HILO — Mauna Kea Resort plans to carve out a small portion of its acreage for a new housing development.
The resort has asked the county Planning Department to subdivide a 208-acre plot to take out 6.9 acres north of the hotel. The property, located on Mauna Kea Beach Drive 60 feet from the rocky shoreline, would be developed with nine upscale residences.
The revenue from the development would pay for improvements to the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel, Craig Anderson, vice president of operations, said.
Among the likely upgrades are a fitness center and spa, as well as other improvements, he said.
The project has a long way to go. The subdivision itself is handled at the staff level by the Planning Department.
Once that’s completed, if approved, the project will go to the Leeward Planning Commission for approval of a major special management area permit, as part of the state’s coastal zone management law.
The public has the opportunity to comment at that time.
“It’s the beginning of a very long journey,” Anderson said.
The resort has downsized its original plans considerably over the past three years.
“Initially, our intention was to do a major project with as many as 61 units located on both the north and south sides of the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel,” said consultant Carl A. Carlson Jr. in an Oct. 12 letter to Planning Director Michael Yee.
“However, after several meetings over an extended period of time with employees, cultural practitioners, kamaaina and resort residents, the intended project has been scaled back to a total of nine units,” Carlson added.
The Mauna Kea Beach Hotel is not the only one of the company’s resorts slated for renovations. The Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel, which shares 1,839 acres with the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel, is currently undergoing $46 million in renovations and will be renamed the Westin Hapuna Beach Resort in February.
The Mauna Kea Beach Hotel, the first resort on the island built in 1965 by Laurence S. Rockefeller, boasts two championship golf courses as well as luxury residences, townhomes and villas.