China Oceanwide Holdings Ltd., Possible Major Impact to Ko Olina; State

Kapolei News

by John Bond

China Oceanwide Holdings Ltd., Likely HART Rail P3 Financier

China Oceanwide Holdings Ltd.,

China Oceanwide Holdings would like an ostentatious elevated rail going to their Ko Olina properties, like Dubai has. Low ridership but good for sales and marketing.

Chinese company buying up Hawaii properties – Offices just above HART

China Oceanwide Holdings Group was founded in 1985 by Mr. Lu Zhiqiang, the founder, legal representative, Communist Party secretary, and chairman of the group, as well as a member of the standing committee of the 12th Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, vice president of the China Non-governmental Chamber of Commerce, deputy chairman of the Oceanwide Foundation, deputy chairman of the China Foundation for Guangcai Program, and deputy chairman of the China Minsheng Banking,

China Oceanwide recently purchased two oceanfront lots at the 642-acre Ko Olina Resort for nearly $200 million and plans to build two towers, a hotel and condominium tower, on those lots. The project is expected to top $1 billion.

Details revealed for first U.S. Atlantis resort at Hawaii’s Ko Olina Resort

Will Hawaii Atlantis Hotel at Ko Olina sink?

Seeing renderings of the proposed Hawaii Atlantis Hotel at Ko Olina is a Rorschach test of one’s sensibilities. Does the envisioned gleaming resort evoke marvel and excitement, or is its ostentatiousness hopelessly out of touch with Hawaii? 

(Yet StarAd doesn’t think massive elevated concrete rail stations with expensive art not ostentatious and hopelessly out of touch with Hawaii?). Many open questions swirl around the $1.5 billion resort broached by overseas developer China Oceanwide Holdings Ltd., which surely sees marvel in its 1,400-room project featuring an aquarium and water park.

In January, Hawaii’s Commission on Water Resource Management granted Oceanwide a water use and well construction permit to get 720,000 gallons of salt water daily from three proposed wells for its aquarium and “aquaventure” amenities.

The city now is reviewing the company’s application for a building permit for a retaining wall and shoreline path improvements. Given Ko Olina’s past controversies over public access to the shoreline, any work will need to be watched carefully.

While flashy by Hawaii standards, this project doesn’t look as over-the-top as Atlantis’ other resorts as in, say, Dubai. Still, the open questions extend beyond its scale and “sense of place” appropriateness; they also involve the ability to deliver the grand vision as promised, a pitfall encountered by other projects here. Remember that environmental snafus and escalating costs forced the former Ewa Marina project to ditch its marquee marina; and that financing difficulties forced Honey Bee USA to quit its plans for the Ala Wall Small Boat Harbor, leaving a construction yard in its wake.

Adding to the nervousness: in January, a financing problem with Oceanwide’s new condominium/hotel complex in Los Angeles forced construction to abruptly halt. Whether or not Hawaii Atlantis ultimately rises from the sea, expect newsworthy waves each time it tries.