Board extends leases on Banyan Drive

The Hawaii Board of Land and Natural Resources approved Friday a pair of lease extensions for Uncle Billy’s Hilo Hotel and the Country Club condominiums.

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The Hawaii Board of Land and Natural Resources approved Friday a pair of lease extensions for Uncle Billy’s Hilo Hotel and the Country Club condominiums.

The leases were set to expire March 14. The extensions allow the Banyan Drive leases to remain in effect for one more year. After that, the leases will revert to month-to-month revocable permits.

Longer extensions were not up for consideration because the Department of Land and Natural Resources is in the midst of assessing whether the lands should be redeveloped.

In December, the board denied a 15-year extension for Reed’s Bay Resort Hotel, instead giving the business a one-year extension.

Because of uncertainty about the extension, Uncle Billy’s initially stopped taking reservations for dates after Jan. 31.

That decision was later reversed, and reservations were taken through the end of the year.

Uncle Billy’s General Manager Aaron Whiting said late Friday afternoon that the extension would allow his business to operate for another year before going to a month-to-month permit.

“Everything got approved, and that’s what we were waiting for,” he said.

Attempts to contact Country Club-Hawaii’s managing agent, Richard Emery, were not successful as of press time.

The 148-unit condo building recently has been beset by financial troubles, including falling behind on utility and maintenance bills.

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The long-term futures for Uncle Billy’s, Country Club and Reed’s Bay remain up in the air. It likely will be another year before the DLNR can make recommendations to the board regarding the properties, according to DLNR land administrator Russell Tsuji.

Email Colin M. Stewart at cstewart@hawaii tribune-herald.com.

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