Lehman Brothers looking to sell Ka‘u property


The properties range in elevation from sea level to 2,500 feet. Totaling 5,880 acres in Ka‘u, the land includes coffee farms and ranches.

And they’re all for sale.

Lehman Brothers acquired the properties earlier this year through a foreclosure auction, and recently began looking for a new owner.

The land is separated into three locations — Waikapuna, Honuapo and Moaula.

The previous owner, WWK Hawaii Holdings, had planned to use the parcels to build high-end homes on large lots.

Lehman Brothers had agreed to loan it $105 million for the project, but that plan got shelved in 2008 when the lender went through bankruptcy, according to Pacific Business News. WWK Hawaii Holdings had borrowed $43 million by the time the bankruptcy occurred.

Lehman Brothers acquired the land for $12.25 million at a foreclosure auction in June.

Joel LaPinta, vice president of Kennedy Wilson, the brokerage company hired by Lehman Brothers, said the lender is not looking to hold onto the properties and wants to sell them all together rather than individually.

They were listed for sale about three weeks ago, he said, and can be viewed at kaucoffeeandranchlands.com, though there is no asking price.

“They requested to go to market without a disclosed price,” LaPinta said.

“We’re going to be on the market for a few months to see who’s out there, who’s interested.”

The properties are assessed at about $13.59 million.

In total, there are 76 lots for sale. Almost all of the parcels are zoned for agriculture.

There are also a couple of small residential lots and an acre of industrial land.

LaPinta said he has received inquiries from interested parties but wouldn’t say how many.

“I’ve set up a meeting with one person in Honolulu this week to go out and tour the properties,” he said.

LaPinta said the most interest in the properties will likely come from those who want to sell the parcels individually.

“I think the opportunity here is somebody can buy these lands in bulk and offer individual parcels over time,” he said.

“We’ve moved away from the era of large-tract land owners.”

The coffee farms on some of the properties “create a lot of value,” he said, but there’s still potential for some of the vacant land to be developed for residential use.

Email Tom Callis at tcallis@hawaiitribune-herald.com.