Ilikai owners and employees protest new developer - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Ilikai owners and employees protest new developer

Steve Landau Steve Landau
Blaine Nishigaya Blaine Nishigaya

By Zahid Arab - bio | email

WAIKIKI (KHNL) - Waikiki's Ilikai Hotel shot to fame after featuring scenes from the 1960's show "Hawaii Five-O."

But now, residents and owners say it's one struggle after another to maintain its once majestic appeal.

The iconic luxury hotel thrived in its prime, but now workers and residents say mis-management and inadequate information about new development has them worried of what the future has in store.

At the ilikai, almost a million dollars in bills are unpaid, a medical clinic has closed and so have most of the hotel's stores. on top of all that, condo owners say they're being left in the dark about new developments, and they're fed up.

"We're here to save the Ilikai."

For workers and condo owners it's all too familiar setting.

"Promises were made and never kept," said Protest Organizer Blaine Nishigaya.

This time, about 50 are standing strong in protest against eRealty Company, which bought the Yacht Harbor Tower at the Ilikai complex two years ago. Condo owners say the developer has requested a general liquor license that would allow them to serve from 6am to 4am the following morning.

"They could be drinking in the lobby, they could be drinking anywhere on the property line, they're not telling us what they're going to do," said Nishigaya.

Steve Landau lives right above the new development.

"This is our warzone," said Condo Owner Steve Landau.

He's owned his condo for nearly nine years and says enough is enough.

"Every six months it's like it can't get any worse and then it gets worse," said Landau.

Like many families, it's not like the Landau's are against their new neighbors having a liquor license, they just want it to have limitations on its hours to preserve peace and the luxury building's lifestyle.

"We have people that have lived here for 30-35 years, who come every year and it's been destroyed," said Landau.

"Tell us the truth. We put our faith in you and we expect you to be honest," said Nishigaya.

In response, the company says:

"It is important for us to be good neighbors as we proceed with renovation work... Our ultimate goal is to return a revitalized, first-class hotel property..."

Pickets to people's concern about their quality of living, it's a stance these demonstrators hope paves a road to revitalizing their home.

eRealty says it will present detailed development information to residents and owners by December 15th, once plans are finalized.

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