Decades after Iniki, iconic Coco Palms is one step closer to being reborn

Original Article: Hawaii News Now - http://www.hawaiinewsnow.com/story/39134780/coco-palms-advances-rebuilding-project/

 The Coco Palms Hui LLC believes it's on the doorstep of re-building and re-opening the Coco Palms Resort.  The once iconic landmark has been sitting idle since damage from Hurricane Iniki forced it to close a quarter century ago.

Developer Tyler Greene hopes to have it open by the end of 2020.

"For all those Coco Palms fans out there, don't give up! We're here. We're charging. We're going to get there," he said.

The latest delay, a court fight over ownership of the property was settled by a judge in July.

But the process slowed the work for a year and a half.

"It was actually September 10 we got a letter from our title company saying that they're back on board and ready to go," Greene said.

Greene said his company is working with Kauai County to obtain the necessary permits.

"We need to do some coordination there in terms of organizing our building plans and so on and so forth. We're working on that right now," he said.

The old Coco Palms was damaged by Hurricane Iniki in 1992.

Since then it's been in disrepair.

Coco Palms Hui's plans have gone further than any other effort to rebuild the once iconic hotel.

The project is forecast to cost $140 million. It will utilize a lot of the property's existing infrastructure.

"We'll use the old steel and concrete structures. Steel, we've done structural reports on those. That's still solid. But everything else will be brand new and up to today's standards," Greene said.

The new Coco Palms will have over 12,000 square feet of retail space,  restaurants, leisure areas and a cultural center.

"So it will be a 350-key hotel and resort property, I guess you could say garden style in that it will be three stories up and nice quintessential Kauai experience," Greene said.

The Coco Palms is widely known for its lagoon made popular in an Elvis movie.

"We will bring back the Elvis wedding in the lagoon," Greene said. "That's an integral part of the property."

The next key date will be September 25 when Greene meets with the Kauai County Planning Commission.

Chloe Rapozo