Genshiro Kawamoto's newly announced property plans spark concern

Genshiro Kawamoto
Genshiro Kawamoto
Kawamoto at one of his Kahala properties
Kawamoto at one of his Kahala properties

By Mari-Ela David - bio | email

KAHALA (HawaiiNewsNow) - Genshiro Kawamoto says he plans to build an art museum and it's sparked some concern.  Representative Barbara Marumoto is even calling for a community meeting.  At issue is whether a museum is allowed in a neighborhood.

The reported billionaire bought two more properties for 39-million dollars.  They're next to his house on Kahala Avenue, where he was last seen in August, directing crews to renovate it.

His latest purchases are at 4663 and 4653 Kahala Avenue.  Realtor, Choi International, confirms the recent sales.  Kawamoto says he'll use the two properties, plus the two next to them to build a personal museum of European antiques.

He says he won't need a permit because it's not going to be a business.

"With respect to the museum, the only people who would be allowed access inside the museum would be people that I select and permit access to but, in terms of the gardens that I also envision for the estate, I'm thinking of making those gardens available to a lot of people.

Kawamoto says he plans to open the museum by the end of February.  If there are any delays, he says he wants to limit them to a month.

Kawamoto says he's also going to build a personal Japanese garden museum where his visitors can enjoy a traditional tea ceremony.  Completion date?  He says end of next year.  That, too, will be invitation-only.

Copyright 2010 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.