Sunday, October 12, 2014

Musings: Follow Ups

Though there's still no “official” confirmation, due to a strict non-disclosure agreement, both Pacific Business News and Forbes are reporting that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg did indeed buy both the Kahuaina and Pilaa parcels for some $112 million.

The Kahuaina Plantation, sold by Falko Partners, is a 360-acre parcel on Kooolau Road that stretches along the coastline above Waipake and Lepeuli beaches. It reportedly sold for $66 million. It's unclear just how much land Zuckerberg may have bought at Pilaa, which lies just to the north of Waipake.

The Star-Advertiser initially reported that Jimmy Pfluegger, trying to beat a state foreclosure action, sold 380 acres to Koa Kea International LLC, which in turn was to convey a portion of it to Pilaa International LLC and West Beach Kauai LLC. Pacific Business News, meanwhile, has all 380 acres going to Pilaa International — Zuckerberg's holding company — for $50 to $56 million, with Koa Kea acquiring additional land at Pilaa from Pfluegger. And Forbes reported that Koa Kea — owned by Colorado gas and oil executive Gary Stewart — bought 10.8 percent interest for $6.04 million.

But then, Forbes also reported Zuckerberg is offering $1 million each to “two dozen families who own 'kuleanas' on tiny plots of landlocked land. Kuleanas are basic, even ramshackle huts, many without electricity, which have been passed down through families over generations. They are generally used as rustic weekend or vacation spots.”

Now don't be thinking 24 Kauai families are suddenly millionaires. Some of those kuleana parcels were included in the original parcel.

Though Zuckerberg is not the first billionaire to buy land on Kauai, he may be the first who doesn't want to develop it. Though the Kahuaina parcel was fully entitled with an 80-lot agricultural subdivision, the new owner withdrew it and may build just one house, or perhaps nothing at all.

When he relinquished the entitlements, the beach access required as a condition of the subdivision was also lost. As I previously reported, the county blew the access because Councilmen Gary Hooser and Tim Bynum repeatedly delayed its acceptance. They were trying to squeeze more out of Falko Properties when it had already offered a very desirable access that was endorsed by kanaka fishermen and suitable for the wilderness beach. When Falko sold and the new owner nixed the subdivision, the public was left with nothing.

Though I've seen a lot of spin in my day, Andy Parx proved he is totally spun with his blogged version of events:

Previously after a "full court press" by the administration and the county attorney's office, the council was poised to approve that access for months but rather deferred action over and over due to objections from the public, especially from Kanaka Maoli (native Hawaiians).

Councilmembers Tim Bynum and Gary Hooser were instrumental in delaying the action until the property was eventually sold, despite having been told there was nothing they could do to stop it by Deputy County Attorney Maunakea Trask.

Odd. At the Council's Sept. 10 meeting, Rayne Regush of the Sierra Club, Kauai Chapter, blamed the failure to secure the access on Falko, claiming they had requested numerous delays as a "stall tactic." 

As I noted, the truth lies with neither Rayne nor Andy. Why can't people just be honest, instead of trying to put lipstick on what is so obviously a pig?

Speaking of which, it seems our former first deputy Prosecutor Jake Delaplane is up to his old tricks. As I previously reported, after he crashed and burned with Shaylene Iseri, he applied for a job at KPD, which he thankfully didn't get, and went to work for the Honolulu Prosecutor's Career Criminal Unit. Ahem....

As KHON reports, Jake was the deputy prosecutor who botched the case against nine Oahu residents who were arrested following police raids of “game rooms” across the island. He allegedly presented false, perjured information to a grand jury, requiring him to later drop hundreds of gambling and money laundry charges against the defendants and seek a new indictment.

Attorneys for the defendants will be in court on Tuesday, asking the judge to find “prosecutorial misconduct.”

Defense attorney Myles Breiner wants federal authorities to step in. As KHON reported:

“Frankly, this case should be referred to the U.S. Attorney’s office and the Department of Justice for investigation of systematic prosecutorial misconduct. We don’t believe there is a single agency in this city, or in this state, that is qualified to investigate the investigator, to investigate the prosecution.”

Gee, if only they would've read this blog before they hired Jake. We tried to warn them….


Anonymous said...

The Kuleanas were not sold. Forbes is wrong

Anonymous said...

Anyone know where the Stewart's 10.8% share is located ?

Anonymous said...

The Kirkwood property (Falko) had several kuleanas which were part of the property. I predict, ultimately most, if not all the (Pfluegger) Kuleanas will sell to Zuckerberg.
The Falko Access as KE stated early on should have been taken, warts and all. Typical, Hooser and Bynum, try to squeeze as much juice as they can.
Thank you Tim and Gary for stopping another access.

Zuckerberg will have the highest trained military type security that money can buy. They may be wearing shorts, but these security guys mean business.
Zuckerberg is poised to be the richest man in the world.
Now maybe, some clinger on types will follow Zuckerberg and property values will rise.
Miss Joan, I can't for the life of me, understand why you quote Andy Parx. You give this cranky, old nasty sponge credibility and fame. He has no credibility and his fame is relegated to knowing the ins and outs of every welfare benefit he can git. The people of Kauai are paying for this lazy whiners food, housing and transportation. Can ya spare a dime?

Anonymous said...

Perhaps Shay could represent Jake?

Anonymous said...

Jajajaja Jake: Karma's a Shayme Bitch!

Anonymous said...

Following my spiel is lifted from the Kauai County code. It allows up to 5 in the ag districts and up to 5 in the open district. It would depend on the size of the ag and open district. This density would apply ot the Tobacco guys grove farm piece as well as Kealia mauka. I think Kauai has sent a strong message to wealthy people that gentrification of ag lands is frowned upon. Large estates are outright allowed. If I was as wealthy as Zuckerberg I don't think that I would like ag subdivisions next to me of 3 acres in size. I think he made a good investment in the land where 10 houses would be allowed on the Pilaa parcel of 36 acres a piece. No neighbors close by. If he combines the two parcels neighbors are further away still. The bigger the parcel the more land you can surround your own version of South Fork. The CPR process is only useful if you need to borrow money to build or improve otherwise a partnership agreement is all you need. So outlawing CPR will only bring you more wealthy owners just like outlawing gentrification will only bring you more wealthy land owners. By the way there is promise in grass fed beef especially if you could use a write off.

Ag district

(2) One (1) additional dwelling unit for each additional three (3) acres in the same parcel, provided that no more than five (5) dwelling units may be developed on any one (1) parcel.

Open district
Residential Densities.

(2) No more than one (1) single family detached farm dwelling unit per five (5) acres of land shall be permitted when the parcel is located within an area designated as “Agricultural” by the State Land Use Commission, and provided that no more than five (5) dwelling units may be developed on any one (1) parcel.

Anonymous said...

we always loose when access is blocked...Kauapea, Kahili beach, Haena, Papa'a, Aliomanu...regardless of blame or who has the money or works for government, we SUCK at keeping beach trails open. we are to blame

Anonymous said...

the beach access required as a condition of the subdivision was also lost.
Using the term "they" referring to "other than kauai families"
some may be hoodwinked, others fall in line when the tradeoffs occur. They never intended to honor access... lame... "either or" excuse was always the ploy to keep people off their private beaches. They never intend to allow other than a consolation emergency access in case one of their friends is drowning.

Joan Conrow said...

I'm calling bullshit on that one. It would've been a legal dedicated access had it been accepted. But it wasn't, the subdivision was withdrawn, there's no longer an access required and that's where we are.

Anonymous said...

Some kuleana have been handed down multiple generations and now have so many undivided interests that getting everyone to agree to sell can be a very difficult task. One way to approach it is to buy out one small partial interest and then open a partition suit which would cause the parcel to go to public auction. The only danger is that some enterprising person might want to bid against Zuckerberg at the auction.

Anonymous said...

Joan. Thanks for the update on Jake. He really was crooked. Weird. Because it was unnecessary.

Anonymous said...

I saw the meeting Andy wrote about and the deputy county attorney that he refers to is actually Ian Jung, not Mauna Kea. Ian is from Kauai and always has our best interests in mind. Ian's dad was also an excellent attorney and a good friend of mine. Andy parx couldn't get a story right if his life depended on it.

Mauibrad said...

Fun reading this story and the informative comments.

I guess the Zuck boy might be aiming to create "the perfect getaway" for when the $hit hits the fan elsewhere, and it will. I think he'll find it's not the perfect retreat he might think it is.

Pflueger sure found a nice dollar way out. Wonder, would that land have bad spirits on it?

Anonymous said...

"Zuck boy" might want to know how many people died on that land recently?

I don't expect any of the Realtors told him?

Anonymous said...

So did Zuckerman's aids donate money to the sierra Club to have them block public access rights so he could have the private retreat to himself rather than public access to the beach there? Read Andy and thought the guy obviously never walked the proposed grassy pathway that was before council, the path proposed had no rocks until you get to the rocky coast there.
Such a huge public beach access loss by our so called environmentalists. It seems a bit coincidental or contrary.