HALEIWA—At the North Shore Chamber of Commerce’s (NSCC) regular bimonthly meeting on Wednesday, October 27, developer Andy Anderson gave attendees a presentation on his plan for a “boutique” hotel that would be an exact replica of the original Haleiwa Hotel built in 1898. The proposed development has become a subject of controversy among North Shore residents. Some community members oppose Anderson’s plan because they believe a hotel in Haleiwa will only increase traffic, while others disagree with the decision of the City and County of Honolulu selling land—intended for a regional park—to a private developer.
However, many local residents and business owners who attended the NSCC meeting support Anderson’s proposal, and according to NSCC executive director Antya Miller, the NSCC supports Anderson and the hotel.
“Our board voted in favor of the concept. The chamber is supporting the hotel,” said Miller in September. The board of directors is made up of local business owners who are also members of the chamber. Miller and other supporters of the hotel say that because an estimated 51 percent of all visitors who come to Oahu visit the North Shore, accommodations are necessary. Proponents of the project also note that with only 80 rooms in the hotel, traffic will not be increased significantly and the the jobs created by the hotel will help residents.
At the beginning of the “closed” meeting, Anderson said he wanted a chance to “walk” attendees through the concept—something he thought was needed after the last attempt at a public presentation was shut down abruptly. In September, a planned presentation by Anderson at the monthly North Shore Neighborhood Board meeting was called to an end when Peter Cole of Save Haleiwa Beach Park Coalition stood to speak, even though the board had already called on another person to address the crowd. Miller said that it isn’t normal protocol to end a meeting when a person speaks out of line, but that the situation had gotten out of hand so a sudden adjournment was fitting.
This time, in his pitch to proponents, Anderson explained that he recently purchased the piece of property where Jameson’s restaurant stands today in Haleiwa, mauka of Kamehameha Highway. He noted that in trying to find a way to get the 80-room hotel to fit on the approximately 24,000 square foot lot, he “gave the architect free range with the design, considering three stories or underground parking.” Anderson said that being unable to fit the hotel on the “pie shaped property” is what led him to consider purchasing the bordering property owned by the City.
Anderson said the parcel he hopes to buy, lot 38, was originally owned by a federal savings and loan company, not by Kamehemeha Schools as Peter Cole, the leader of Save Haleiwa Beach Park Coalition and Anderson’s main opponents, says.
Anderson said that he didn’t intend to purchase the entire 3.2 acres of surrounding City land, that he only needed parcel 38. According to the City and County tax records, parcel 38 measures approximately 1.59 acres. He said the City told him, “You take all or nothing.” So, he agreed to purchase it all.
In discussing the size of the hotel, Anderson said: “80 rooms is arbitrary, 40 rooms [which the original hotel had] just won’t pencil out. No one’s going to build a 40 room hotel this complex.” Anderson said he is expecting to charge $215 to $230 per night and offer a kamaaina rate.
Anderson estimated that 110 jobs will be available at the hotel from “gardner to manager.”
The developer said that his team will replicate the hotel as much as they can while working with today’s building codes, explaining that something such as a narrow hallway may need to be widened for legal reasons. “We will replicate the interior woodwork, moldings, and archways,” Anderson said.
According to Anderson, he will have to spend:
* $900,000 for the hotel’s sewer treatment plant that will be concerted to R2 to be used for irrigation
* $700,000 for underground wiring at $1,300 per lineal foot
* Approximately $18 million in total construction costs
Anderson said he doesn’t know what the purchase price for the property will be and will not know until the appraisal is completed.
During the presentation, Anderson cited a City regional master plan where the City planned a “full fledged 18-hole golf course” for the property that Anderson hopes to buy to construct his hotel. He also showed a print out of the plan. The regional master plan Anderson presented showed plans for an 18-hole golf course and boat slips on the river, while the Haleiwa Beach Park labeled as ‘resort.’
Anderson then went on to explain his plans for the approximately two acres he doesn’t intend to use for the hotel, saying he plans to turn the property into a community-owned park.
“The property would go to an entity to be created, a community non-profit that doesn’t yet exist,” Anderson explained. “It could be used for luaus, weddings, an open market.” He added that the property would be fully given and deeded over to the community entity, and compared it to an already existing community park on Oahu that serves the same purpose. Anderson noted the City mandated that he build 30 public parking stalls, a cross walk, and a walkway that would cost him $800,000.
At the end of the presentation, State Sen. Laura Figueira asked: “In your best case scenario, when will it get built?”
Anderson replied that the project is expected to be completed in three-and-a-half to four years, with approximately 18 months necessary for permits and another 18 months for construction. The developer said he will be seeking investors before beginning construction.
An attendee asked if Anderson could guarantee that he wouldn’t sell the hotel to a large hotel chain such as Disney or Marriot.
“It’s not my intention to sell it,” Anderson said.
Miller said considering the high numbers of visitors to the North Shore, she personally sees a small hotel as necsesary. She noted that approximately 450 illegal vacations rentals currently serve North Shore visitors, causing rent to spike—making affordable rentals harder to find for locals. “We hope this will work out,” Miller said.
According to the chamber’s website, the original Haleiwa hotel was built in 1898 and was Hawaii’s “finest hotel at the time.” The hotel became popular with the “city affluent” who weekended in Haleiwa. At the turn of the century, a round-trip, two-day excursion by train from Honolulu to Haleiwa, around Kaena Point cost $10 including an overnight stay at the hotel. The hotel was located where Haleiwa Joe’s sits today.