Haina sawmill project is pau

A judge has ruled in favor of a lender in a foreclosure suit on a former Pacific Northwest logger who attempted to turn the former Haina sugar mill in Honokaa into a sawmill.

Hilo Circuit Judge Glenn Hara entered judgment Dec. 8 against Haina Properties LLC and Robert J. Marr, known as “Barefoot Bob.” The ruling clears the way for a liquidation sale of the mill property.

Haina Mill Mortgage Lender LLC, a Delaware limited liability -company, filed the foreclosure suit in June 2009, claiming that Haina Properties and Marr — manager of Haina Properties and owner of the 49-acre mill property — defaulted on a $4.785 million loan taken out Sept. 27, 2007, plus an additional $379,000 borrowed May 2, 2008.

All told, Marr owes almost $6.2 million to Haina Mill Mortgage Lender, counting principal, interest, fees, taxes and expenses.

Also named as defendants in the suit were Kamehameha Schools and Hamakua Land Partnership LLP as owner and lessee, respectively, of Standard Oil Road, the access road to the mill. In addition, the county was named for property tax purposes.

Marr bought the 49-acre mill property for $3.3 million in October 2007. He told area residents that the mill — which closed as a sugar mill in 1994 — would provide 110 jobs paying $12 to $25 an hour, and would run in an environmentally-responsible manner.

Haina Properties LLC filed a Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition Feb. 28 in Honolulu. The petition signed by Marr estimated that the company has between $10 million and $50 million in assets, and between $1 million and $10 million in debts.

Haina Mill Mortgage Lender and Ambit Originator I are both listed as creditors. Ambit is a Wilkes-Barre, Penn., lender specializing in high-risk business ventures, and it’s believed that Haina Mill Lender is a cover company set up by Ambit. Both Haina Mill Lender and Ambit are represented by Honolulu attorney Craig Shikuma, who did not return a phone call.

Allied Machinery Corp. is also listed as a creditor. Hara ruled in July 2009 that Marr defaulted on contracts with Allied to buy 11 pieces of used construction equipment and to rent a forklift and loader. Hara ruled at the time that Marr owed Allied more than $560,000.

The bankruptcy filing noted that after liquidation, no money will likely be left to pay unsecured creditors.

Hawaii Tribune-Herald :: Hilo, Hawaii > Local News

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