Business

James Campbell Estate Trust Closes

January 3, 2017, 9:32 AM HST
* Updated January 3, 9:36 AM
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James_Campbell. Photo: Campbell Estate – Page 63 of Hawaiian Kingdom 1874-1893, the Kalakaua dynasty, by Ralph Simpson Kuykendall http://www.ulukau.org/elib/cgi-bin/library?c=kingdom3&l=en, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=13544414

The Estate of James Campbell, once one of the state’s largest private landowners and the initial developer of the City of Kapolei, has received approval from the First Circuit Court of Hawai‘i for final closure of the trust.

The trust was established when James Campbell died in 1900. At that time, Campbell’s will directed that his estate, then valued at $3 million, be held in trust for the benefit of his wife, Abigail, and their four daughters.

The Campbell Estate began with more than 91,000 acres, primarily in ‘Ewa and Kahuku on O‘ahu, on the Big Island and on Maui. For the first half-century of the trust, most of its revenue was derived from leasing the estate’s land for sugar, pineapple and other agricultural activities.

Under the terms of the will, the trust terminated on Jan. 20, 2007. Following a court-approved termination plan, most of the trust assets, then valued at more than $2 billion, were distributed to the beneficiaries in the form of shares in the James Campbell Company LLC, cash and property. The majority of the value distributed was within the James Campbell Company LLC, which included all of the real estate assets formally owned by the trust in Hawai‘i as well as properties on the U.S. mainland.

“Since 2007, we have been working to wind down the final affairs of the trust and end the relationship between the trustees and the Campbell family beneficiaries,” said Trustee Chairman Clint Churchill. “This is a routine matter that allowed us to finalize and put closure to several outstanding issues to ensure that the trust met its remaining obligations.”

Abigail_Campbell and family. Photo credit: “The Shingle Family” – page 12, published by James Campbell estate 2003, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=9817860

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Today, the James Campbell Company LLC is a private, Hawai‘i-based and nationally diversified real estate company with properties in Washington DC and 15 states across the U.S. Its affiliate, Kapolei Properties LLC, focuses on the development of the City of Kapolei and other properties in the ‘Ewa region. As it has since 2007, the James Campbell Company LLC and its subsidiaries will continue under the governance of its own shareholders, board of directors and management team.

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“The final closure of the trust will not affect the status or operations of the James Campbell Company LLC and its subsidiaries nor the James and Abigail Campbell Foundation which provides grants in support of community initiatives,” said Richard Dahl, president and CEO of the James Campbell Company. “Closure of the trust will not affect, in any way, leases or other agreements that companies or individuals have with the James Campbell Company and its subsidiaries.”

During its 116 year history, the Estate of James Campbell experienced considerable success as a land steward and developer and it played an important role in the history of the state of Hawai‘i. The estate’s many achievements include transforming the ‘Ewa plan into the City of Kapolei, creating Campbell Industrial Park, and diversifying the estate’s holdings across the state and the U.S. mainland.

“The history of the Estate of James Campbell is one of prudent land stewardship, careful investments, and a productive relationship between the heirs of James and Abigail Campbell, the trustees of the Estate, and the community,” said Churchill. “We are extremely proud of what the Estate accomplished and are confident that we have left a lasting legacy that will continue well into the future.”

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The four current trustees for the Estate, all of whom have been serving for more than 16 years, include Churchill, Richard Gushman, David Heenan and retired Adm. R. J. Zlatoper.

BACKGROUND

Beginning in the 1950’s, the nature of the trust began to change with the development of Campbell Industrial Park. Residential developments at Makakilo and in ‘Ewa Beach began. In the 1960s, efforts began to establish a deep-draft harbor at Barber’s Point. In the 1970s, the area west of Pearl Harbor was designated as O‘ahu’s secondary urban center or “second-city” by the City and County of Honolulu. Conversion of the Estate’s residential leasehold properties at Makakilo and in ‘Ewa Beach to fee-simple began.

In the 1960s, efforts began to establish a deep-draft harbor at Barber’s Point. In the 1970s, the area west of Pearl Harbor was designated as O‘ahu’s secondary urban center or “second-city” by the City and County of Honolulu. Conversion of the Estate’s residential leasehold properties at Makakilo and in ‘Ewa Beach to fee-simple began.

In the 1970s, the area west of Pearl Harbor was designated as O‘ahu’s secondary urban center or “second-city” by the City and County of Honolulu. Conversion of the Estate’s residential leasehold properties at Makakilo and in ‘Ewa Beach to fee-simple began.

In the 1980’s, construction began on the Ko O‘lina Resort on former Campbell Estate land. Major residential projects, notably the Villages of Kapolei, ‘Ewa by Gentry and Ocean Pointe, also began on former estate land. In the 1990’s,

In the 1990’s, ground was broken on the City of Kapolei and Kapolei Business Park. The Estate developed the Kapolei Shopping Center and the James Campbell Building.

Since the year 2000, the Kapolei region has continued to grow with the opening of the University of Hawai‘i at West O‘ahu on land donated by the Estate.

Today, the population of the Kapolei region exceeds 116,000.

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