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Big Island Business Report 2014

(page 3 of 8)

Built for the Future

For builders and developers on Hawaii Island, the best way to build for the future is by looking to the past.

Hawaii Island is one of the last places in the state where land is still relatively affordable, attracting people here and giving locals more reasons to stay.

Development of the Island is taking off, and it’s following the steady growth of its diversified economic portfolio. Perhaps what’s most notable, though, is the style in which it’s happening.

Photos: Courtesy of W.H. Shipman

“People in general today are more value conscious,” says Mike Fujimoto, owner of HPM Building Supply. “They maximize the value of their investments in their homes or remodels by going higher quality.”

They’re building with better materials and in a fashion that’s respectful of the surrounding environment. Part of this can be attributed to the types of people who are attracted to Hawaii Island in the first place.

“They are really good people that want to make the world a better place,” says Mary Begier of Mary Begier Realty. “They have charm and pride that this is their home.”

The Rundown

  • W.H. Shipman Ltd., a family-owned business developing much of the Keaau area, has dedicated itself to building only structures with character. “You want to build a place where people want to do business and live, not because it’s centrally located but because it’s a nice place to be,” says company president Bill Walter.
  • A notable business taking advantage of land availability here is HMSA. The company is building a new office in Keaau, which will sit on land acquired from W.H. Shipman. The 20,000-square-foot complex will be designed in plantation style and will add to the many job opportunities being provided by development here.
  • Palamanui, a new West Hawaii master-planned community, is also being built up with environmentally and culturally responsible plans in mind. The result of a partnership between Hunt Development Group and Charles Schwab, the community will sit on 725 acres, include 1,116 new homes, a town center, business park and dry-forest preserve. It will also serve as the home to Kona’s only permanent higher-education institution: Hawaii Community College’s Palamanui campus. 

Spotlight On: HPM Building Supply

Beginning in 1959, HPM Building Supply became one of the first companies in Hawaii to establish a progressive management style: a profit-sharing plan for its employees, which allows them to have a share in the company profits. Then, in 1977, HPM became one of the first companies in the State to create an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) that provides employees with the innovative opportunity to own company stock and play an active role in its development. By 2006, HPM became, and continues to be, 100 percent employee-owned. Today, HPM Building Supply has more than 240 owner-employees, with ESOP allowing employees to become owners after their first year on the team. HPM team members have the pride and responsibility of ownership that guarantees exceptional customer service.


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