Wednesday, August 20 2014 5:43 AM EDT2014-08-20 09:43:48 GMT
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By: Rick Blangiardi
The Kaneohe Ranch company and the Harold K. L. Castle foundation
have been venerable landowners and wonderful neighbors who have maintained the
quaint, small-town feel of Kailua.
When it was revealed they would be putting about 650 acres
of its land up for sale, the town held its collective breath to see who would
be stepping forward.
We can all stop holding our breath.
Alexander and Baldwin, a Kamaaina developer and good
steward of our land, has stepped forward to make a $373 million deal with Kaneohe
ranch. That ensures that a special community will continue to benefit from
moderate growth and redevelopment.
While 585 acres is already zoned preservation and
agriculture and cannot be touched, the 36 acres in Kailua town will be watched
carefully. The good news is that A&B's development policy is similar to Kaneohe
ranch and the community will have substantial input into what happens next.
Work on a target store is back underway after numerous
delays and whole foods is already a big hit. Other retail development is
expected but knowing A&B, it will be done in a manner that is consistent
with the community's character.
A&B's Stan Kuriyama and Chris Benjamin are as fine a
pair of proprietors as there are and follow in the fine footsteps of Mitch D'olier
of Kaneohe Ranch. We can be grateful that we are keeping an important piece of
paradise under local control.