Passing by a long-vacant lot, a sign suddenly appeared heralding the future of six townhouses facing the ocean on Oahu’s storied Kahala Avenue. The lot’s most recent history involves a Japanese billionaire who purchased over 30 homes and lots in this small enclave that he subsequently let deteriorate. Some thought his plan was to degrade the neighborhood so he could buy more at a bargain. Publicly, he boasted of wanting to return this wealthy area back to native Hawaiians by enabling them to rent mansions for pennies. Neither can be proven true. What is known is that many of the neglected properties required razing. Along Kahala Avenue these lots turn a gap-toothed smile to the ocean.
This lot, 4607 Kahala Avenue, is slated for redevelopment. Instead of a single home across its 1.33-acre site, six are planned, which has rankled some neighbors. In truth, there’s only one other multi-family oceanfront development in Kahala, and its leasehold is expiring in 2027.
Kahala by the Sea is for owners of multiple homes seeking a place that’s more residence than condo. Like seemingly all multi-family projects in Honolulu today, it’s doubtful any of the eventual buyers will be full-time residents. So while the property will be taken care of in an owner’s absence, it’s unlikely all six townhouses will be occupied simultaneously. This adds to the privacy and single-family vibe as much as it makes finding a fourth for gin rummy difficult.
The site plan shows the location of the three pairs of two-story townhomes. Four will be oceanfront with two having an alley view of the water between the oceanfront pair. Each of the three and four bedroom units ranges from 3,442 to 3,647 square feet of interior space. In addition there is about 1,000 square feet of lanai space and 1,500 to 2,600 square feet of grassy lawn and includes a plunge pool (something I always find odd so close to the ocean).
Above is a floor plan for one of the oceanfront units. Since they’ve not been built, I’d turn the plan upside down. As it is, the main living space is on the ground floor with the master suite above. Being as I spend most of my days with my eyes open, I’d rather have the best views in my living area, which is the second floor. A staircase off the lanai would take me to the beach or ground floor pool.
After touring similarly sized oceanfront flats earlier in the month, I saw the palpable difference in views from the second floor. And as I said, the lot hasn’t even been graded, so there’s plenty of time to tinker with the room layout.
Unlike single-story flats, these double-decker units allow for a grand entry of floating staircases and tons of glass. Jiggle the staircase a bit to a more obvious “go upstairs” orientation when you move the living spaces upstairs.
Being oceanfront, the living room wall of glass drags your eye outside. The folding glass wall blurs indoor/outdoor demarcations as does the paneled ceiling. But while you can see the ocean, it’s better upstairs …
The view from the upstairs master bedroom is uninterrupted water. What’s great about either theirs or my layout is that the orientation of the complex ensures sunset views.
The master bath is proposed to have an almost open-air feeling but with appropriate shading. The shower and bathtub are housed in a wet room with a huge window whose shades will determine whether you’re feeling naughty or nice. The only change to make here is to add a shower head angled out from the wall (rain showers aren’t everyday fun to me).
Like I said, all units have a pool … steps from the beach. What say you? Would you use a pool or just hit the beach 50 feet away? I get maybe if you have children, but then wouldn’t you want some type of cover? And actually, at this price point they may more likely be grandchildren.
Speaking of prices, they reportedly range from $9 to $13 million and will be complete in 2021. For those looking to move quicker or who may prefer a one-floor setup, I still think these units are a great opportunity for millions less.
Remember: When I’m not stirring up trouble in Dallas, Texas or Honolulu, Hawaii for Candysdirt.com and SecondShelters.com, I’m off scouting interesting locations for a second home. In 2016, 2017 and 2018, the National Association of Real Estate Editors recognized my writing with three Bronze (2016, 2017, 2018) and two Silver (2016, 2017) awards. If you’re a Realtor with second home clients who’d like me to feature their journey, shoot me an email firstname.lastname@example.org. Be sure to look for me on Facebook and Twitter. You won’t find me, but you’re welcome to look.