New manager for Kapalua project

With new management in place and soon-to-be new ownership, the financially troubled Residences at Kapalua Bay appears poised to turn the corner.

Colorado-based Timbers Resorts has taken over management of the ultra-luxury condominium and time-share project from the Ritz-Carlton Management Co.

Ritz-Carlton in October had for a second time extended its deadline to pull out as management company, pushing the cutoff date to Dec. 31 and hinting at the time that it was considering keeping the project under its brand.

Timbers Resorts took over Tuesday and will manage all hospitality operations for the 146-unit property.

“Timbers Resorts is honored to represent and manage the repositioning of The Residences at Kapalua Bay,” David Burden, founder and chief executive officer of Timbers Resorts, said in a statement. “Our vision is to bring Timbers Resorts’ high level of service and hospitality to the property while providing unparalleled amenities and an overall wonderful experience for the owners. Additionally, we will provide a private boutique resort destination for the returning visitors to Kapalua and Maui.”

The company describes itself as a developer and operator of boutique properties, resorts, hotels and residence clubs in Arizona, California, Colorado, Ireland, Italy, Mexico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

“We are extremely pleased that we are able to retain a management company with the reputation and service level of Timbers Resorts,” John Chaney, president of the Kapalua Bay Vacation Owners Association, said in a statement. “We hope to duplicate the success here that they have achieved at so many of their other resorts around the world.”

Robert Parsons, president of the Association of Apartment Owners of Kapalua Bay Condominium, added: “We feel that it has the ability to become an even more important hospitality contributor to Hawaii and are excited to work with Timbers Resorts as our partner in reaching these goals and taking this resort to even higher levels of service and luxury.”

(Chaney represents owners in the time-share portion of the property, while Parsons represents owners in the residences portion of the project.)

The property was touted as “destined to become Maui’s most cherished luxury homes” when it opened in mid-2009 on the site of the former Kapalua Bay Hotel.

Project developer Kapalua Bay LLC – a joint venture among affiliates of Maui Land & Pineapple Co., Exclusive Resorts and Marriott International – owes more than $304 million in principal and interest on the property.

The residences portion of the project is made up of 84 wholly owned condominiums that were initially priced between $3.9 million and $9.8 million. The project’s 62 time-share units each have 12 fractional-ownership interests, and individual interests were initially priced between $350,000 and $850,000.

Lenders for the project – led by German bank Landesbank Baden-Wurttemberg – foreclosed on the property in June in 1st Circuit Court.

Last month, 65 of the residential condominiums and 567 fractional-ownership interests in the property’s 62 time-share units headed to the auction block, where the highest bid came through at $55 million. A judge still needs to confirm the sale.

The units and time-share interests being auctioned off are those that the developer has been unable to sell.

The auction also included leasehold interest in The Shops at Kapalua, a spa and other amenities.

A confirmation hearing is set for Jan. 17 in Honolulu, at which time the sale could be reopened if another bid comes in at 105 percent of the current bid, or $57.75 million.

The $55 million bid was made by an entity called Island Acquisitions Kapalua LLC – one of just two registered bidders for the auction.

Island Acquisitions Kapalua LLC was not listed as of Sunday in the state’s Business Registration Division online database. It was incorporated late last year in Delaware, according to online records.

* Nanea Kalani can be reached at