Zilber plans $100 million residential development in Hawaii

Milwaukee-based Zilber Ltd. announced today that it plans to build a 202-home, $100 million development on a-50 acre site in Maui that it acquired recently from Honolulu-based The Mills Group.

The site is part of the Maui Lani master planned community that The Mills Group has been developing for years in Kahului. On the site that it sold to Zilber, The Mills Group had done grading work and installed sewer and storm sewer infrastructure, but then suspended the project when the housing market in Hawaii declined during the Great Recession, said Bill Wigchers, senior vice president of Zilber.

Zilber plans to build a mix of single-story and two-story homes, ranging from 1,385 to 2,404 square feet. The homes are expected to have an average value in the mid $500,000s. Zilber currently has two other single family home developments in Maui, Wigchers said. The housing market in Hawaii is improving and the number of homes available for sale there is low, he said.

“There’s very little inventory (in that market),” he said. “Considering that over the past ten years we have sold over 500 residential units in the nearby Kehalani master planned community, we think that this project will definitely be a winner.”

Zilber expects a five-year build out for the Maui Lani project, with about 40 homes built per year. Zilber never stopped building homes during the Great Recession, but during the housing market downturn it only built in subdivisions that it had started to develop prior to the recession, Wigchers said. But now the housing market is recovering and Zilber began developing new subdivisions again last year and currently has projects underway in the Milwaukee area, Hawaii, California, Texas and Florida, Wigchers said.

“We’re running out of inventory in a lot of cases,” he said. “Demand is improving. Things are looking up.”

“All of our markets are experiencing positive growth figures,” said Jim Borris, president and chief executive officer for Zilber. “This is particularly true in the Hawaiian Islands and we have decided that we will aggressively seek expansion opportunities that may be available to us.”

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