Sep 26, 2019
By Janis L. Magin – Real Estate Editor, Pacific Business News
The Queen Liliuokalani Trust has sold the fee for the ground beneath the Hilton Waikiki Beach hotel for $78 million — its second sale of a Waikiki property this year — as part of the trust’s repositioning of assets to support programs for Native Hawaiian children.
The sale of the 1.27-acre parcel at 2500 Kuhio Ave. to an entity called HWB Hawaii LLC closed on Aug. 27, according to public records. Stanford Hotels Group, which is based in San Francisco, has owned the leasehold hotel since 1999.
The identity of HWB Hawaii’s investors was not disclosed in its filing with the Hawaii Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, which listed attorney Barry Sullivan of Sullivan Meheula Lee as its manager. Sullivan told Pacific Business News in an email that he was “not at liberty to discuss its membership structure.”
The transaction follows the trust’s recent sale of the land beneath the Alohilani Resort Waikiki Beach for $195 million to Safehold Inc., a real estate investment trust affiliated with iStar Financial.
The sales are part of a strategy set by the trustees in 2015 to reposition assets to support the 110-year-old trust’s expansion of its programs for Native Hawaiian children in poverty. Programs for trust beneficiaries include sports, creative media and other youth development programs; case management; counseling; therapeutic services for grief, loss and trauma support; financial literacy; and aina education programs in North Kona on Hawaii Island to restore native plants and landscapes.
The sale of the two Waikiki properties “will help diversify Liliuokalani Trust’s assets and revenue sources while also increasing liquidity,” a spokeswoman for the trust told PBN in an email.
The trust owns a third Waikiki hotel property, more than four acres beneath the Waikiki Beach Marriott Resort & Spa, which is “not for sale at this time,” the spokeswoman said.
The Waikiki lands are a fraction of some 6,200 acres of land the trust owns throughout the Islands, including the 3,400-acre ahupuaa of Keahuolu in North Kona.
The trust has also added to its holdings in recent years. Last year it paid $8.5 million for a four-story mixed-use apartment building on Queen Emma Street, just outside of Downtown Honolulu, that used to count a company owned by Duane “Dog” Chapman of “Dog the Bounty Hunter” fame as a commercial tenant. And in late 2015, the trust paid $5.5 million for 2.25 acres in the Leihano mixed-use development in Kapolei, where it plans to build a children’s center.