The State Board of Land and Natural Resources on Friday voted to extend the current revocable permit for the Pagoda Hilo Bay Hotel (formerly known as Uncle Billy’s Hilo Bay Hotel) rent-free from June 10 through July 14, 2017. During this period the hotel, under current owner Peter Savio, will terminate its operations, remove any personal property, and shut down.
Next Tuesday Hawai‘i County will conduct an inspection to check on possible health and safety issues in the hotel, including asbestos exposure. If the County finds any emergency situation, BLNR Chair Suzanne Case is authorized to immediately close the building.
Case noted, “The Board has kept a close eye on this property over two years and prepared a report on its condition. Recognizing this building was at the end of its useful life and out of an abundance of caution, we are taking these steps now to close this chapter, and prepare for a new phase of revitalization of Banyan Drive.”
“We look forward to collaborating with the Legislature, the County, and the private sector for the next steps in the redevelopment and enhancement of this critical area of Hilo. Since we expect the property will be vacant for several years, we will take steps to secure it and start the review process to tear it down and rebuild with a new vision,” Case said.
The BLNR voted not to authorize the sale of a three-year lease at public auction for this property for hotel-resort use. It did, however, authorize DLNR Land Division staff to prepare and publish a request for interest in a long-term lease. This will help the State gauge whether there is interest among prospective developers for hotel-resort purposes. This would include an obligation to secure the permitting and approvals needed to demolish the existing structures, complete the demolition, and construct a new hotel on the site.