Developers: Coco Palms project back on track

  • Photo courtesy Urban Pacific Communications

    Tyler Greene

LIHUE — Developer Tyler Greene said Wednesday that with legal disputes behind them, the project to rebuild the Coco Palms Resort is moving forward with an estimated completion date of late next year.

“The question is, ‘what’s going on,’ and when media and certain things get picked up, oftentimes our message doesn’t get conveyed the way that we anticipated it getting conveyed,” he told the planning committee.

There are, however, still some issues to work through.

The Coco Palms development is now under contested case proceedings with the county. Deputy Planning Director Ka‘aina Hull said the department determined the project’s developers were in violation of permitting conditions.

According to documents, the majority of the violations appear to be due to time constraints with permits.

Coco Palms Hui LLC is scheduled to appear before the Planning Commission on the permit violations on Sept. 25.

Greene said the issues with a group of Native Hawaiian activists who began occupying a piece of the property in February 2017 and claimed ownership through ancestral rights led to delays.

Though they attempted to work with the occupiers to resolve the issue, they ended up in a lengthy legal battle over the land.

“We tried to sit with them and work through and understand their goals and their agenda and what they were hoping to accomplish, but we saw early on it would be best to let the court process run itself through” Greene said.

In that situation, Greene said they wanted to avoid conflict.

“My heart goes out and I sympathize deeply with those folks because they’re upset,” he said. “They’re looking for certain things and not sure where to go to find those certain things.”

So they filed a district court case and a circuit court case for a writ of possession to get them off of the property, and were successful. But the circuit court case dealing with quiet title took longer.

“When they filed that in circuit court that meant we were stuck and that meant that they jammed us up,” Greene said.

When their title was questioned during the quiet title proceedings, they knew it was going to be a long process.

“Nonetheless, we stayed the course in the spirit of Coco Palms,” Greene said. “The spirit of Coco Palms has been and will always be to unite people and we knew when we were in that court, we had to do everything we could to try and stay true to that vision and true to that spirit and so we did everything we could do to not make it contentious,” he said.

Greene said the appeal for the circuit court case was dropped Aug. 22.

“That meant that now the runway is clear and by getting that court case and that appeal dropped, that meant we could go back to our title company and ask them to provide title insurance,” he said.

With title insurance in hand, they are able to move forward with their project, Greene said.

He said Coco Palms Hui LLC received an email Sept. 10 from their title insurance company stating they would provide them with title insurance.

The partners that came on with them in the beginning of the project are still backing Coco Palms Hui LLC, Greene said.

“In the last three weeks we’ve made tremendous strides and actually currently are very excited and very enthusiastic because again, now the runway’s clear,” he said.

Barring anymore unforeseen issues, Greene said they are on track to open the hotel by the end of next year.

Once complete, the $145 million project is slated to boast 350 guest rooms, 12,000 square feet of retail space, three leisure areas and a four-acre cultural center.

Here is a look at money spent to date by the Coco Palms developers:

• $110,000, Oct. 15, 2017, aid in historic preservation mission of Wailua/Waipouli area including creation of educational programs and signage; aid in efforts including moku and ahupuaa signage of the Wailua area; for construction of a new bus stop along Kuhio Highway;

• $93,750, June 30, provide an in lieu payment for the cost of a dedicated turn lane on Haleilio Road;

• $499,202 paid in property taxes;

w $244,000 for permits and fees;

• Total contribution to county since closing May 2016: $946,952;

• $4 milion spent in demo and cleanup of buildings;

• $139,950 for a dust fence;

• About $100,000 in general cleanup.


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

  1. Larry September 20, 2018 4:52 am Reply

    Please stop this before it gets started. Traffic is going to be worse than it already is. Please dont issue any permits. Just demo and clean up what’s there and let nature take it back. Dont let money further ruin the island. It’s not too late.

    1. RG DeSoto September 20, 2018 1:38 pm Reply

      Put your money up, purchase the property, start paying the taxes….then see how you like your “back to nature” suggestion. Very easy to trash other people’s property rights and demand that they pay the price for your pipe dream.
      RG DeSoto

      1. Larry September 21, 2018 4:15 am Reply

        RG Desoto
        If I had the money u bet I would. I hear a lot of people not like more traffic…..who does. There pleanty places to stay on this island and when our of room people just have to wait. Until more roads built not right to invite more congestion especially from developers who dont live here.

  2. Uncleaina September 20, 2018 6:03 am Reply

    Eh. Whatever but can you please tear down the lava rock wall that blocks the sight lines as you’re turning southbound onto Kuhio Highway? That wall slows traffic in the morning tremendously.

  3. Ruthann Caudill September 20, 2018 6:36 am Reply

    There is an IRS Lien in Conveyance against Tyler.
    I called the newsdesk yesterday.

  4. Greg September 20, 2018 7:20 am Reply

    That’s a great positive update update, hope the planners realize it’s a 2 way street and realize that the delays were. It the owners fault regarding title. Current owners have made more progress than the other developers todate. At least now demo and clean up been done. Let’s hope the permits get issued in a timely fashion.
    And the owners are still moving forward on rest of the needed funding.
    Would love to seee my 87 year old mom being able to spend her 89 or 90th there. With Larry singing

  5. Ruthann Caudill September 20, 2018 9:34 am Reply

    Tyler Greene has had an IRS Tax Lien in Conveyances since April 2017.
    I still have an Appeal in Federal Court.

    1. Just Saying September 20, 2018 2:18 pm Reply

      There are plenty of things to clean up in Virginia where you are so just start minding your own business!

  6. Bluedream September 20, 2018 3:11 pm Reply

    That photo of him certainly isn’t helping. Dude looks like an arch villain in one of those stupid superhero movies that’s all Hollywood puts out these days.

  7. MisterM September 20, 2018 6:13 pm Reply

    What a load of BS. Not a snowball’s chance in Hades they could possibly open next year. Maybe, just maybe, if the stars align, they might eek out late 2020 opening.

    These two developers make used car salesmen look like upright citizens by comparison. Pity anyone doing business with those two…

  8. Paul Perry September 20, 2018 6:44 pm Reply

    I’ll be nice to have another 350 cars or 400 cars in the neighborhood what do you propose about that, The beach is gone across the street

  9. barbara guiliano September 21, 2018 7:14 am Reply

    Soooo many cars already…………

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