C. brewer is the parent company of Mauna Loa Chocolates. And is also the parent company of Hawaiian Isles Kona Coffee Co. The oldest of the former Big Five companies, C. Brewer and Co., plans to relocate its corporate headquarters from downtown Honolulu to Hilo.
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C. Brewer, one of the state’s largest agricultural companies, today said it plans to move its offices and 30 employees to a former sugar mill on a 10.34-acre site at Wainaku Point, overlooking Hilo Bay. C. Brewer Chairman J.W.A. “Doc” Buyers said the relocation will probably take place in the first quarter of 1998.
“This is a move for the 21st Century,” Buyers said. “The move is more than just a visionary business strategy – it signifies what we’ve been saying for some time – the Big Island’s vast potential is beginning to surface and we want to help accelerate the process.”
C. Brewer, founded in 1826, said it wanted to be closer to its main assets on the Big Island, which Buyers described as “the bread basket of
Hawaii.” The Big Island subsidiaries include Mauna Loa Macadamia Nut Corp., Hilo Coast Power Co. and Brewer Environmental Industries.
The move also was prompted by the fact that the company’s lease for its historic downtown headquarters expires in December 1997. The company had been paying about $1.5 million a year in rent, Buyers said. C. Brewer had leased the 65-year-old building at Fort Street Mall since 1986 after selling it to All Hawaii Holding Inc. for $8.3 million. Buyers noted that the move will mark the first time that a former Big Five company is based on a neighbor island.
Other former Big Five companies, such as Dole Food Co. and the former Amfac Inc., have relocated to the mainland, he said. The Big Five companies, which also included Alexander & Baldwin Inc. and Theo Davis & Co., were agricultural concerns that dominated Hawaii industry into the 1950s. News of the relocation comes about six months after C. Brewer Homes Inc. relocated its headquarters from Honolulu to Wailuku. The company, a former unit of C. Brewer before the parent firm spun it off in late 1993, develops housing projects on Maui. Big Island Mayor Steven Yamashiro said the addition of C. Brewer will have a major impact on the county’s economy. Yamashiro said that county officials had been negotiating with the company for six to eight months as part of a big push by Hawaii County to attract new business. The new headquarters will be renovated at a cost of up to $3 million. Another article states that C. Brewer Homes is losing money: C. Brewer Homes Inc. became the third major Hawaii home builder to report disappointing earnings for the latest quarter. C. Brewer yesterday said it had a loss of $82,000, equal to 1 cent a share, in its second quarter, compared with a profit of $327,000, or 4 cents a share, in its second quarter of last year.
Revenues in the latest quarter, ending Sept. 30, were up 29.3 percent from a year earlier at $5.3 million compared with $4.1 million. But the company also said it had significant increases in costs during the quarter. C. Brewer, which is active in housing development on the neighbor islands, also said sales have been adversely affected by uncertainty among prospective buyers because of the poor condition of Hawaii’s economy. C. Brewer Homes President Pete Moynahan said the company’s profitability is being hurt by incentives it offers to get people to buy in a tough market. Costs soared as options such as design enhancements, air conditioners and other improvements that would usually be bought as extras were given away to encourage sales, the company said.
At Kehalani, Brewer’s 2,400-home project at Wailuku, Maui, the company closed sales of 24 single-family homes in the second quarter at an average price of $219,000. Sales there in the year-earlier quarter totaled 13 homes at an average of $266,000. At Iao Parkside, a Maui project in which Brewer is a 50-50 partner, 10 condominium units were sold in the latest quarter at an averageil,9p6,7p price of $129,000. In the 1995 quarter, Brewer sold 17 units at an average price of $127,000. As of Sept. 30, Brewer had a backlog of 25 homes on order but not completed at Kehalani, with a total sales value of $5.4 million, and six units at Iao Parkside, its partnership with Schuler Homes Inc., with a total value of $900,000.
Brewer is the last of the three publicly held builders of Hawaii homes to report disappointing results for the latest quarter.
Schuler saw its profit drop to $485,000 from $2.9 million a year earlier. Castle & Cooke Inc. had a profit of $2.1 million, but said that without the sale of some mainland commercial properties it would have reported a loss of $500,000.