Answers to frequently asked questions we’ve received
What is the State of Hawai‘i Employees’ Retirement System (ERS)?
The ERS provides retirement, disability, survivor, and other benefits to more than 120,000 members. Their membership is comprised of retirees, beneficiaries, inactive vested members and active public employees working for the State and Counties of Hawaii. They have various land holdings and investments one of which is the 305-acre Ka‘anapali Golf Courses property on Maui, where they also serve as the developer.
What is the ERS planning for its Ka‘anapali property?
With an eye toward enhancing the property’s value to the retirement fund, the resort area, and the surrounding community, the ERS is proposing a plan to update the golf courses and to utilize select portions of the property for new residential and resort-related developments.
Who is leading this project?
The ERS, the developer of the property, has enlisted the help of Lowe Enterprises and Munekiyo Hiraga to plan and coordinate this Ka‘anapali Golf Courses revitalization plan. Munekiyo Hiraga is an urban planning and project management consulting firm based on Maui. Lowe Enterprises is a diversified national real estate organization with over 25 years of experience on Maui in commercial and residential acquisition, development and management activities.
What is the development plan?
ERS presented their original plan for their Ka‘anapali Golf Courses property in May 2017, which included a mixture of golf course improvements, residential and commercial features. However, based on public feedback and continuous discussions with the community, ERS is reassessing components of their plan to better meet the needs and desires of the West Maui community.
How large of an area will the new development occupy?
Planning concepts for refreshing the golf courses are still evolving, so specific locations and acreages to be considered for upgrades and improvements are currently being studied. However, it is anticipated that a total of approximately 35 acres of the existing golf course properties will be repurposed.
Is this project taking into account infrastructure issues in West Maui?
The ERS is committed to creating redevelopment solutions that provide benefits to the community without exacerbating infrastructure issues that already exist. The ERS feels strongly that collaboration amongst various entities – government, business sector, developers, and the community at-large – is needed in order to address West Maui various current infrastructure challenges and to plan for the future. These efforts must also ensure that projects and programs remain economically viable while producing important benefits for our citizens.
What is the timeline for this project?
The project involves preparation of an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), a multi-year process, as well as the acquisition of various land use entitlements and permits. As mentioned above, plans to reconfigure and update the Ka‘anapali property continue to evolve as we work toward a solution which benefits the retirement system, the resort, and the community alike.
How will you make sure that the public has an opportunity to provide their comments and concerns through the planning process?
We have already reached out for feedback from numerous community groups and individuals, government agencies and businesses in the West Maui region. However, we understand that continuing dialogue with the broadest range of community stakeholders is critical to the success of the project. Since the EIS and land use entitlements processes have just started, we will also seek public comment during these processes as well. We want to be as transparent as possible and community dialogue will continue to be high on our list of priority actions.
How much will this development cost?
We have seen a number of sources touting a large number for the cost of the Ka‘anapali revitalization plan. All of those numbers have been an attempt to place a value on what the completed development would be worth at some time in the future, but do not reflect what the ERS is seeking to invest in the project.
We believe that the revitalization of Ka‘anapali is beneficial for all of the stakeholders involved, including the community as well as the ERS. However, each phase of the plan must also be economically feasible. At this time we have not committed to invest any retirement plan assets beyond undertaking the planning and entitlement process for the Ka‘anapali revitalization project.
How can we learn more about this project?
ERS continues to reach out to residents and stakeholders via community meetings. This informational website is another way to learn more about the project and we'll soon have a Facebook page which will provide continuous updates.