, and they did.

Our project uses small wooden cottages on a smaller building footprint than any previous project on this site. Buildings will use a roof style inspired by former architecture in Hawaii and natural wood finishes and natural materials.

Our project will use the existing extensive vegetation on the site and add more indigenous vegetation. It will honor and maintain existing public access. And we have committed to restore the fishpond with the community and no part of the project will intrude on it.

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Jeff Stone is president and CEO of Princeville Development Company.

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