Editor’s Note:This article is part of a series exploring land ownership near Honolulu’s proposed 20-mile elevated rail line. The data for the series was produced for Civil Beat by Hawaii Information Service, a public records and real estate data firm.
Last week, Civil Beat explained that the list of “landowners” that served as the basis for stories about potential future development around the proposed Honolulu rail system included both traditional “fee simple” owners as well as property lessees, or leasehold owners.
The last piece of the puzzle is land lessors, the underlying owners of leased land. The length and terms of each lease determines how each entity stands to benefit.
If the lease is decades long, then the lessee’s future control over the land is valuable. But in the event of a short lease — some could even be month-to-month — then the underlying owner is the party that could make a lot of money by selling or developing the land.
There’s no easy way to know the lease terms for every parcel on Oahu, but our partners at Hawaii Information Service are able to tell part of the story. We’ve crunched the numbers for all lessors within 2,500 feet of the rail line, not including condominium property regimes (CPRs). There are 333 different entities that lease out 959 properties totaling more than 2,700 acres.
Here’s the list of the top 25 lessors near the rail line:
And here’s the list of the top 10 property holders, when fee simple ownership as well as lessors and lessees are taken into account. Coming up with an exact number of acres for each owner would be complex, so this is a rough approximation of the largest entities with the most at stake near the rail line.
Fee Simple, Lessors and Lessees Together
United States Of America
Ohana Military Communities LLC
D.R. Horton-Schuler Homes
State of Hawaii
City and County of Honolulu
State of Hawaii Department of Transportation-Airports Division