HONOLULU (KHON2) — What was once a vibrant resort filled with Hollywood’s brightest stars is now an empty building waiting for a new future.
“It’s widely known that the property has been in disrepair and hasn’t been able to become a hotel with its intent back when Mrs. Guslander had Coco Palms years ago since hurricane Iniki,” said Mason Chock, vice chair of the Kauai County Council.
Coco Palms is going up for auction on Monday, July 26, but it will likely come with a hefty price tag — its value tops $12.5 million dollars.
“The building will have to be taken down and the concrete is rusted,” said Felicia Cowden, a Kauai County Councilmember. “It’s no longer sound, so it will have to be taken down so whoever buys it would have to rebuild it.”
There were recent signs of hope for the landmark with plans to bring the hotel back to its glory days. A deal fell through with developers, however, leading to foreclosure and now the auction. The 12.5-acre property is permitted as a resort, but some would like to see it shifted away from a tourist attraction.
“If we think about where it’s located right now and with climate change and the impact on the shoreline that we’ve seen recently in the news, these are issues that we need to think about and really put into perspective of what it can and should be,” Chock said.
“We continually return back to like a place of healing for our culture and community like a place of food production, restoration of the ancient loko i’a which is present on that property,” said Fern Holland, member of the working group I Ola Wailuanui.
Whatever the future holds for Coco Palms, officials hope the county and state have a part in the process.
“We’ll see what happens. I know that the auction is forthcoming and it’s gone through its foreclosure process and so it’s now time to mobilize the community and see what can transpire. I’m optimistic,” said Chock.
The auction will go live on July 26. The property will be sold “as is” to the highest bidder.