Oahu’s give island residents many lifestyle options. From beach towns to hidden valleys and family-friendly communities, the island of Oahu has it all. This is where you’ll learn more about Oahu’s wonderful neighborhoods
Not so long ago, you might have laughed at the thought of a city rising from the acres of cane fields that stretched from the old Barbers Point Naval Air Station to Makakilo to Campbell Industrial Park. But if you haven’t been out that way lately, you’re in for a big surprise. Kapolei has arrived, it’s brand sparkling new and loaded with places to eat and things to do.
Gambling largely on the “build it and they will come” concept, the new City of Kapolei broke ground in 1990. Now, 22 years later, come they have. In fact, nearly 100,000 new residents are now living in Oahu’s Second City.
One such resident is Maria Dela Cruz , Realtor Associate at Coldwell Banker Pacific Properties and one of the owners in the first Village of Kapolei, Kumuiki. Dela Cruz says what surprises people most about Kapolei is the area’s growth and the opportunities the fast-growing community offers.
“More business opportunities, employment opportunities, home ownership opportunities, as well as all of the services available, including Kapolei Hale, Costco, Target,” says Dela Cruz. “I would say the three biggest draws to the area are affordably priced homes and townhomes, the growth projections in population and jobs and the fact there is 100 percent financing available for homes in the area (if you qualify).”
Yes, it’s true. The United States Department of Agriculture has designated certain neighborhoods around the country as being “rural” based on population figures from the 2010 census. And Kapolei fits the criteria, which means if a borrower meets income qualifications, 100 percent financing is available. Check with your lender about how you might qualify.
“The fact that USDA loans are still available along with low interest rates make buying in Kapolei now a good time,” says Jackie Oldbury, Realtor Associate at Coldwell Banker.
But 100 percent financing is not the only reason buyers have found Kapolei appealing. With single-family homes that measure up to nearly 2,500 square feet, and homesites that measure up to 6,000 and 7,000 square feet, golf course lots, and amenities such as the Kroc Center (see Kroc Center below), and average sales prices from the mid $300,000s to the mid $600,000s, buyers get more value for their money in Kapolei.
It’s no wonder sales are brisk. According to Dela Cruz, demand is “strong and competitive.” “For regular sales, the number of days on the market (before a listing is sold) is less than two weeks,” says Dela Cruz. “Prices are going up. Inventory is low and at the current rate of sales, if no new homes came on the market for sale, we would sell everything out in 46 days.”
Prices in Kapolei are also on the rise. Compared to the peak in June of 2006 when the Median Sale Price was $699,000 for a single-family home, the MSP in 2011 was $575,000 and in June of 2012, it was up to $643,000.
“We have been experiencing multiple offers and even bid up on well priced and staged properties,” says Oldbury. “And if a home is staged and priced well, we’ll see it in escrow in less than 30 days.”
Big box stores like Costco (and a Costco gas station too!) along with Ross, Wal-Mart, Target, Safeway, Foodland, Sports Authority, Down to Earth, and Office Depot are just the beginning.
“Most recently, an FBI office just opened here,” says Oldbury. “We also have the only water park and Podium raceway on the island. Leihano (retirement community) will open in 2014. Nanala at Mehana offers homes that offer living areas upstairs and storefronts downstairs. Restaurants range from just about any fast food chain on the planet to upscale favorites like Assagio’s and Roy’s.
“Currently, there are 11 restaurants inside Ko Olina and they just opened the bar of Beachside Villas to the public with live music playing at sunset,” says Oldbury. A new restaurant at Ko Olina, named the Monkeypod opened in December and serves Hawaiian fusion.”
Everything from affordable housing to gorgeous golf-course fronting homes, which look more like resort real estate, Kapolei offers a wide range of options.
Today, the Navy’s airplanes have all been moved to Kaneohe. The Second City has taken its place. And if you haven’t been to Kapolei lately, you’re in for a big treat.
Kapolei Golf Course
You don’t have to know you birdie from your bogie to enjoy the resort-like setting of a golf course home. And for golfers, secretly, it is the ultimate. Even if you’re not really on vacation every day of the week, you can live like you do. Complete with a pro shop, golf pro, restaurant, banquet and conference facilities, practice green, driving range, and club rentals, this Ted Robinson par 72 course is as challenging to play as it relaxing just to look at.
Take in the scene of Bermuda fairways and Paspalum greens against the backdrop of the clear blue skies. It might be the sweetest part about living in Kapolei..
At the heart of the Second City is the impressive three story Kapolei Hale building. Kapolei Hale offers residents the convenience of a satellite city hall, driver license office, a one-stop permit office, a building permit center, where folks can easily take care of motor vehicle transactions, disabled parking permits, camping permits, bus passes, spay/neuter certificates, dog licensing, fireworks permits, water and property tax payments, and much more.
The architecture of the building reflects Honolulu’s heritage in the same vernacular approach as the Alexander & Baldwin and C. Brewer buildings of downtown Honolulu. Honolulu Hale is a tribute to responsible urban design and functional architectural guidelines. While the design team was committed to respecting the past, deliberate contemporary design elements were also used to illustrate the forward thinking that was a part of the vision. Visitors to Kapolei Hale will see the familiar Charles Dickey mission style clay tile roof with double pitch roofline and sweeping eaves. The limestone panels used in the window bays, sills and arcades were selected for their similarity to the sand found on Ewa’s beaches.
Part of a municipal government complex that will service the growing Ewa plain community, the entire civic center complex is located on 22 acres of land donated to the city by The Estate of James Campbell.
University of Hawaii-West Oahu
The University of Hawaii-West Oahu is now open. An accredited, four-year university and the youngest of the UH System’s three bachelors degree-granting campuses, the University focuses on liberal arts, professional studies, career-related and applied fields.UH West Oahu offers small classes, low faculty-to-student ratios and career-related liberal arts and professional studies programs and is committed to providing access to residents throughout the state.
Ilima at Leihano
Estimated to open in 2014, this planned retirement community is intended for the growing number of seniors looking to simplify their life.
Phase one of the Leihano campus will be a senior community with 84 rental apartment residences fully licensed for assisted living. When the community debuts, the program will offer independent and assisted living options, including a proposed wing specifically designed for memory care.
Planned amenities include a sunlit dining room, a living room, state-of-the-art exercise and fitness areas, a library and a large covered lanai.
Leihano will be part of Kisco Senior Living, a national company specializing in full-service, private pay senior living communities since 1990. According to Andrew Kohlberg, the company’s founder and president, the basic philosophy behind Kisco’s concept is: If my parents were to live in a retirement community, what would I want it to be like? And how would I want them to be treated?
Nanala at Mehana — Work at home
Don’t want to deal with rush hour traffic or zipper lanes? Located in Oahu’s Second City is Nanala at Mehana — featuring 20 live-work townhomes, where entrepreneurs or small business owners have the option of living upstairs while setting up shop on the first floor of their home for commercial use. The two-story townhomes fit nicely into a neighborhood setting with unobtrusive storefronts. The urban-style units each have two parking stalls — one is open air, and one enclosed, to accommodate business customers..
“Built in 2009, with an average price of $412,000, these really cool condo units allow residents who live in Kapolei to also work in Kapolei,” says Dela Cruz. Not all of the units at Nanala are of this live-work style. Only 20 of the 78 units that comprise this neighborhood have this unique home business feature.
Got the need for speed? Check out Podium Raceway for the real deal racetrack experience. High performance European karts get going from 0 to 45 in three seconds flat around a challenging quarter-mile track with four hairpin turns, daring twists and two smooth straight-aways.
Located at Kalaeloa (at the old Navy Exchange location at Barbers Point Naval Air Station), this raceway is built for some serious racing fun. Compete against your friends (up to 10 drivers side-by-side) or your own personal best time around the circuit — this is a sport for thrill seekers and is a great pastime for the competitive spirit. Be forewarned: racing cars can be addicting.
Celebrate birthdays, corporate events, host a fundraiser, or just bring the family anytime. Open 7 days a week.
One of the newest successes for the Second City is the new office building built for the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The building opened in 2012 and is the first federal agency to be headquartered in Kapolei. The 150,000 square foot building is a site to see, located just inside Kalaeloa. The Honolulu field office opened in 2012, providing an ego boost to the City, as well as being one of the areas most lucrative new employers.
Much Aloha to Coldwell Banker Pacific Properties and Island Homes Collection, Who bring wonderful neighborhoods and some of our favorite dining options.