Business Round-Up: 01-20-20

Free homebuying seminar

KAILUA KONA — Buying a home is a dream for many, but navigating the world of mortgage loans can be tough, especially for first-time buyers.


To help get unsure homebuyers to home, sweet home, Hawaii Community Federal Credit Union (HCFCU) is presenting “Realizing the Dream of Homeownership” — a free educational seminar later this month.

Michael McCray, Counselor and Coach for the Hawaii HomeOwnership Center will present the seminar 9:30-11:30 a.m Jan. 25 at HCFCU’s Kaloko Facility in the John Y. Iwane Credit Union Center Training Room, 73-5611 Olowalu St. in Kailua-Kona. Seating is limited.

The Hawaii HomeOwnership Center, a non-profit organization, provides important information and services for potential homeowners. Seminar attendees will receive such important information as:

· Learning the ABC’s of buying a home

· One-on-one coaching

· Overcoming some home ownership barriers

· Dispelling myths of buying a home

Info or to register, visit HCFCU’s Community Seminars section at

HPD warns of Apple ID phone scam

South Kohala officers have received several recent reports of a telephone scam circulating on the Big Island.

One victim reported receiving a telephone call from an unfamiliar phone number. Upon answering the call, a recorded message indicated that the victim’s Apple account had been hacked and suggested staying on the line for further assistance.

A man then initiated a conversation with the victim, indicated the victim’s Apple account had been hacked and requested the victim’s assistance with “catching” the hackers by purchasing gift cards, after which the cost would be immediately refunded back to the victim.

After purchasing an undisclosed amount of gift cards and providing the gift cards’ security codes to the male individual, the victim received several emails, purportedly from Apple Care, which indicated the victim had been refunded for the gift card purchases. The telephone call and the subsequent emails were deemed to be fraudulent.

Police advise everyone to verify telephone calls are legitimate, especially those calls in which recorded messages are played upon answering. The Federal Trade Commission recommends you hang up on robocalls. If you answer the phone and hear a recorded sales pitch, hang up and report it to the FTC.

Law nets no new lease extensions

A pilot program that awards lease extensions to business owners in Hilo’s Kanoelehua Industrial Area has not yet awarded a single extension as it enters its third year.

The program, brought about by a bill passed in 2018, allows lessees of properties on public lands in the KIA to extend their leases by up to 40 years if they reinvest in renovations to their properties.

Since then, several businesses have applied for lease extensions, but none have yet completed the process.

Jason Fujimoto, president and chief operating officer of HPM Building Supply, in late 2018 said that he hoped HPM would receive its extension by mid-2019. However, on Friday he said that his business is still going through the application process with the Department of Land and Natural Resources.

“It’s going to take a little while,” said Sen. Kai Kahele, who introduced the bill. “For the first few applicants, it’s going to be a learning process, and it’s still new legislation.”

Kahele said the process requires owners to draft an agreement with the DLNR and present to that department’s board a full plan of their intended improvements to the property. Those improvements are required to cost at least 30% of the property’s market value, which much also be determined through a series of appraisals.

According to a report to the Legislature filed in December by DLNR chair Suzanne Case, the Board of Land and Natural Resources authorized the department to negotiate development agreements for two separate leases in mid-2019.

Neither of the lessees — Zen Woodworking and Hilo Fish Company — have been awarded their full extensions. The BLNR reserves the authority to terminate an agreement if a lessee is determined to not be making efforts to make the required improvements, said Rep. Chris Todd, D-Hilo, a longtime proponent of the Hilo redevelopment legislation.


Although the program was precipitated by the impending expiration dates of a large number of industrial leases, Kahele said the majority of leases in the area are still not in immediate danger of expiring.

Many of the leases currently held in the area were awarded after the 1960 tsunami and issued for 55 years, meaning any lease issued in 1965 will expire this year, unless it was awarded a 10-year extension. However, Kahele said most of the leases won’t run out until 2025 or 2026.

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