Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Kauai property sold for $28 Million

The main house on the 174-acre parcel formerly owned by Hollywood’s Peter Guber has six bedrooms, eight bathrooms, and unobstructed views of Papa‘a Bay on the North Shore. The parcel sold earlier this month for $28 million to a limited-liability corporation. The new owners have not been publicly identified. Papa‘a Bay Ranch LLC/Contributed photo
By Paul Curtis - The Garden Island
Published: Sunday, November 29, 2009 3:10 AM HST
LIHU‘E — The “Tara” sign is gone. A 174-acre parcel fronting Papa‘a Bay on the North Shore, formerly owned by Mandalay Properties Hawai‘i LLC (whose principal is Hollywood movie executive Peter Guber), sold earlier this month for $28 million, according to a real estate agent representing the new owner.

The new owner is also a limited-liability corporation, not a developer, from the United States, said Hannah Sirois of Kaua‘i Heritage Properties LLC. The principals of the new owner’s company have not yet been publicly identified, but they are a man and a woman, Sirois said Friday.

The combined parcels, with frontage from Kuhio Highway between Anahola and Kilauea down to the high-water mark at Papa‘a Bay, contain a 13,154-square foot, six-bedroom, eight-bathroom mansion near the water’s edge, two guest houses, a caretaker’s quarters, stables, swimming pool, tennis court and other amenities.

The “Tara” sign along Kuhio Highway had been a familiar landmark of the property, dubbed “Tara Plantation” (his wife’s first name) by Guber. The sign has been taken down, Sirois said.

It made history as being the most expensive for-sale parcel on Kaua‘i when it was first listed for $46.5 million four years ago. The asking price at the time of the sale was $39.5 million, Sirois said.

Guber bought the property in 1998 for around $7.5 million.

The property made headlines as the center of a beach-access lawsuit between Guber and Kaua‘i County, with the two sides disputing whether an access road on Guber’s property leading to the beach was public or private. Courts ruled it private in the suit first brought when the late Mayor Bryan Baptiste was in office.

For Sirois and the new owners, the sale culminated a multi-year search for the perfect Hawai‘i getaway, involving properties on O‘ahu, Maui, the Big Island and Kaua‘i, said Sirois.

“The buyer was on a statewide search for the premier real estate in Hawai‘i, affirming that the property had to be at a world-class level, and found that no other property, despite abundant listings on the market, compared to Papa‘a Bay Ranch,” she said.

The buyer thought a downward-spiraling economy might make for a good time to secure what Sirois called “priceless real estate,” and purchased the property “for the serenity of the site.”

The new owners intend to keep the existing local caretakers and expand the property’s sustainability through alternative-energy installations, and movements into organic farming, said Sirois.

“They are soulful, caring people,” she said of the new owners.

“(The) buyer is not a developer and intends to maintain the pristine nature of the site. The desire is to improve the ranch sustainability by increasing farming, alternate-energy sources, and relying more on native plants,” she said.

“Guber did a masterful job maintaining” and improving the property, and added substantial “assets” including the main house, guest homes, stables, tennis court and other “extraordinary improvements,” she said.

To date this year, no property has been sold in Hawai‘i for this kind of money, she said.

“It’s the strongest sale in the state right now, and rightfully so,” said Sirois, unwilling to reveal how much she made on the sale.

“Ironically, I represented the seller of Papa‘a Bay Ranch at the time that Mr. Guber purchased the property in early 1998. After Mr. Guber’s purchase, and over a three-year period, he significantly improved the property by adding four homes, a tennis court, workshop and pool,” Sirois said.

Guber is chairman and chief executive officer of Mandalay Entertainment Group. Malia Powers, Barbara Sloan and John Ferry of Coldwell Banker Bali Hai Realty represented the seller.

The architect of the main home and two guest homes is Alwyn Trigg Smith of Honolulu, and the interior designer is Waldo Fernandez of Beverly Hills, said Sirois.

With the sale of the Papa‘a Bay parcels, the largest asking price of a for-sale residential parcel on Kaua‘i is $23.5 million for two adjacent parcels being marketed together on Weke Road on Hanalei Bay. People have been making offers on these parcels, said a real-estate professional familiar with the properties.