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Legislature passes bills to help Hilo lessees


The legislative session ended with the passage of some major bills to help lessees in the Kanoelehua Industrial Area as well as Banyan Drive.

HB 331, introduced by Rep. Jerry Chang (Hilo – Waiakea – Kaumana – Keaukaha), will help stabilize and support Hilo’s economy during this recession and for the future by extending the leases for properties in the Hilo Industrial Area.

The first leases for land in the area were written in 1961 after the 1960 tsunami struck Hilo and displaced many of the Hilo businesses. The lease term of 55 years expires in 2016 leaving just five more years before these existing businesses will need to find a new site.

HB 331 bill extends their lease to 65 years, adding an additional 10 years.

SB 956, introduced by Sen. Malama Solomon, also authorizes lease extensions of hotel resort areas subject to a development agreement upon the condition of substantial improvements made to the existing premises and shall be for a period of no longer than 65 years.

“In our current difficult economic times it’s important to keep businesses in business, and the passage of these two bills will help lessees continue to strive while making improvements to their properties,” Chang said. “With the direct flights coming to Hilo, it is important to have attractive and comfortable accommodations for our visitors.”

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