Local landowners Ed and Rhonnia Rapoza are big believers in the power of community—which is why they sold a large swath of beachfront property off Ali’i Drive to the County of Hawai’i fifteen years ago instead of selling it to developers. All the people who now enjoy the views at Honl’s Beach have them to thank for their stewardship of the ‘aina.
“I’ve been an advocate for community and open space for years,” said Mr. Rapoza, himself a graduate of Konawaena High School. “And we have very little of it in Kona...This is our way of giving back to the community we grew up in, we live in, and we raised our family in.”
Keeping with their values and aspirations for public spaces, Mr. Rapoza and his wife are currently in the market to sell another slice of prime land in Kailua—well over 26,000 square feet, to be exact—to Hawai’i County, and all with the intention of creating another public space for the community to enjoy, according to a recent report appearing in Big Island Now.
The land in question, which sits upon two different parcels, sits upon the north side of Keauhou Bay, and even comes with a certified boat ramp to boot. Each parcel is located across from the area’s other boat ramp (which is not in use), and is also near to the onsite facilities owned and operated by Kamehameha Schools.
The deal has been kicking around since around 2020 or so, when the couple first approached County officials about purchasing the property. Last week, the Hawai’i County Council’s Finance Committee recommended that the Council authorize moving forward with the purchase, which means that negotiations can begin in earnest should the measure win full approval later this fall.
The Council noted that the site could “provide easy access to old and young for swimming, fishing, kayaking, boogie boarding and a host of water activities”—and who among us doesn’t like the sound of that!?
“It’s quite a jewel,” Councilmember Ashley Kierkiewicz said when asked about the potential property.
Money for the potential purchase would come from the Big Island’s Public Access, Open Space, and Natural Resource Commission (PONC) fund, in which 2% of collected property tax revenues are placed.
Furthermore, should the deal be completed it may well dovetail quite nicely with Kamehamena School’s recent plans to renovate around 30 acres of Keauhou Bay, planning to improve the overall flow of traffic and create new commercial and cultural attractions, including the birth location of Kamehameha III.
Don’t you love it when a plan comes together? We sure do—and we’d love to help a plan come together for you and yours to lay down new roots here on the Big Island in your next home! Give Karen a call so we can help you and your ‘ohana become a member of our island ‘ohana and start enjoying all the new plans for Keauhou Bay today.