HAWAII KAI, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Maile's Thai Bistro has been at the Hawaii Kai Towne Center five years and business is sizzling.
"It's been really good. It's been a good 5 years. It's amazing because when you start a new business restaurants are really hard. It's up and down but Maile's cooking is just wonderful," said Jaymie Nishigaya, Maile's Thai Bistro Manager.
So the last thing they want is to change locations which they hope won't happen. Today Kamehameha Schools announced it is selling the Hawaii Kai Towne Center and Windward Mall in Kaneohe, but only the buildings and improvements. It's keeping ownership of the land.
"I'm not surprised. There are a lot of things going on as far as real estate but I don't think it will really affect us," said Nishigaya.
That's true. Kamehameha Schools says the deal won't impact current contracts with tenants, but renegotiations will be up to the new owner.
That owner would also have to sign a ground lease with Kamehameha Schools in the range of 55 to 75 years.
"The successful sale of these improvements would further reduce risk to our endowment through greater diversification," said Paul Quintiliani, KS Senior Director of Commercial Real Estate, in a written statement. "And the sale will have no impact on the leases we have with our current tenants. The thriving business at Windward Mall and Hawai'i Kai Towne Center should continue as usual under a Kamehameha Schools ground lease, similar to the successful ground leases we have with numerous other businesses in both of those communities."
Kamehameha isn't estimating the value of the properties yet, but they plan to get a substantial amount of cash and diversify it in other investments. It's similar to the deal they're seeking with the Royal Hawaiian Center in Waikiki. All three properties hope to be sold by July.
But first there is a Friday morning meeting with current tenants to answer questions.
"Transitioning these two retail centers from fully-owned Kamehameha Schools' properties to ground leases where Kamehameha Schools retains our lands but sells its improvements greatly strengthens our perpetual endowment," said KS Vice President for Endowment Elizabeth Hokada, said in a written statement.
Kamehameha Schools' spokesman says no other properties are on the list to sell. This completes their business strategy for now.