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Kamehameha Schools has new plans for Keauhou Bay

Kaʻiliʻilinehe Beach on the north side of Keauhou Bay.
Kuʻuwehi Hiraishi
Kaʻiliʻilinehe Beach on the north side of Keauhou Bay.

Hawaiʻi Island’s Keauhou Bay is going to look a bit different as Kamehameha Schools draws up plans for its lands there.

The bay has cultural significance as the birthplace of Kauikeaouli, King Kamehameha III. Consequently, a major component of Kamehameha Schools’ new long-range management plan for the area is to move commercial areas further away from cultural sites.

KS owns 29 acres in the area and has proposed a range of improvements. These include reestablishing Old Kona Road, improving parking and public access, maintaining and establishing place-based cultural educational areas, and constructing a boutique resort.

KS is currently working on a draft Environmental Impact Statement. That’s needed to pursue a special management area permit from Hawaiʻi County — likely next year.

Marissa Harman, director of asset management for Kamehameha Schools, told Pacific Business News that while KS is a big landowner in the area, it’s not the only landowner.

There are a number of conflicting uses in the area. But she says KS is in a position to reorient the area toward cultural preservation.

Real estate holdings like these are also how Kamehameha Schools funds its schools.

So the plan also aims to boost underperforming properties and add new investments, such as the small resort of 43 bungalows proposed for the plateau overlooking the bay.

At this early stage of planning, KS says its best guess as to the cost of this redevelopment is in the “tens of millions.”

For more information, visit KSBE.edu/KeauhouBay.

A. Kam Napier is the editor-in-chief of Pacific Business News.
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