Pacific Business News and The Garden Island Newspaper report that Developer Jeff Stone has launched permitting for a new low-density hotel to be constructed on the ridge above Hanalei Bay – a site that has been in play and the subject of intense community controversy for decades. Stone has an option to repurchase the 65-acre site from current owner, eBay founder Pierre Omidyar, for the same $75 million Omidyar originally paid Stone. After Omidyar’s proposed 200-unit hotel and luxury home development plan realized intense opposition from the Hanalei community years ago, Stone requested an option to repurchase the property if he could design a project that is more sensitive to community concerns and work with the county to plan a more appropriate, lower-density project. The plan for this new project, called Princeville Lodge, is intended to meet those goals.
“We felt that a small, upscale, environmentally sensitive hotel project could be designed for this site, satisfying virtually all the major issues raised by the community about previous developments here,” Stone said.
“It ensures permanent public access, creates a low-visibility design in size, architecture and color, and it uses a smaller footprint than any previous built or planned resort on this site,” he added.
“Projects in Hawaii do take on lives of their own, and all development involves risk. But things cannot improve if you just throw up your hands and quit,” Stone said. “Our view is that this project, with this design, marks a real line in the sand — smaller, lower, more appropriate to the land and culture, respectful of community rights of access. We have accepted the risk in this case, for something we really believe responds to the community’s stated desires.”
“The Princeville Lodge draws upon several architectural inspirations for this classic Hawaiian hale design,” Stone said. “The lead architect of record is Francis Oda with G70. Mr. Oda is well known for the Lodge at Koele on Lanai and other classic Hawaiian resorts.”
The project is anticipated to generate 150 new full-time jobs and about 1,000 construction and/or equivalent jobs, based on the estimated $100 million in construction costs.
“We will follow the county’s direction on permits and process related to construction timing,” Stone said. “Once the project starts, it should take approximately 18 months to complete.”
At this time, Stone said, the brand or operator of the hotel has not yet been selected.
“This is an opportunity to create a Kona Village-type property, returning to an authentic era of Kauai hospitality,” he said. “We will select a brand operator after the project has been finalized and permitted.”
Because no brand or operator has been chosen at this time, no room rate range has yet been specified.
“I would expect it would complement the existing St. Regis Resort,” Stone said.
For more information, please read the full articles from Pacific Business News and The Garden Island Newspaper covering this story: