Redevelopment proposed for Makena resort

The 310-room Makena Beach & Golf Resort may be redeveloped into 46 apartment units, part of a new diversified resort community at Makena that will also include a new 76-room hotel, 12 multifamily condominium units, five spa hale and nine beach cottages.

Resort owner ATC Makena Holdings, a consortium involving Honolulu’s Stanford Carr Development, Trinity Investments LLC and New York-based AREA Property Partners, is slated to bring the matter before the Maui Planning Commission on Tuesday in hopes of obtaining a special management area use permit.

The 24-acre project also includes development of a club consisting of a new 16,357-square-foot spa facility, a 7,396-square-foot fitness center, a restaurant, a kids’ club and an outdoor pool and recreational area.

The current six-story, 310-room hotel would be converted into 46 fee-simple, two- to five-bedroom apartments. Owners would have the option of renting out their units as short-term vacation rentals as part of the community’s rental program, according to a docket filed with the planning commission.

Two three-story buildings would be constructed to house a total of 12 condominium units, which would have either three or four bedrooms. The five spa hale, two-bedroom units, would be stationed near the new spa and fitness area. The nine beach cottages, four bedrooms each, would be located adjacent to the Makena South Golf Course.

The new 76-room hotel would be constructed near the main entry to the property off of Makena Alanui Road.

In total, the proposed resort community would have 76 hotel rooms and 73 residential units for a total of 148 units. Currently, the resort has 330 units (310 hotel rooms and 20 suites).

Construction for the project is estimated to cost $230 million, according to the docket, and is expected to start in 2015, a consultant for the project told the Maui Urban Design Review Board in December. Full occupancy is targeted by the end of 2017, with “all going well,” according to minutes from the meeting.

South Maui resident Mike Moran said that he and others were concerned about how the proposed project, like any other development in that area, would impact traffic and water supply.

“In general, we’re constantly concerned with more development and seeing no change in the infrastructure,” said Moran, president of the Kihei Community Association. “Our one highway, Piilani Highway, is pretty much a cul-de-sac, one way in, one way out. Where is the traffic going to go?”

Water management has long been an issue for South Maui, which is not only a popular resort area, but also typically hotter and drier than other parts of the island.

Moran said he needed to do more research about the project before he could comment specifically on it.

Maui Tomorrow Foundation Executive Director Irene Bowie said project consultants have been “very forthcoming with information on the new development” and have listened to the community’s concerns.

She said consultants have attended a number of meetings held by the foundation’s Oneloa Coalition, which advocates preservation of Makena State Park. Bowie added that she and others have had their own meetings with the consultants, and “there’s good dialogue going on.”

“It’s nice to have a dialogue with developers and not feel like they’re just coming in and doing whatever they’re going to do,” Bowie said.

She pointed out that the proposed project actually cuts in half the amount of individual units at the resort, which may alleviate some traffic and water concerns.

Up until it went into foreclosure in 2009, the property was known as the Maui Prince Hotel.

The resort was formerly owned by Maui developer Everett Dowling and Morgan Stanley. The developers paid about $570 million for the property in 2007.

The property went into foreclosure two years later after the owners had reportedly defaulted on a $192.5 million loan. ATC Makena purchased much of the resort in 2010 for approximately $190 million.

The Maui Planning Commission meeting will begin at 9 a.m. Tuesday in the Planning Department Conference Room on the first floor of the Kalana Pakui Building at 250 S. High St. in Wailuku. Comments from members of the public will be accepted.

* Eileen Chao can be reached at