The Castle family has owned land in Kailua for more than a hundred years, and is one of Hawaii’s top land owners.
But the Castle family is now looking into the possibility of selling its commercial real estate properties
Much of downtown Kailua — including Kailua Town Center — is owned by the Castle family and is managed by Kaneohe Ranch.
It’s an area where many people come to shop for clothes, fruits, vegetables and other groceries, home furnishings, go out to eat, get their morning brew or juice fix, go to the farmers market, or even bowl.
“Kaneohe Ranch personnel has done a fabulous job over the past 10-15 years to redevelop Kailua town and make it a very interesting and exciting experience. And they took a sleepy little town and made it vibrant,” Real Estate Analyst Stephany Sofos said.
The commercial properties were developed leasehold 50 years ago. And many of the leases have either expired or will expire within the next few years.
Kaneohe Ranch President and CEO Mitch D’Olier says: “Kaneohe Ranch is now exploring a variety of strategic alternatives for the owners to consider … including selling some or all of the owners’ real estate holdings in Hawaii and elsewhere, or retaining ownership of some or all of the real estate.”
“I hope for the best on it. I hope that maybe whoever buys it has a bigger heart and is more supportive of small businesses but you just don’t know,” Christian Michelsen of Morning Brew said.
“I’m worried. We definitely as a town enjoy tourism and all the business, but we as a business would also like to have that opportunity,” Corinne Foley of Lanikai Juice said.
“You want to sell it as a parcel because you can get your biggest bang for your buck by selling it as a large parcel with a lot of potential,” Sofos said.
D’Olier said: “No decision has yet been made concerning whether any of these holdings will be sold.”
“I think it will sell. I think what happens is it takes awhile. You’re talking hundreds of millions of dollars and when you’re doing that, it takes a long time to find the right marriage. And it’s going to take them awhile to find someone who fits and comes with the right amount of money because no one is going to sell in this market, which is a white hot market, for pennies. They’re looking for dollars,” Sofos said.
The Castle family also owns properties on the mainland, and is considering selling those as well.