Real estate developer Herbert K. Horita dies at 80 - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Real estate developer Herbert K. Horita dies at 80

Herbert K. Horita. Courtesy Horita Realty Herbert K. Horita. Courtesy Horita Realty
Ko Olina Ko Olina
Keith Horita Keith Horita
Josh Horita Josh Horita
Herbert K. Horita's prospering family Herbert K. Horita's prospering family

By Ben Gutierrez - bio | email

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Herbert K. Horita, who built more than 13,000 homes and condominiums on Oahu and Maui, died Monday of natural causes. He was 80 years old, and was surrounded by family when he passed away.

Horita is credited with developing several neighborhoods, including Newton Estates, Royal Summit, Royal Kunia, Village Park and the Ko Olina Resort. He sold his first home in 1957, and  established Herbert K. Horita Realty in 1959. For more than 50 years, Horita also mentored real estate professionals in Hawaii.

"We'd walk up the hill from Moanalua Road to the top of Newtown -- what is now Newtown, Royal Summit, Newton Estate" son Keith Horita said, recalling growing up with his father. "And he was describing what was going to happen there. Same thing with Ko Olina Resort."

Keith Horita noted that Ko Olina drew opposition from many Leeward Oahu residents when it was planned, but Herbert Horita envisioned it as a place that would provide jobs in West Oahu. "As we were coming up with the concept for Ko Olina, and how he talked about the jobs that would provided for the people of the west side of Oahu, I think you can interview any of the community leaders out there, and they will attest to his heart in terms of how he wanted to help out the community."

Brother Josh Horita remembers his dad not just as someone who built homes, but also as someone who built families. "Every time I went somewhere with my dad, there was someone that said, 'I bought my first house from you.' And so in that sense, he created a family, he created a home, a family unit," Josh Horita said.

When Horita was inducted into the Building Industry Association Hall of Fame in 2007, he was credited by the BIA with the foresight to develop master planned communities that integrated residential, commercial, recreational and industrial projects.

"I always tell people if you drive down any one way street, like King Street or Beretania, normal people will see green, red and yellow lights. Herb Horita saw green lights all the way," Keith Horita said.

"I appreciate a lot more than I can drive from the east of the island and to the west of the island, and I can see Herbert Horita all throughout," said Josh Horita.

Horita is survived by seven children and 13 grandchildren. The family said memorial services will be held at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in New town, 98-530 Kaahele Street in Aiea, on Tuesday, Jan. 4. Viewing is scheduled from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., with services at 5 p.m.

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