Alexander & Baldwin to buy Kailua land for $373M

Alexander & Baldwin to buy Kailua land from Kaneohe Ranch, Castle for $373 million

Associated Press

HONOLULU (AP) -- Major Hawaii landowner Alexander & Baldwin Inc. said Wednesday it will buy hundreds of millions of dollars of commercial property in Kailua on Oahu's windward side.

The $373 million deal, which also includes land in urban Honolulu and other parts of windward Oahu, is expected to close late next month, the company said in a news release.

The properties account for most of Kailua's retail district and include grocery and drug stores, strip malls, and light industrial areas, along with 585 acres of mostly preservation-zoned land and more than 50 acres leased to other entities for commercial development.

The properties are currently owned by the Harold K. L. Castle Foundation and Kaneohe Ranch, a company that manages real estate owned by the foundation and the Castle family.

Alexander & Baldwin plans to sell several commercial properties on the mainland to help pay for the properties.

CEO Stanley Kuriyama said the deal is a rare opportunity. He said it reflects the company's confidence in, and its commitment to, Hawaii's future.

"With this purchase, we will be acquiring one of the state's largest and finest retail portfolios, in an excellent market," he said in a statement.

Earlier this year, A&B bought dozens of residential properties in Kahala from Japanese billionaire Genshiro Kawamoto.

Alexander & Baldwin said the deal was part of the company's strategy to shift its portfolio of properties to Hawaii from the mainland.

President Christopher Benjamin said 80 percent of the company's commercial portfolio net operating income will come from Hawaii after the deal, up from 42 percent at the beginning of the year.

Benjamin said the company believes it's better able to leverage its local market knowledge in Hawaii.

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