San Diego Business Journal

Noble House Buys Kona Kai Resort at Shelter Island

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Noble House Hotels & Resorts has purchased the 129-room Kona Kai Resort in San Diego, with plans for an extensive renovation of the Shelter Island property.

The buyer did not disclose the exact purchase price, but Kirkland, Wash.-based Noble House recently entered into a $12.5 million agreement to purchase the leasehold interest on the property from prior owner Atlas Hotels, according to a staff document from the Port of San Diego.

The port district is the landlord of the waterfront property at 1551 Shelter Island Drive.

Noble House, which already owns an adjacent marina, plans to invest at least $14.4 million in a two-phase renovation aimed at repositioning the resort as a high-end boutique property. According to the port district, phase one would cost $5.3 million and include renovation of existing guestrooms, lobby, restaurant, pool and spa areas, as well as marina support buildings.

Phase two would cost $9.1 million and add 45 new rooms to the property, and also update the parking lot landscaping and other exterior elements.

The port district in 2006 entered into an option agreement under which Atlas Hotels would completely redevelop the property by adding 158 rooms and building a new 230-space parking garage. The scope of the project was reduced over the years due to the economic downturn, until the option expired in March 2012.

-- Lou Hirsh