KAILUA-KONA — More than 300 boat owners at Honokohau Small Boat Harbor are being advised by the state to make arrangements with the new operator of the harbor’s dry marine storage facility.
Pacific Marine Partners LLC, doing business as Honokohau Marine Storage, assumes operations of the 9-acre boat storage lot on Nov. 1 after the state Board of Land and Natural Resources terminated a revocable month-to-month permit held by Gentry’s Kona Marina during its Aug. 10 meeting in Honolulu.
The company was the winner of a public auction of the 10-year lease held in July, according to BLNR minutes and submittals.
Jason Hoopai, one of the members of Pacific Marine Partners, won with a bid to pay 50 percent of gross receipts to the state, according to submittals to the Board of Land and Natural Resources.
An appraisal in December determined the annual minimum ground rent was $423,000.
Under Gentry’s Kona Marina’s most recent permit, the company paid the state $7,311.45 per month, or 5 percent of gross receipts, whichever is greater, according to submittals. Over a 12-month period, that equated to just under $88,000.
Gentry’s Kona Marina has operated the facility since 2003 when it took over a revocable permit that Gentry Properties had held from 1999 to 2003. From 1994 to 1999, Gentry Properties held a five-year lease that was not renewed; only revocable permits had been issued since.
State officials on Friday spent the day at the North Kona harbor informing owners, who have vessels or trailers stored on the lot, by phone, email and a flyer to contact the new operator to continue their leases without interruption.
The move came after Gentry’s Kona Marina posted “notice-to-vacate” signs on the fence and gate leading to the boat storage facility creating confusion for boat owners. The signs stated boat owners must remove boats and trailers by Oct. 14 and that Gentry’s Kona Marina would not be responsible for any property remaining thereafter.
“Misinformation about current tenant’s need to vacate the property is being circulated. It is not accurate. Tenants are able to negotiate new storage agreements with the new operator that will allow continued use of the space they are already occupying,” said Suzanne Case, DLNR chairperson, in a press release.
For more information, boaters can email firstname.lastname@example.org or begin the registration process online at www.honokohaustorage.com. The website does state that “vessels without new rental agreements will be locked in/out from the yard at the time of the new ownership. Unregistered vessels are subject to penalties, state and county fines, towing and damages at owners sole expense.”
“We know that the transition is disruptive and we are here to help,” Hoopai told West Hawaii Today Friday. “We took on the challenge of the boat yard because we think there’s an opportunity to help the community more than what is happening now. And, right now, it feels like confirmation that that is probably right.”
For the last several years, the BLNR has directed that DLNR divisions transition revocable permits to long-term leases, if leases offer the best possible use for a specific property, according to the press release.
DOBOR had intended to consolidate the Gentry’s Kona Marina revocable permit into a lease through direct negotiation, but was advised by the Attorney General that public auction was the most appropriate method to offer the property.
In July, a public auction sale was held and Pacific Marine Partners LLC was the successful bidder. Subsequently, Gentry’s Kona Marina was notified it was being terminated as the operator of the facility and given until Oct. 31 to vacate.
Tina Prettyman, Gentry’s Kona Marina general manager, did not respond for comment as of press time.
On Gentry’s Kona Marina’s notice to vacate letter, the company said it would continue to offer dry dock services. The notice, signed by Prettyman, added: “It has been a great pleasure to serve you and the boating community.”