Wealthy new owners fuel Kahala Avenue revival

Wealthy new owners fuel Kahala Avenue revival

HONOLULU (AP) - Honolulu's Kahala Avenue is getting a face lift after an eccentric Japanese billionaire bought $180 million worth of property there and then let the houses deteriorate.

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reports that 20 of the 30 properties that Genshiro Kawamoto relinquished to a real estate investment firm in 2013 have been sold.

Kawamoto, now an 83-year-old who spends most of his time in Japan, left the avenue lined with remnants of foundation slabs, rubble-filled swimming pools, broken walls and abandoned tennis courts.

But wealthy new owners purchased the lots for more than $100 million each and pumping money into construction and landscaping, fueling a renaissance on the prestigious street.

They include a professional poker player, South Korea's wealthiest person, a car-racing money manager from Michigan and an Australian billionaire.

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