Coco Palms back on track

  • Courtesy of Urban Pacific Communications

    Chad Waters

LIHUE — In lieu of a trial, a summary judgment hearing ended the Coco Palms property dispute in a Kauai courtroom on Thursday.

Circuit Court Chief Judge Randall Valenciano ruled in favor of development company Coco Palms Hui LLC, owned by Chad Waters and Tyler Greene.

After court, Greene said he was feeling good about the ruling and is looking forward to rebuilding the resort.

“It means that the Coco Palms train is continuing to move down the tracks and we’ve closed the chapter on this part of the project and we’re ready to get going and work through our permits and start construction,” he said.

The development company has filed their permits, he said, which are in the review process with the county.

“We would hope to start (construction), within the next six to nine months,” he said.

Valenciano asked Attorney Laurel Loo, who was representing Coco Palms Hui LLC, if they had been approached regarding this matter.

“No one has and I’m not surprised your honor. I think they probably assumed from our last hearing that the entire case is dismissed. We just wanted to clean up our outstanding counterclaim,” she said.

Valenciano, who stated the court hadn’t received written opposition on the matter, ruled in favor of the summary judgment that was filed in court on June 6.

“As far as we’re concerned, there’s nothing existing (regarding Coco Palms Hui LLC), in any courts on Kauai,” Loo told The Garden Island newspaper.

The ruling is the completion of court dealings on the matter, she said.

Absent from the day’s proceedings, which lasted just over one minute, were Noa Mau-Espirito and Kamu “Charles” Hepa, who have been battling the development of the property in the courts since late last year.

They claimed ownership of the land through ancestral rights and planned to turn it into a cultural and religious center for the Kanaka Maoli.

In an interview with TGI, Mau-Espirito said his camp isn’t done filing appeals.

He also said they weren’t informed of the day’s proceedings.

“I had no idea there was a hearing today. The last thing I heard from them was their request in summary judgment so I answered their finding with my own answer I was waiting to hear back from them. I didn’t know I had court,” Mau-Espirito said.

He did agree there currently wasn’t anything filed in Kauai courts regarding this case, but he did say they’ve filed appeals with the State of Hawaii Intermediate Court of Appeals on Oahu.

Greene said their goal is to bring back the old Coco Palms.

In its heyday, the hotel beckoned both locals and the Hollywood elite before it was damaged during Hurricane Iniki in 1992 and had stood in disrepair until Greene and business partner Chad Waters obtained a special warranty deed for the property from Prudential real estate for reconstruction.

Once completed, the $175 million project is slated to boast 350 rooms, 12,000 square feet of retail space, three leisure areas and a four-acre cultural center.

“It’s always been the focus of the project is just to honor the past and celebrate the future and although we’ve had this speed bump with these court hearings we’ve had to go through this last year and a half, that vision has not changed at all and our hope is to bring back Coco Palms for the island of Kauai.”

Greene said what aloha means to him is when you make decisions you think about all of those around you and how it impacts them.

“I think it’s about caring and sharing and growing together and helping and I think that to me is what Coco Palms represents. It’ll provide a ton of new jobs into Kauai and it will not only provide jobs, but when you look at the history, it’s launched many, many careers here for many families on the island, even throughout the entire state,” Greene said.

Greene said Coco Palms Hui LLC, will continue to work with everybody surrounded by the project, including Mau-Espirito and Hepa.

“We’ve sat with them before and we’re always open to be willing to sit and talk with anyone about Coco Palms and the project,” he said.


Bethany Freudenthal, courts, crime and county reporter, can be reached at 652-7891,

  1. Joseph M. George July 6, 2018 3:45 am Reply

    I simply don’t understand the economic rationale behind the redevelopment of Coco Palms. Prior to its destruction, it sat on the non-oceanside of a much quieter street. Now, Coco Palms will be located along an island highway with major traffic particularly at that location. What tourists want to comes to Hawaii to cross a highway to go to a small beach that sits right on the highway? Kauai from the 1950s – 1980s is not the Kauai of today. That is now a failed location for a hotel. It should redeveloped into something else with probably lower cost housing being the most likely highest and best use.

  2. manawai July 6, 2018 7:42 am Reply

    Prevailing in court is the ultimate validation of right. Your friends lost, Bethany.

    1. Ruthann July 6, 2018 1:29 pm Reply

      It is too bad that Noa and Hepa did not show up in court and defend the Iwi or other rights that they had to Coco Palms. The “Fake State” is not “Fake” in an American Court of Law.

      1. Mahi007 July 10, 2018 11:15 pm Reply

        Too bad the opposing party wasn’t given notice of the Hearing to take place. I find the name Coco Palms, LLC how ironic not wanting to protect this native land then to use Coco Palms so Shame on ’em.

    2. Mahi007 July 10, 2018 11:18 pm Reply

      “Prevailing in Court” manawai by not giving the Opposing side a Notice to Appear in Court is CORRUPT like Hawaii is! The fight’s not over with Appeals so smoke that in your friend’s Coco Palms, LLC pipe!

  3. Ruthann July 6, 2018 8:05 am Reply

    I am sorry, but in Lieu of What Trial?

    1. Ruthann July 6, 2018 1:38 pm Reply

      The only Coco Palms Permit is a failed Flood Permit that has been on file for years. I doubt that no matter how hopeful, Chad and Tyler are in for a “no building permit” loss of smile.

  4. manongindashadow July 6, 2018 12:14 pm Reply

    So, what I’m hearing you say, ” is that locals have first shot to be hired or work.” What will the wages be? $20 and up per hour, maybe!

  5. Ruthann July 6, 2018 1:32 pm Reply

    Chad, and others have made false statements about me for controlling Noa and Hepa. The reverse is true. I had NO CONTROL over Noa, Hepa, nor anyone else. I am NOT a Puppet Master.

  6. Ruthann July 6, 2018 8:45 pm Reply

    I filed my complaint against the Federal Judge in my Federal Complaint against Tyler Green, Chad Waters, and Ron Agor under 28 U.S.C. ss351. My Judical Complaint no. 04-18-90090 has been forwarded to the appropriate Judge for action

  7. Sara Li July 7, 2018 8:31 am Reply

    Honestly, this is an example of pure corruption and greed. Tyler Greene is acting as if rebuilding cocopalms will save Kauai. It won’t do any of that. Instead it’s just going to get really disgusting and even more filthy and over crowded. Right across the way there’s an entrance to the visitor’s bureau and people are always pulling in there to either turn around or enter that cul de sac. There have been so many accidents on Kuhio Highway and I am really scared as to what’s going to happen with the traffic buildup. It’s a question of safety, and building all those vacation rentals in such an already overburdened and overcrowded island will cause a lot more accidents and congestion. It’s excruciatingly slow enough as it is already and the traffic buildup will only result in more frustration, congestion, pollution and accidents. God help us all. If the county actually approves this development I’m out of here. I suggest for everyone else to run as fast as they can cause it’s not gonna be pretty. Sorry Kauai for the third world ghetto antics of real estate developers and corrupt county officials. Kauai is officially run like a third world country. There is absolutely NO class in what’s going on over here. Let’s not forget those endangered species

  8. Lana Ululani July 8, 2018 10:03 am Reply

    Chad Waters and Tyler Greene have a warranty deed upon the foreclosed property. They already won with the kānāwai a long time ago. Hawaiians did not leave legal heirs and did not pay their bills. We need to do better. Sadly people like Ruthann Claudill who does not even live in Hawai’i nor licensed to practice law in Hawai’i have mislead these two young Hawaiian men. Now monetary judgments are attached to their names. I hope that Chad Waters and Tyler Greens have some mercy on Charles Hepa and Noa Mau-Espirito. Their heart is in the right place but they were lead to believe they have a rightful claim to this particular real property. Aloha.

  9. George Ho July 8, 2018 3:36 pm Reply

    wah, wah, wa-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the TERMS OF SERVICE. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. If your comments are inappropriate, you may be banned from posting. To report comments that you believe do not follow our guidelines, send us an email.