Thousands of ranchland acres for sale: Waikoloa Ranch and Parker Ranch seek buyers for large and small parcels

  • Parker Land Trust posts a sign along Pukalani Road in January 2017 for a 20.897-acre parcel near the center of Waimea. They are currently awaiting final approvals from the County Planning Committee. (LANDRY FULLER/SPECIAL TO WEST HAWAII TODAY)

  • Forty four Holo Holo Ku homes sit in the middle of two land parcels Parker Ranch has in a pocket listing. (COURTESY PHOTO/HHK)

  • The sign advertising the 2,153 acres for sale sits just above Waikoloa Village. (LANDRY FULLER/SPECIAL TO WEST HAWAII TODAY)

NORTH HAWAII — Residents rushing home from work may not notice signage that went up in Waikoloa Village several months ago on the north side of Waikoloa Road, just mauka of Paniolo Avenue. It states in bold letters that 2,153 acres of Waikoloa Ranch land are for sale.

The price tag — not listed on the sign — is $10 million.

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“It was listed for sale in the Hawaii Information Services Multiple Listing System on Aug. 28,” Joel LaPinta said, a realtor, commercial real estate broker and real estate developer based in Hilo who was hired in July to handle the brokerage and serve as a consultant.

The extensive acreage near the heart of the village, not to be confused with the decades-old Waikoloa Golf Estates subdivision project on the south side of Waikoloa Road, is owned by the same company: Waikoloa Highlands, Inc.

“The owners are two brothers from Armenia, one of which is the owner and president of a bank there. At their age they’ve chosen to concentrate on what they can do at this time,” LaPinta said. “Although they see some great potential for the land — given its topography, location for sun and wind exposure, infrastructure, access to HELCO’s 69kV transmission line and to water service — they have decided it would best be sold to other, perhaps younger, entrepreneurs who see the opportunity for its use.”

The brothers bought the 2,153-acre parcel in 2005 from Waikoloa Land Company, who had owned the land since the 1960s. The Waikoloa Ranch acreage is in the state land use agricultural district and zoned agricultural – 5a, LaPinta said.

“It includes 3.5 miles of paved county road frontage. The county zoning permits subdivision into lots now smaller than 5 acres. The land is within the service area of West Hawaii Water Company, as regulated by the State Public Utilities Commission. Water availability is limited by the need for infrastructure for storage and transmission of water to the higher elevations,” he said. “Currently there is adequate pressure for service below approximately 1,000 feet above sea level. This corresponds nearly with the alignment of Hawaii Electric Light Companies’ 69kV power lines that cross the property just above the Waikoloa Village Stables.”

The land was used throughout much of the 19th century for cattle grazing. Vegetation there consists of buffelgrass and fountain grass, both native to arid regions, in addition to kiawe trees.

The price is based on an appraisal done in 2016 by a Honolulu appraiser valuing it at $4,645 per acre.

“In addition to ranching, I have identified its potential for a solar energy ranch, wind energy and possible solar energy to hydrogen site,” LaPinta said.

Since the land went on the market in late August, he said he’s been contacted by “a number of interested parties who have signed non-disclosure agreements,” prohibiting their names from being shared publicly.

Parker Ranch

In Waimea, several Parker Ranch parcels near the center of town went on the market earlier this year. The first consists of four acres adjacent to Holo Holo Ku, a 44-unit residential community behind the historic Pukalani Stables. Buffer pasture land separates the parcel from homes facing Mauna Kea on the south side.

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The second parcel consists of 12.6 acres on the community’s north side, where houses face Kohala Mountain. They too are buffered from the parcel by pasture land. No prices are included in the pocket listings, according to Jonathan Mitchell, Parker Ranch’s manager of corporate development. Commercial real estate broker Mike Wright from Oahu was hired to represent the parcels.

Although not on the market as of yet, just down the street a “For Subdivision” sign was posted in January 2017 for a 20.897-acre parcel near Lex Brody on the west side of Pukalani Road. According to the County Planning Department, Parker Land Trust filed the paperwork a month prior. After review, comments and requested changes, Parker Ranch submitted a final map this past June.