Makaha Valley Golf Resort sells for $20.7 million

  • The clubhouse at Makaha Valley Golf Resort

A Korean conglomerate acquired Makaha Valley Golf Resort, a 664-acre property on the Hawaiian island of Oahu, for $20.7 million, according to CBRE, which handled the bankruptcy sale.

KH Gangwon Development, an affiliate of the Seoul-based KH Group, is the new owner. KH Group is an electronics and lighting conglomerate that recently moved into resort development with the launch of KH Gangwon. It acquired Alpensia Resort, which had been a venue for the Korean Olympics, in August 2021.

KH Gangwon Development intends to expand the property in a manner consistent with existing development in the area.

According to CBRE, the resort is the last large-scale, mixed-use development opportunity of its kind on Oahu. It is surrounded by the Waianae Mountains with nearby access to the beach. It previously operated as a 36-hole resort, but the original course was shut down in 2011.

Aerial view of Makaha Valley

Aerial view of Makaha Valley

Makaha has had a troubled history. Originally developed by Hawaii businessman Chinn Ho in the late 1960s, ANC Hotels Hawaii Inc acquired the resort in 1979. The hotel was shuttered in 1995 and reopened in 2001 after Towne Realty Inc. purchased and renovated it. Since 2004, the property changed hands several times with Pacific Links acquiring it in 2011.

In 2015, Pacific Links announced a $200 million renovation of the resort, with Greg Norman leading the course redesign. A year later, it was announced that the proposal had been upped to $300 million, but that renovation never came to pass.

In 2019, Pacific Links announced that Tiger Woods would design one of two new courses for the long-planned redevelopment of the shuttered course. Gil Hanse was scheduled to design the other course.

However, the company, which was owned by Du Sha, began to face pressure from the Chinese government, which was making it more difficult for companies to move money out of the country. The company put Makaha up for sale just as COVID was shutting down China. It did not sell, and Pacific Links entered into Chapter 11 bankruptcy in February 2021, listing debts between $50 million and $100 million.

The current course at Makaha Valley

The current golf course at Makaha Valley

Two new courses are in the planning stages, as well as approximately 494 single-family homes and 152 condominiums.

Most of the housing would be located west of Makaha Valley Road with resort zoning that allows for short-term rentals. Such zoning only exists at four other places on Oahu besides Makaha Valley: Waikiki, Turtle Bay, Hoakalei Resort and Ko Olina.

“The future development of Makaha Valley should serve as an economic stimulus for the local area and return the property to its former glory,” said Jeff Woolson, executive vice president and golf & resort group managing director with CBRE.

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