Spokane Journal of Business

Metropolitan plans Hawaiian project

Spokane company expects work on Oahu beachfront subdivision to begin soon

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Spokane-based Metropolitan Mortgage & Securities Co., which has a long history of involvement in Hawaiian property development, is pursuing a new multimillion-dollar project on the island of Oahu.

The company, through its Summit Property Development subsidiary, plans to develop a 29-lot beachfront subdivision at Sunset Beach on the islands picturesque north shore.

Its a beautiful site on the ocean dramatic views, beautiful sunsets, says Tom Masters, vice president and manager of Summit.

He says the project is just emerging from a lengthy regulatory-review process, with a ground-blessing ceremony scheduled to take place this week, symbolically clearing the way for work to proceed.

Masters says a Hawaiian contractor hired by Summit probably will begin installing the subdivisions infrastructure, such as utilities, curbs, and sidewalks, within the next couple of months, and a real-estate brokerage there hired by Summit will begin taking reservations for lots in the development.

Lot prices probably will start at around $200,000 to $250,000, which is considered moderate by Hawaiian real estate standards, he says. On the upper end, though, he says, Well have a million-dollar lot. Home prices, including the cost of the lots, probably will begin at around $400,000, Masters says.

Metropolitan bought the 19-acre development site last June for $7.5 million. The long, slender parcel stretches along a gently curving section of beach just north of the Kamehameha Highway. Plans call for the subdivision to include 17 waterfront lots and 12 secondary lots. The subdivision will be gated, but Hawaiian beachesincluding those with homes along themare required to be kept open to the public, so public access will be provided, Masters says.

He says the new-housing market is strong enough on Oahu that he expects all of the lots in the subdivision to be sold within a year or so.

Metropolitan first began acquiring property in Hawaii, on the island of Kauai, in the 1950s. It developed the Lawaii Beach Resort, a 110-unit time-share development, on that islands south shore near Poipu, and two other condominium projects, the 72-unit Prince Kuhio Apartments and the 75-unit Kuhio Shore, near the resort, at a combined cost running well into the tens of millions of dollars. It was forced to make extensive repairs there after Hurricane Iniki caused heavy damage to the resort in September 1992.

Erik Skaggs, Metropolitans vice president of production and market development, says, Theres a lot of personal connection and business connection between Metropolitan and Hawaii. Company founder C. Paul Sandifur Sr. was fond of the island state, he says, and a special memorial service was held there for Sandifur and his wife, Evelyn, after they died in a 1995 car crash.

Separately, Masters says property sales and developer interest have picked up sharply at Broadmoor Park, the 400-acre, multifaceted project that Metropolitan began developing a number of years ago on the west side of Pasco, Wash.

In addition to a mix of retail, office, and other business uses, the project eventually is expected to include nearly 400 single-family residences, 30 acres of townhouses, and 36 acres of apartments. Masters says Summit Property Development has reached agreements recently with a variety of developers, and virtually all of the land targeted for residential development there now is committed.

Summit also has reached a tentative agreement to sell about 15 acres of land for a 15-acre senior housing community at Broadmoor Park and has a letter of intent from an undisclosed big box user that plans to develop a store near a 7-year-old factory outlet mall there, he says.

Kim Crompton
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