State selects new tenant for historic Nutridge estate

The Future of Nutridge Estate
Published: Nov. 19, 2016 at 9:22 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The state is looking to reinvent an historic estate atop Tantalus that's been vacant for five months.

Last week, the Board of Land and Natural Resources selected Go Holoholo, Inc. dba Millwood Ohana Productions as the new owner.

This, after a failed private/public partnership with the previous tenant, Discovering Hidden Hawaii Tours (DHHT).

For nearly a year and a half, DHHT called the 22 acre property home while hosting its Big Kahuna Luau.

But after several warnings to correct violations, the state decided to revoke its permit in June.

"It was an interesting idea trying to host a luau in a forested environment at Nutridge, but the use was too big and the impacts to the grounds were too heavy," said Curt Cottrell, Division of State Parks administrator. "The impacts to surrounding neighbors due to sound of drums and what not, at night, just got to be too much of a nuisance."

In addition, the state found that DHHT illegally converted an historic shed into a bar. There were unauthorized stones and concrete installed after crowds turned the lawn into a muddy mess There were unauthorized sinks and illegal discharge of grey water, plus, disputes over parking.

"Our previous tenant overused the property and the mix wasn't right," Cottrell said.

Now the state is hoping to try again. This time with a new tenant and under new conditions.

"The events we'll have will be on a much smaller scale," said David Millwood of Millwood Ohana Productions. "Something where they can just appreciate the beauty of the land and what Nutridge stands for."

Millwood ensures his events will be more community friendly and less commercial-oriented at affordable costs.

"Any vendor, wedding planner, any destination management company, locals, and the families, anyone that wants to utilize the property just needs to contact us and they have access to it," Millwood said.

Under the new terms, Millwood must provide a live-in caretaker on-site for security and maintenance purposes. It must provide controlled public access to experience the historic and forested park ambiance and provide reasonable income for the State and operating partner.

"Rather than produce their own event like our previous tenant, they're just going to host everyone that wants to come," said Cottrell.

The company will pay a monthly base rent of $4,000.

50% of its gross revenue will go towards the state's special fund to help cover the management and maintenance of other statewide parks.

Millwood hopes to be open for business in January.

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