In 2015 I wrote a pair of articles about Howard Hughes Corporation’s purchase and development plans for 60 acres in the Kaka’ako section of Honolulu (here, here). The development is sandwiched between downtown Honolulu and world-famous Waikiki and is slated for 16 high-rise condo towers with 4,300 units plus over 1 million square feet of restaurants and retail being rolled out in the next 10-20 years.

Work is continuing to chug along, but there is a global softness in the ultra-luxury real estate market. What to do, what to do?  In order to get the last few units sold in their first three projects, Howard Hughes is offering some sweet incentives.  Of course if you’re purchasing one of these seven-figure beauties, these incentives are baubles you could easily secure yourself.  But still … a sale is a sale.

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Bridget Coulter

One on the newest communities on the Big Island of Hawaii now offers luxe homes with television celebrity designer decor. Actor Bridgid Coulter was recently a featured interior designer on the Emmy Award-winning OWN (Oprah Winfrey Network) television series Home Made Simple. The Santa Monica-based designer was also tapped by Kohanaiki, a private club residential community located on the Kona Coast, to outfit a multi-million dollar model home befitting the posh setting that was once a retreat for Hawaiian royalty. Read more about this incredible property with a plethora of amenities, and residential options fit for a king or queen.

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Photos courtesy of Montage Kapalua Bay Resort

Oh to look out the window and have a view like this every day! Here’s the coastal sight to behold off the lanai of Residence 2604, one of 82 residences in the Montage Kapalua Bay, a five-star Maui resort named by Travel + Leisure Magazine as one of the world’s best hotels (No. 4 overall and No. 1 in Hawaii, to be precise).

Located on a prime cliffside spot on Maui’s northwest coast, the Montage overlooks Kapalua Bay, adjacent one of Hawaii’s largest nature preserves. A limited number of units within the all-suite resort are privately owned. Residents share in the hotel’s lavish amenities including 8,500 square feet of lagoon-style pools, the 30,000-square-foot Montage Spa, and a championship golf course ranked No. 1 in Hawaii by Golf Digest. The residents’ concierge staff is available 24/7 to arrange for private chefs, reservations for dining and activities (including child and teen programs), maintenance, and even grocery stocking to make time spent here a true vacation. And residents also enjoy Montage resort privileges in Deer Valley, Beverly Hills, Laguna Beach, Palmetto Bluff, and soon Los Cabos, Mexico.
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Ocean Views from Everywhere. Second floor shows Master Bedroom.

Ocean Views from Everywhere. Second floor shows Master Bedroom.

Talk about location, location, location — 202 Kaikuono Place in Honolulu is two doors away from what’s arguably the most famous piece of residential property in Hawaii, Doris Duke’s Shangri-La estate.  Both are located on the ancient lava flow “toe” that juts out into the Pacific called Black Point.  It’s one thing to say you live in Diamond Head, but to call Black Point home raises your cred exponentially. It’s been estimated that were Duke’s five-acre oceanfront estate ever to make it to market, it would be the most expensive piece of residential real estate in the state. And it’s two doors down.

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Sand Castle White House 1

For each year of his presidency, President Obama spent the holidays on the same stretch of Kailua beach, near the Marine base at Kaneohe.  Rumors continue to swirl on which home exactly the president is in.  Partly for security reasons and partly because several of the homes in the area have changed hands during his presidency.  At any rate, this year, as has been tradition, several friends drive over to the long expanse of beach for a Christmas morning walk.  The 3.5 mile round trip’s turn around has been the Secret Service tent at the far end of Kailua beach to keep looky loos away.

This year, in addition to the tent, was this White House replica in sand with a message from the people of Hawaii to the outgoing President.

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kahuku-map-1

Today, when locals hear “Kahuku” they often think of Kahuku sweet corn or shrimp from this agriculture-heavy area. But for over a century, one stretch of Kahuku was smack in the middle of history.  Now, over 28 acres of beachfront land and historic … proper historic … buildings are up for sale for $18 million by Julia Napua Fetzer of Hawaii Life Real Estate. It is by far the most fascinating piece of property on the market in Hawaii.

After researching the history of the place, friends and I dropped the top on the car and headed up north to see it in person.  What a treat to share with you …

It all began in 1899, when a group of investors at the behest of the Hawaiian King (Texas ain’t the only state that was a country!) brought Marconi wireless telegraph stations to Hawaii and formed the Inter-Island Telegraph Company. At the time it was UK-based Marconi’s first major order.  They’d read of the Marconi demonstration sending wireless Morse code signals across the English Channel. The purpose was to provide real-time communications between the Hawaiian Islands.

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The Backyard View at 61-753 Papailoa Road

The Backyard View at 61-753 Papailoa Road

Paradises the world over are littered with stories of people who packed up their hum-drum lives and moved to paradise only to discover it was quite different from the post cards.  Certainly a good rule of thumb for any move — “Rent first” — is doubly important when moving to costly locales you’ve not spent enough time in to really understand whether you’d be happy there.

Before I purchased my second home, I’d spent many months over several years renting in the building before the stars aligned and I purchased.  If your second home will ultimately be your post-retirement home, you owe it to yourself to thoroughly investigate.

These cautions bring me to 61-753 Papailoa Road.  Far from a typical rental at $30,000 per month, it’s the most expensive home for lease on the island. But it’s a beachfront single-family home located on the famed North Shore of Oahu … and you pay for that. The home is only available from December through March (when I assume the owners are off elsewhere). It’s also month-to-month, so don’t be pestering the agent (Kimo Smigielski of Sandwich Isles Realty) with your 2-day rental requests.

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regency-exterior-1

When I say “old Hawaii,” I mean places where locals have lived for decades.  These are not the new flashy high-rises in Kaka’ako, but rather buildings like this one that rose from the ground in 1969.  The Regency at Kahala is a tall, 20-plus-story slice of Hawaii.

There are four units per floor … a one-bedroom, two two-bedrooms, and a three-bedroom unit.  There are minor differences in square footage in the same floor plan due to some units having enclosed their patios (and you know how I feel about that!).

Sunday, I braved sheets of rain to walk over to a quadruple open house that featured two one-bedroom units and one example each of two- and three-bedroom units.  My favorites were the one-bedroom and the three-bedroom units, which mostly came down to view.  These two face the water, though on Sunday they all faced the rain.

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