Proposed airport hotel in Maui awaiting word on moratorium

Nov 26 – KAHULUI – A recently released draft environmental review of a proposed $ 54 million, 200-room hotel adjacent to Kahului Airport for business travelers anticipates little negative impact, but comes in the midst of a heated debate on Maui about over-tourism.

The proposed Kanaha hotel would be built by RD Olson Development on 5.2 acres of vacant land in Maui Business Park II, according to a draft environmental impact statement released Tuesday by the Planning and Sustainability Office of the State, triggering a 45-day public comment. period. The Newport Beach, Calif., Developer also built the Courtyard by Marriott Kahului, which opened in 2012 on the street where the new project would be located, if approved.

The Wailuku-Kahului area is the civic, commercial, healthcare, and transportation hub of the island, but aside from the Marriott property and the much older Maui Beach Hotel and Maui Seaside Hotel at Kahului Harbor, there are has limited options for non-leisure travelers outside of the resort areas of West and South Maui.

The EIA project for the Kanaha Hotel, formerly known as Windward Hotel, recognizes community concerns about the effects of tourism on local lifestyles, traffic, and natural and cultural resources, and stresses that the property is designed primarily for business travelers and only “a small percentage of guests are expected to be leisure travelers.

According to the document, the project conforms to the desired uses for the airport district and would bring significant economic benefits. By providing accommodations to support business and commercial activities in the central region, the report said, the hotel would help Maui’s long-standing goal of diversifying the island’s economy while reducing the demand for rentals from unlicensed vacation.

And the hotel could reduce the number of cars on Maui’s roads between Kahului Airport and resort areas, as business travelers could stay in the central area, closer to where they are making their trips. business, according to the EIS project.

The proposed Kanaha hotel would also provide convenient accommodation for airline crews, military personnel, youth sports teams and kamaaina visiting their families, the report notes.

The Kahului Hotel and other pending projects in Maui could face a major hurdle if Maui County stops construction and expansion of a new hotel. Mayor Michael Victorino has vetoed a moratorium on building permits for visitor accommodation in South and West Maui that was approved by County Council in July. Earlier this month, however, the Council’s Planning and Sustainable Land Use Committee approved a new proposed island-wide moratorium on new transient accommodation units for two years or more. until Council can adopt the recommendations of a Tourism Management Inquiry Committee, whichever comes first.

The measure has yet to be fully approved by the Council.

The EIS project describes the Kanaha hotel as being in the mid-price range of $ 251 to $ 500 per night. The property is said to have 80 extended-stay rooms, each with a kitchenette but no oven, and 120 standard rooms spread across one, two, and four-story buildings. Features include a lobby, lounge, dining room serving breakfast in the morning and pupu during the day and evening, sundries store, meeting rooms, business center, laundry facilities , a fitness center, a swimming pool with spa and a barbecue area.

“Features and amenities are limited as the hotel is designed to accommodate the business traveler and not the leisure traveler,” the report states.

If the project continues, construction would start in 2023 with the objective of opening in 2025.

The proposed hotel would have no significant effect on the environment and a negligible contribution to greenhouse gas emissions in the state, according to a climate change assessment prepared for the draft EIA.

The construction and operation of the hotel will incorporate “green” construction methods and energy efficient design, including solar photovoltaic panels; a light-colored roofing membrane that reflects solar energy and heat; tinted glass to minimize the penetration of ultraviolet and infrared light; low flow plumbing fixtures and fittings; high efficiency cooling systems; and charging stations for electric vehicles.

Given that the hotel would be built on land that was once part of a 19th century sugar cane plantation, the draft EIA indicates that the project is not likely to have significant effects on human resources. cultural resources or practices.

Among the approvals required for the continuation of the project are an amendment to the Wailuku-Kahului community plan and a zoning change from the county from light industry to hotel, as well as a special permit to use the management area. Additionally, the developer is proposing to change the community plan’s definition of “hotel” to allow kitchens in individual units.

PROPOSED HOTEL KANAHA Public comments on the draft environmental impact study for the proposed Kanaha Hotel in Kahului are expected on January 7th. e-mail to scott.a.derrickson @; regular mail 235 S. Beretania St., Suite 406, Honolulu, HI 96804 — RD Olson: 520 Newport Center Drive, Suite 600, Newport Beach, CA 92660; Anthony Wrzosek, 949-271-1100, anthony.wrzosek @ — Chris Hart and Partners Inc .: 220 Main St., Suite 527, Wailuku, HI 96793; Brett Davis, 808-242-1955, bdavis @ Read the EIS project at.

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