Nan, Inc. Acquires Pu’unene Sugar Mill Property

Hawaii News Now Article:


PUUNENE (HawaiiNewsNow) – An Oahu-based construction company has bought the Puunene Mill on Maui.

The new owner, Nan Chul Shin, purchased approximately 300 acres from Alexander & Baldwin in Central Maui last Thursday.

Shin also owns Nan Incorporated. The company specializes in large-scale construction and design projects — including the work to relocate utilities for rail.

Nan Inc.’s vice president said they are looking at several potential options for the Central Maui property, which consists of industrial, commercial, agricultural, and residential-zoned lands.

“We are looking at trying to utilize some of the residential area, try to encourage some maybe affordable housing,” said Wyeth Matsubara.

Matsubara said they have not set plans for the property right now but plan to “maximize the best uses of each property zoning.”

When asked if they plan to tear the mill down, Matsubara reiterated they have no firm plans.

“We’re going to probably have to do some substantial demolition of at least the interior machinery that was done for all the production. We’re not going to be in the business of producing sugarcane or having that heavy-duty industrial operation,” Matsubara said.

In a statement, Alexander & Baldwin said the sale “is another step in A & B’s evolution to simplify their core business as a commercial real estate company dedicated to serving Hawaiʻi.”

“A & B’s roots began on Maui 154 years ago and remains an important part of our future investments through our ownership of diverse commercial properties, including neighborhood shopping centers and industrial assets.”

Tom Sewell takes discarded material from the Puunene Mill and turns it into art. He has been working on the property for three years and said he and his artwork need to be out in about a week and a half.

Although he has to relocate, Sewell said he is hopeful the Puunene Mill will have a promising future.

“I visualize this as a great restaurant, bar, coffee shop where people can sit in chairs inside all this equipment,” Sewell said. “A fantastic arts district, spaces for artists, a museum, a gallery.”

Matsubara said per their agreement with A & B, the purchase price is confidential.

Image Source: Gary T. Kubota Honolulu Star-Bulletin

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