November|December 2013 Island Homes Collection
By Lisa Scontras | Photos by Camera Cliq
Centered between Downtown Honolulu and Waikiki, homebuyers are rallying to own in Kakaako.
Maybe it’s that baby boomers are looking to downsize — to trade home maintenance issues and yards for culture, great restaurants and a less complicated lifestyle. Or the attraction could simply be the historic lack of housing available on Oahu. But one thing is sure: In the next five or six years, there will be so many new condos hitting the Kakaako market — that the population there is projected to nearly double.
For whatever reason, there hasn’t been any shortage of motivated buyers. In fact, some of the new inventory is selling out as soon as it’s built. The pace of growth in the area bordered by South Street, South King Street and Kalakaua Avenue is insatiable — developers can’t build units fast enough. And with the range of asking prices in the neighborhood starting from the affordable $400,000s to lux listings that exceed $3 million, demand is strong in this booming condo paradise.
“Residential condo sales in Kakaako have been very strong,” says Kai McDurmin, Realtor at Coldwell Banker Pacific Properties and longtime Kakaako resident. “The desire to live close to work and play, along with the increasing traffic, is bringing more people to Kakaako and is making it one of the places to live. You also have a wide variety of condos from affordable rentals to ultra-luxury, and studios to spacious 4 bedroom condos with the feel of a single-family home.”
Kakaako has become the most rapidly changing part of the urban core of Honolulu yet the desire to keep the neighborhood’s community feel remains top priority.
“There are two master-planned communities in Kakaako, one of which is Ward Village,” adds McDurmin. “This 60 acres has a plan to continue growing and improving the neighborhood with not only residential and retail, but creating pedestrian-friendly streets and walkways that connect the neighborhood into a real walking city.”
With regular community events like Eat the Street and the Honolulu Night Market, drawing thousands of people every month, as well as cultural events like the symphony, concerts, opera and the ballet at the Neal S. Blaisdell Center, bookstores, movie theaters at Ward Centers, the Honolulu Museum of Art, shopping, restaurants and Ala Moana Beach Park, it is no doubt that Kakaako’s dynamic character is well-deserved; the neighborhood is local, lively and artistic.
The concept behind the development has a mixed-use focus — with live-work units, cafes, parks, restaurants and shopping all coexisting with high- and low-rise residential and senior living. From keiki to kapuna, there is something for everyone in Kakaako and the appeal is universal. There is no predominant demographic. Indeed, Kakaako draws buyers from Japan, Korea, China, Taiwan, the Mainland, … and from Makaha to Waimanalo, from all around the island, first time buyers to investors, empty nesters and retirees — anyone looking to live in a thriving and energetic neighborhood.
Kakaako is really a dynamic neighborhood, shaped by nature, residents, visitors and businesses, which continues to take on its own personality,” says McDurmin. “I’m here most every day and still love the energy and the surprises that it has in store.”
And for those thinking ahead, Kakaako is currently the proposed Station Number 20 on the Honolulu Rail route, which starts in East Kapolei and ends at Ala Moana Center.
Interested in Rail? Check out http://www.honolulutransit.org/rail-system-guide/interactive-route-map.aspx