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  From The Honolulu Advertiser Tuesday, December 4, 2001:

Three-year effort to rescue Kaua'i hotel fails
By Jan TenBruggencate, Advertiser Kaua‘i Bureau

LIHU'E, Kaua'i - The sale and restoration of the Coco Palms Hotel to a timeshare developer has collapsed.

Developer Jim Reed's plan to rebuild the Coco Palms ran into difficulties from the start; the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the East Coast only added to his problems.

Developer Jim Reed, of Lincoln Consulting Group, said his company has given up its three-year effort to purchase the venerable hotel, which has been closed since shortly after Hurricane Iniki in 1992.

Officials for Park Lane Hotels, which owns the resort property, could not be reached for comment yesterday.

"Sadly, we have reached a point where we find it impossible to go forward with our intended acquisition and redevelopment of The Coco Palms Resort," Reed said. Reed's proposal to rebuild most of the hotel ran into difficulties from the start.

Most of the land is within tsunami and flood zones, and new structures would have needed to be built 15 or more feet higher than existing buildings. Also, several routes of a proposed state highway bypass road went through or past the property, delaying planning.

Ultimately, Reed's project received Kaua'i Planning Commission approvals for 232 timeshare units and 20 standard hotel units. In October, Reed said the terrorist attacks on the East Coast caused problems in gaining financing for the proposed development.

In recent weeks, he has been exploring innovative financing involving county and federal grants, but a deal could not be arranged.

The Coco Palms, set across the highway from Wailua Beach, was the prototype of a kind of Polynesian resort that became a standard throughout the Pacific.

It used structural timbers carved in traditional motifs, seashell bathroom sinks, lagoons and regular cultural entertainment features.

The project has received Kaua'i Planning Commission approvals for 232 timeshare units and 20 standard hotel units, although Reed has said he is considering increasing the size of the hotel portion, and cutting the number of interval-ownership units.

All original material © 2001 Cisan Online Ventures/Cisan.Com