KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii  Windermere Island Properties LLC, a Big Island real estate company based in Kailua-Kona, announced today a merger with C and H Properties, Inc. of Waimea.


    The merger took place earlier this month, with the firms consolidating their operations over the next several months.  The new company will be called Windermere/C and H Properties, Inc. and will have nearly double the number of agents, with 15 agents from C and H Properties, and 18 from Windermere Island Properties.


Windermere Island Properties opened for business in Kona in the spring of 2006 and is an affiliate office of Windermere Real Estate, the largest regional real estate brand in the Western United States.  The Kona Windermere office primarily sells residential condos and single-family homes in the Kailua-Kona area on the west side of the Big Island.  A second Windermere affiliate office was opened on Maui at the Shops at Wailea in January of 2007.  Both the Kona and Maui Windermere offices are owned by the Knowles family, who are now the co-owners of Windermere/C and H Properties, Inc.

C and H Properties specializes in the sales of resort and oceanfront properties on the Kohala Coast, as well as the sales of land and residential real estate, including single-family homes, condominiums and ranches in the Waimea and northwest part of the Big Island.


    The principals of the company are also handling project sales for two high-end resort developments, Ke Kailani at the Mauna Lani Resort and Kaunaoa at the Mauna Kea Resort.  C and H Properties was founded in 1981 by principals Bob Chancer and Steve Hurwitz.  Hurwitz will assume the position of president of Windermere/C and H Properties, Inc.  Beth Richardson will remain as principal broker of the new entity.


    C and H Properties has consistently been the top real estate firm on the Big Island in terms of annual gross sales and among state-wide leaders almost since its inception.  For the past four years, C and H Properties’ annual gross sales have averaged over $200 million, with sales just shy of $250 million in 2007, despite a slowing market.  The company has sold almost $1.4 billion in real estate since 2000, more than any other individual real estate office on the island.


    No changes will be made to the buildings or business operating environments for either company.  C and H Properties has operated out of its main office at the Opelo Plaza in Waimea for 20 years and the principals of the company will continue to operate their two project sales offices at the Mauna Lani and Mauna Kea resorts on the Kohala Coast.  Windermere Island Properties opened a new custom-built office building on Walua Road in Kailua-Kona in July 2007.


    “This merger will deliver a much larger geographic reach than either company had previously,” said Brad Knowles of the new Windermere/C and H Properties, Inc. “For Windermere, this will amount to a huge leap in market share as well as a high-profile presence in the Kohala Coast resorts.”


  Steve Hurwitz said the merger would improve upon C and H Properties by giving it a presence in the fast-growing Kailua-Kona metro area as well as an off-island affiliation with the Windermere Wailea, Maui branch and the Windermere regional brand in the western United States. 


    “The synergy created as a result of our affiliation with Windermere will be especially productive because many of our clients come from states where Windermere is already operating,” said Hurwitz.  “Many of them already know or have experienced Windermere as a quality brand company.”