Update: Makena Resort

What’s happening with nearly 1800 acres formerly owned by the Morgan Stanley, Dowling and Goodfellow partnership?  New owners took charge of the former Maui Prince Hotel and Makena Golf course at the end of August 2010.  ATC Makena purchased the property for approximately $190 million, a fraction of the $575 million paid for the same property in 2007.

ATC Makena is a joint venture whose partners include Oahu-based developer Stanford Carr; Trinity Investments, headed by California based hotel developer Charles Sweeney; and as controlling partner, the New York investment group AREA Property Partners (formerly Apollo Real Estate Advisors) who specialize in distressed properties.

The new owners recently announced that they will be asking for amendments and/or deletion of 17 of the project’s 44 rezoning conditions (in place at the time they purchased the property).

Makena’s former owners planned a low density, high priced LEED community while the new owners are looking to develop a much higher density project with lower sustainability requirements.  

Many in the community feel those 44 conditions of zoning were never stringent enough for an area as rich in cultural and natural resources as Makena.  If the County Council removes or modifies Makena’s conditions of zoning will they leave themselves open to similar requests from other projects?