New Developments

Kumu Hou – Innovative Development at Waikoloa Beach Resort

Last week Kumu Hou, a major new development proposed at Waikōloa Beach Resort, received approval from the County Council for the required rezoning, as well as for significant terms of the agreement between the developer and the County regarding several components of the project. Here is a summary of what will be built, as well as the commitments by the developer, Waikoloa Land Company, that break new ground in addressing community concerns and needs.

Goats grazing at Waikoloa Beach Resort

Feral goats currently enjoy the landscaping in the area proposed for the Kumu Hou development within Waikoloa Beach Resort.

What is Included in the Kumu Hou Project at Waikoloa Beach Resort

As background, Waikoloa Beach Resort is a planned development on the Kohala Coast. As with Mauna Lani Resort and Mauna Kea Resort, it is anchored by two hotels on the oceanfront and two golf courses. In addition to condominium and single family home communities, uniquely along the coast the master plan for Waikoloa Beach Resorts also includes timeshare. Existing timeshare projects are The Bay Club; Kohala Suites; and Kings Land – all part of Hilton Grand Vacations.

Kumu Hou location In Resort

The Kumu Hou project outlined in yellow will mainly take over part of what is currently the Waikoloa Kings Golf Course

New development as approved by the Hawaii County Council last week, all to be established within the footprint of the existing Waikoloa Beach Resort site, consists of:

  • 900 additional time share units (Area B above)
  • 264 multi-family residential units and up to 25 single-family residential lots (Area A above), including at least 140 units for affordable workforce housing (area shown in purple cross-hatching above, adjacent to Queens Marketplace).

Although within this development plan will be the elimination of 9 holes of the existing golf course (leaving 27 holes of golf in the Resort), open space will be more than offset by the addition of over 3 acres of new parks and trails, including improved beach access.

Innovative Structure to Balance Resort Development with Community Needs and Land Stewardship

The Kumu Hou proposal also includes innovative features that could set a new precedent for a more responsible model of tourism in which the developer will be contributing directly to the quality of life for nearby local communities as well as for the quality of life for resort employees.

Tables at Lavalava Beach Club at Anaehoʻomalu Bay

Workforce housing will be located near Anaehoʻomalu Bay, seen from beachside tables at Lava Lava Beach Club restaurant

The creation of affordable workforce housing within the resort itself is a huge first, as many resort employees currently commute hours each way from more affordable communities on the island. The County is requiring this be built before sales begin on the timeshare portion of the project. The new parks and trails will be open to the public, thus creating a new amenity for resort workers as well as residents outside of the resort.

Moku o Keawe Hula Festival solo dancer

Waikoloa Beach Resort is home throughout the year to cultural events such as the Moku o Keawe Hula Festival.

Perhaps the most innovative ongoing commitment will be the donation of a portion of the sale of each timeshare unit to create an endowment for the Waikoloa Foundation, philanthropic sister to the Waikoloa Land Company. This will raise an estimated $40-50 million endowment. The goal of the Foundation is to contribute to education, environmental stewardship, and the perpetuation of culture in the Waikoloa area. To ensure compliance, the County is requiring an annual report from the Foundation, made public for full transparency.

Construction is anticipated to begin in 2025, with the first timeshare unit sales in 2027.

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