The Queen Liliuokalani Trust has taken over management of Kona International Market, officials said Thursday.
Building management is an unusual role for the trust, Vice President for Development LeeAnn Crabbe said.
“Our lessees have different challenges,” she said. “It was an opportunity for us. It gives us a chance to reposition it.”
For now, the trust has instituted no changes for the Luhia Street market’s tenants. Crabbe said trust officials do intend to change the market’s name and are contemplating how they would like to best use the property. Tenants are currently spread out in the market place and may eventually be consolidated to create a better use of the space, she said. Trust officials are having conversations with all of the market’s tenants.
“We’re just getting our feet on the ground,” she said.
Officials, in a press release, noted the acquisition “marks another step the trust has taken in recent years to reinvest in its Kailua-Kona real estate holdings in order to increase value for its beneficiaries. In addition to the Kona International Market, the trust also actively manages several other properties in the Kona Industrial Area as well as the Makalapua Shopping Center and the newly built Kepookalani Interpretive Center.”
The market has about 34,000 square feet of commercial space, a covered performance stage and food court. Trust officials intend to reposition the property as part of a strategic, long-range master planning effort of the trust’s West Hawaii land holdings.
Tom Stevenson, of Wyoming, previously leased the property from the trust, Crabbe said. He continues to lease several other properties within the Kona Old Industrial Area.
The private, charitable trust serves orphaned and destitute Hawaiian children.
Core assets include about 6,400 acres of land, most of which is in Kona. Outreach to beneficiaries is delivered through the Queen Liliuokalani Children’s Center which is supported by revenues and income derived from the trust’s real estate holdings and investments.