Castle family may sell prime Kailua land

By Justin Fujioka
Published On: May 17 2013 10:52:49 PM HST

Half of downtown Kailua could soon be up for sale which includes 38-acres of land that includes many of the town's businesses.

KAILUA, Hawaii -

Robyn Doo-Rehkemper has lived in Kailua all her life and has seen it change through the years.

Especially the town's downtown core, owned by the Harold K.L. Castle family for more than a century.

"A lot of people had to move because of the rents were so high and they weren't really concerned about the well-being of the community, and now I think they are," she said.

Kaneohe Ranch, which manages the Castle family's real estate holdings, said it has invested millions of dollars in improvements in its 38-acre Kailua retail area over the past 10 years.

Its president and CEO, Mitch D'Olier said Kaneohe Ranch recently commissioned an updated valuation of this land and is now exploring its options. In a statement, he said, "These options may include selling some or all of the owners' real estate holdings in Hawaii and elsewhere, or retaining ownership of some or all of this real estate."

Kailua Neighborhood Board chairman Chuck Prentiss said, "I think that they may have brought in some of these businesses to try to increase the value of the property. That would seem to be in their own interest."

"The complaints that we get the neighborhood board really, from the community are about the change in the mix of businesses that we've had and the businesses seem to be changing from some that support the local community to ones that more support visitors."

Prentiss said if Kaneohe Ranch sells, the land's new owner has to be ready for the same kind of complaints.

"Things would change, definitely change and I don't know if for the better, but you know, I'm hoping it'll be for the better," Doo-Rehkemper said.

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