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LIHUE, HI-Former America Online chief Steve Case’s Grove Farm has sold the 330,000-sf Kukui Grove Shopping Center to Kukui Grove Center Investment Group Inc. Case bought the 22,000-acre Grove Farm for $26 million in 2001, also assuming more than $60 million in Grove Farm debt at the time.

Following Case’s acquisition of Grove Farm, he invested about $15 million in an expansion and renovation of Kukui Grove, which added about 15,000 sf to the center. The shopping center, occupying about 35 acres, is 95% leased, with Macy’s, Sears, Longs and a Star Market as anchors. The property includes about 50 specialty stores, theaters and restaurants.

The Kukui Grove Shopping Center, developed more than 20 years ago, is considered one of the premier shopping venues on the island of Kauai and in all of Hawaii. It was developed and owned by Grove Farm Land Corp. before Case bought Grove Farm, which he has since expanded. According to Warren H. Haruki, Grove Farm’s president and CEO, the sale of the Kukui Grove Shopping center closed June 28.

Proceeds from the sale will go toward paying down mortgage debt that was on the books when Case, who has roots in Hawaii and attended school there, purchased Grove Farm in December 2001. Besides investing in the upgrades for the center, Case has built an additional eight holes of golf to complete the Puakea Golf Course and is nearing completion of a water treatment plant for the joint use of Grove Farm and the County of Kauai.

Due to the holiday weekend, detail about the deal and closing price were unavailable. Grove Farm, represented by the Los Angeles office of Eastdil Realty Co., says it plans to focus more strongly on development of commercial and industrial land in Lihue. The company also leases its lands to farmers and ranchers and for special events.

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