There is an old sentiment or saying that "change is good". In reality, change IS good, as long as it's good change.
Kailua residents will find out soon enough just how good change is when Alexander & Baldwin takes over the real estate holdings of Kaneohe Ranch and the Harold K.L. Castle Foundation in a deal valued at $373-million. One thing for sure, no one pays $373-million and keeps things status quo. Rents will go up, the tenant mix will most assuredly change over time, and the very face of Kailua town will morph in the decades ahead.
Kailua is already mired in a battle to keep Kailua, Kailua, as the bumper stickers say. From efforts to reigning in the illegal bed and breakfast establishments to traffic concerns surrounding a new Target store at the old Don Quijote site to a shutdown of beach commerce, Kailua residents are never shy about letting their opinions be known about just how they want their slice of the island to be treated. A & B says it will include the community in development discussions, as it wants to be a good landowner. That's a good start, as the delicate balance between a suburban, friendly, windward beach environment and a bustling, shopping mecca for locals and tourists alike will require some heavy discourse as building and renovation projects invariably evolve over time.
What some will call progress, others will most assuredly call an abomination, an affront, an assault on the pastoral past of this vibrant community. But one thing is for certain in the investment world- no one these days pays $373-million and simply adds a few poinsettia planters and roundabouts. Think about it…