Stewards of the Land
Grove farm tackles development on Kauai, one day at a time.
It’s been four years since Grove Farm Co. Inc. first fell off Hawaii Business’ Top 250 list in 1998. Athough the Kauai-based land development company is still $8 million shy of the $21 million in gross annual sales it posted that year, the company has resurfaced and is hoping to climb its way back onto the list, from its current slot on the Best of the Rest.
“Our income didn’t change, everybody else’s one went up,” says David Pratt, president and chief executive officer of Grove Farm, in defense of the Kauai-based company. Despite a sales decrease of 11.5 percent to $13 million in 2001 over the year prior – and even though Pratt is predicting another slight revenue drop by the end of this year – the bigger picture looks good for Grove Farm.
With its 40,000 acres on Kauai spanning from Poipu to Hanamaulu, the company is actively involved in all aspects of landownership, from residential developing to agricultural land leasing. Topping the list of priorities for Grove Farm is the $10- to $12-million renovation of the Lihue-based Kukui Grove Shopping Center, as well as an expansion of the company’s 10-hole Pua Kea golf course into a complete 18-hole course. Other priorities include establishing sustainable diversified agriculture crops to make use of the thousands of acres of former sugar cane land, and growing an existing ecotourism business to include kayak tours, bass fishing and more.
David’s son, Bill Pratt, who handles Grove Farm’s commercial real estate, says the company is in an opportune situation to continue forward with its growth and development. “We’re really fortunate that someone like Steve Case has come forward with the capital and resources to help move some of Grove Farm’s projects forward,” says Bill. “He didn’t buy the land just to create something new, he has an actual interest in keeping Kauai … Kauai."
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