Kamehameha Schools to Transition Royal Hawaiian Center to a Ground Lease

Kamehameha Schools announced today its intent to offer for sale the buildings at Royal Hawaiian Center in Waikīkī while retaining ownership of the underlying lands. This decision is part of the Trust’s proactive strategy to optimize the growth and perpetuity of the endowment that supports Kamehameha Schools’ educational mission.

Royal Hawaiian Center
“The transition of the Royal Hawaiian Center from a fully owned Kamehameha Schools property to one where Kamehameha Schools retains our lands but sells its improvements greatly strengthens and diversifies our perpetual endowment. This is aligned with our 2000-2015 Strategic Plan, which calls for active stewardship of our lands while optimizing the value and use of current financial and nonfinancial resources in support of our educational mission,” explained CEO Dee Jay Mailer. “With this decision, we are able to keep and care for our lands while using the funds from its improvements to benefit our children’s futures in perpetuity.“

Over the past 10 years, Kamehameha Schools has spent more than $2.6 billion on education in Hawai’i. Educational programs, collaborations and other activities supported by Kamehameha Schools serve more than 47,000 learners and families each year. In addition to operating private schools, Kamehameha serves as the largest private funder of public education in Hawaii.

“A successful sale of these improvements would reduce risk to our Endowment through greater diversification. It would create better balance in our overall portfolio,” said Elizabeth Hokada, Kamehameha Schools’ Vice President for Endowment. “The thriving business at Royal Hawaiian Center should continue as usual under a Kamehameha Schools ground lease, similar to the successful ground lease Kamehameha has with the neighboring Royal Hawaiian Hotel.”

Royal Hawaiian Center, the premier shopping, dining and entertainment destination in Waikīkī, is located on a 6.3 acre parcel along a three-block stretch of famed Kalākaua Avenue. The Center comprises just over 322,000 square feet of leasable area with more than 110 shops and restaurants. A unique 30,000 square foot cultural venue, The Royal Grove, is reminiscent of Waikīkī’s historic Helumoa coconut grove. The Center was built in 1979 and underwent a renovation in 2005.

“Should this transition take place, it will in no way diminish our commitment to the stewardship of Helumoa, an ancestral home of our beloved founder, Bernice Pauahi Bishop,” CEO Mailer said. “Helumoa is a special place for us – a wahi pana that we cherish. This ‘āina sustained our ancestors as a place of peace, friendship, relaxation and healing. Today and for generations to come, under Kamehameha’s care, Helumoa will remain that place of peace and aloha for our people, as it provides the gifts of educational funding and rich cultural experiences that fulfill the vision of our benefactor.”

Mailer emphasized that Kamehameha Schools will still own and steward the lands of Helumoa. And as Kamehameha Schools considers potential buyers for the buildings of the Royal Hawaiian Center, the organization will seek those who understand and value the historic and cultural importance of this place. Their commitment to the vision for Helumoa will be an important factor in the decision-making process.


Kamehameha Schools Chief Executive Officer Dee Jay Mailer to Retire in 2014

DEE JAY A. MAILER Chief Executive Officer Kamehameha Schools

Chief Executive Officer
Kamehameha Schools

Aloha e ka ‘Ohana o nā Kula ‘o Kamehameha,

Today, I am announcing my decision to retire from Kamehameha Schools in 2014. I have spoken with our Trustees, and want to allow them ample time to properly recruit your new Chief Executive Officer.

Retirement means I will step out of a role I have been very fortunate to be in for 10 years at Kamehameha Schools. However, Kamehameha’s mission, people, and this precious kuleana will always be a blessed part of my life. My heart is perpetually warmed by our work together to help educate and nurture your keiki. What an honor it has been to care for Mr. and Mrs. Bishop’s dearest treasures — Pauahi’s people, her children, and her lands, all through the perpetuation of our culture and by being “good and industrious” under Ke Akua’s love and guidance.

I have given my decision to retire much thought, considering that the logical point for leadership change at Kamehameha Schools is at the end of our 2000-2015 Strategic Plan. I believe more firmly than ever that the 2015-30 Strategic Plan should be supported by a new CEO, who will be inspired by the aspirations of the community for the coming 15 years, and who will bring additional perspectives to the plan’s execution.

Looking back at my decade with Kamehameha Schools, of all the kuleana I shepherd here, the most important and fulfilling is being involved with the lives of our students! I overflow with pride each time I hear of the stellar achievements of your keiki, our haumāna — achievements of character, scholarship and talent that honor both their families and Kamehameha.

We are very proud to graduate 700 well-prepared seniors and 1,600 preschoolers every year. And with the help of many collaborators and partner organizations, we have quadrupled our reach into communities to impact thousands more keiki annually. We continue to steward and nurture our lands for the Lāhui and all of Hawai‘i, using the wisdom of our ancestral past and the clarity of present day to bring our precious ‘Āina back to health and productivity.

I offer my deepest mahalo palena ‘ole for your constant support and encouragement, and ask that over the next year, you continue to work closely with me, step-by-step to fulfill the dreams Pauahi had for your keiki and our Lāhui. There is no better way for a leader to say Aloha than with a solid and joyful finish.

Dearest mākua, I will continue to watch with pride your children and youth as they grow up to serve our world. And to our awesome alumni, I remain a proud member of your hui and give thanks for all of the deeds you have done to carry forth the values of Pauahi.

I mua Kamehameha!
Dee Jay Mailer
Dee Jay Mailer
Chief Executive Officer