by Andrew Walden
Pattern Energy and Bio-Logical Capital, LLC are teaming up under the name Molokai Renewables to propose a giant wind farm for Molokai Ranch lands. Bio-Logical Capital is in the midst of buying Hana Ranch. While concern focuses on fears of a giant wind farm at Hana Ranch, Bio-Logical’s record points in the direction of a much more familiar nemesis; resort development.
The Chief Executive Officer, Founder, and Director of Bio-Logical is Grant McCargo. According to Bio-Logical’s website, McCargo, “brings more than 20 years of experience in sustainable development and conservation to Bio-‐ Logical Capital. He is also the founder of Urban Villages, Inc., a leading edge real estate development and investment firm. In his role as CEO, Grant establishes the vision for Bio-Logical Capital and takes the leads in investor and partner relations, policy and overall operations. He has successfully completed more than $2 billion of transactions and has developed and invested across all real estate asset types. Grant recently completed a 10-year term on the board of directors with the Colorado chapter of The Nature Conservancy, during which time he was instrumental in completing many complex, large-‐scale conservation transactions throughout the state.”
So he’s been a developer for 20 years under the name “Urban Villages”. And he is an experienced green-washer.
Urban Villages develops condos, fractionals, and rentals in Colorado and California. Most are urban or suburban developments, one, the River Club of Telluride, Colorado is a fractional-ownership resort. Bio-Logical’s de-rigeur Hawaiian front-man Guy Kaulukukui says “There are no plans for a wind project." And in fact, Hana Ranch is not one of the better wind sites in Hawaii. So what is Bio-Logical doing in Hana? Perhaps untrained ears are listening to the silly talk about organic farming and ranching. A more realistic picture comes from a close reading of Bio-Logical’s own self-description in a 44-page study of carbon-credit trading schemes.
We deliver lasting value and strong returns by investing for the long term and integrating sustainable land-based businesses, like renewable energy, real estate and agriculture, with ecological restoration and conservation. We call this approach Stewardship Development.
‘Stewardship Development’ pops up again and again in the BioLogicalHawaii.com announcement of the Hana deal. By pairing with the word “Stewardship” Bio-Logical actually gets away with saying “Development” eight times in its brochure. That will allow them to look back and say the community was informed of Bio-Logical’s “development” plans:
Bio-Logical Capital has signed an agreement to purchase Hāna Ranch, with plans to continue sustainable cattle ranching and expand organic farming and other stewardship activities.
And what are those "other stewardship activities?" Bio-Logical has posted online a 13-page “informational booklet on Hāna Ranch”. On page four one learns:
The road to Hāna is one of the top tourist attractions in Hawai‘i …. Currently, many of these tourists spend little time in Hāna after making the journey—Bio-Logical Capital hopes to entice visitors to bring more value to town
On page seven this tender morsel slips in:
Visitors will be able to enjoy a “pick your own” food option, participate in a working ranch, and take various tours (hiking, horseback, and others). Such activities could be paired with resort and spa packages, potentially using all local botanicals.
And finally on page nine, they get down to it:
It is Bio-Logical Capital’s vision that the ranch will support the health and growth of Hāna, and will play an active role, as appropriate, in supporting future development. Bio-Logical Capital will look to work with the community on addressing housing and other community concerns. Bio-Logical Capital seeks to honor the local culture and history of Hāna. In addition, there may be opportunities to explore other growth and redevelopment ideas. Bio-Logical Capital would be open to participating in these opportunities….
Where have we heard that passive-aggressive rhetoric before? Oh, that’s right. It is the same thing that every wanna-be developer of the last 20 years has said. So what is Bio-Logical’s business model in Hawaii? According to their own ‘EcoTourism’ website:
Bio-Logical Capital ensures small scale, light-footprint lodging development that maximizes energy and water efficiency, embraces the use of rapidly renewable building materials, integrates on-site gardens to provide food, and maintains the buildings so that there is minimal waste, pollution, or environmental harm.
Did that sound nice and fluffy? Sorry, lets strip away the unnecessary verbiage to get to the core of the matter:
“Bio-Logical Capital ensures … lodging development that … embraces the use of … building materials… and maintains the buildings….”
Now you know what is planned for Hana Ranch. Just one more thing.
SB2341 became law as Act 329 July 10, 2012 without Governor Abercrombie’s signature. Sponsored by Sen J Kalani ‘Powdernose’ English, SB2341 allows overnight accommodations on agriculturally-zoned land in Maui County.
Asked about the sale of Hana Ranch to Bio-Logical Capital, the cocaine-dealer-turned-corrupt-Senator English used all the same warm-fuzzy ‘sustainability’ catch phrases which litter Bio-Logical’s brochure. But when the rhetoric is stripped away, this is what he said:
“I support Bio-Logical Capital’s intent to look into other sustainable and diversified agricultural opportunities…. This is a great opportunity for Bio-Logical Capital….”