No response yet to Olson Trust lawsuit

There has been no public response yet to a lawsuit by the Edmund C. Olson Trust against a developer who sought to redevelop two properties on Banyan Drive in Hilo.

The Olson Trust on Sept. 21 filed a lawsuit against Ed Bushor and Stewart Miller, executive officers of Tower Development Inc., which, together with the trust, is part of the corporate entity that manages the Grand Naniloa Hotel.

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The lawsuit accused Bushor and Miller of violating a noncompete clause in their contracts, which prohibited them from becoming involved in any nearby hotel property that could compete with the Grand Naniloa.

Last November, unbeknownst to the trust, Tower Development submitted a pair of proposals to the state Department of Land and Natural Resources outlining proposals to redevelop the former Uncle Billy’s Hilo Bay Hotel and the former Country Club Condominium Hotel.

Since the lawsuit was filed, there has been no response from Bushor or Miller, said Olson Trust’s Chief Operating Officer Jeff Clark.

Nor has there been any action by the state, other than to postpone the Board of Land and Natural Resource’s decision on the redevelopment proposals to a later date.

According to a statement, DLNR cannot comment on ongoing legal matters.

Clark said that, depending on the length of the lawsuit, it is conceivable that the DLNR could drop Tower’s redevelopment proposals, but as of Monday the proposals remained active.

Legally, Bushor and Miller have until Oct. 11 — 20 calendar days from filing — to respond to the lawsuit.

Neither Bushor nor Tower responded to the Tribune-Herald’s requests for comment.

Clark also said that Olson Trust is also seeking clarification regarding the Naniloa Golf Course. Earlier this year, Bushor proposed that Tower relinquish the golf course property from its Naniloa lease, returning it to DLNR management, in order to make up for a significant shortfall in rent.

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While Clark said that he believes the golf course proposition is “no longer on the table,” the trust is seeking further clarification.

Email Michael Brestovansky at mbrestovansky@hawaiitribune-herald.com.

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