KAPOLEI, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The newly opened UH West Oahu campus is facing future financial shortfalls, and Hawaii News Now has learned that university officials are selling a large portion of land at the campus to the Catholic Church to help make ends meet.
Real estate experts say the deal, which includes part of the 500 acres that UH owns on the makai side of the H-1 Freeway, will be beneficial to both parties.
"I think it's a smart move, to subdivide or take some of the land out and sell it because it recoups some capital they spent for infrastructure and allows for grading and other development of other sites," said Mike Hamasu, Research Director at Colliers International.
The university has already sold a six-acre parcel of the West Oahu campus to Tokai University in a six million dollar exchange.
Enrollment at the West Oahu campus is expected to grow by more than 70 percent over the next four years, and the sale will help pay for additional faculty, maintenance, and campus expansion expenses.
New projects like the massive Ho'opili subdivision and Castle & Cooke's Koa Ridge Project are expected to add more than 20,000 homes over the next twenty to thirty years, and the Catholic Church says it is facing similar growth. Its churches in Kapolei, Ewa and Makakilo are expected to double in size by 2035.
There is currently no timetable for the sale, and officials from UH and the Catholic Church declined to discuss further details, citing the ongoing negotiation.