Local Connection: Genshiro Kawamoto to sell his Kahala Propertie - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Local Connection: Genshiro Kawamoto to sell his Kahala Properties

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By: Rick Blangiardi

The bottom line is that after nearly a decade of Kawamoto buying, and trashing, dozens of pricey homes on Kahala Avenue, he has decided to sell off the lots to Alexander and Baldwin for $98 Million.

As a Kahala resident, I couldn't be happier. But as someone who cares about blight in Hawaii and the rights of other homeowners, I'm ecstatic.

Kawamoto came onto the scene in 2003 as a collector of expensive properties under which to unleash his "Creativity" as he called it. By 2011, he had amassed 27 properties in Kahala for $177 million, adorning them with bizarre statues or leaving them in utter disrepair. He rented several of the home to Native Hawaiians for a few hundred dollars a month but altruism was never his motive. He was trying to blunt criticism about the appearance of the properties and the fines that he kept racking up for failing to maintain them.

In March, he was arrested in Japan on allegations of tax evasion and he had been unable to leave the country. Speculations is that he needs the money right now to mount a defense. Whatever the reason, he did well to sell to A&B, a longstanding and venerable kamaaina company with deep roots in Hawaii.

Genshiro Kawamoto held Kahala hostage for far too long. To him, we say goodbye, and good riddance.