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
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. http://www.honolulutransit.org/rail-system-guide/interactive-route-map.aspx
Keiki Swap Meet
Kakaako Waterfront Park
Calling all Hawaii’s young entrepreneurs. The Hawaii Children’s Discovery Center aims to provide unique, interactive, participatory learning experiences designed to inspire keiki. And on Nov. 16, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., they will sponsor the annual Keiki Swap Meet at the Kakaako Waterfront Park.
The idea for a keiki swap meet was Liane Usher’s, Hawaii Children’s Discovery Center’s president.
“I got the idea from my childhood,” says Usher. “I used to play store with my sisters all the time. We would collect small trinkets and then trade or sell them to each other for just a few cents.”
Now in its tenth year, this event has grown and now draws hundreds of children sellers. “As with everything we do at the Center, the goal of the Keiki Swap Meet is educational in nature,” Usher adds. “The event was created to teach children about money, economics, trade and entrepreneurship. The children are responsible for collecting items, pricing them and selling them with the help of a caregiver.
“Children quickly learn if they have priced things too high to make adjustments throughout the day. I’ve seen really great business savvy children at the event. Some decorate their stalls with posters and make their own store signs, some will bargain to make a sale, and others pitch their toys to buyers. It is really fun to watch.”
In addition to the focus on education, the fact there are many repeat vendors, and the opportunity for keiki to earn extra money, the swap meet is also a great way to recycle toys, trading cards, comic books, video games, sports equipment, strollers, cribs, infant gear or clothing.
“The main requirement for the event is that everything sold must be a children’s item,” says Usher. “The event is all about the children — the sellers and the buyers. You name it, it has probably been sold here. What’s really nice is that I’ve seen a few children that have participated to raise money for charity, so it is nice that children are also learning to give back.”
The Keiki Swap Meet is held three times each year — in March, June and November. Registration fee is $3 per child. Deadline to register is Nov. 8. Late registration will cost $5 per child. Only registered children may participate as sellers. Go to http://www.discoverycenterhawaii.org/events.html for more information.
Yoga 4 the People
831 Queen St.
Ever tempted to try a yoga class, but are too intimidated? Yoga4ThePeople offers a donation based yoga class from at Fresh Café from 6 to 9 p.m. on the first Tuesday of every month.
Attendance ranges from 40 to 100 people each month and is intended to be an introduction to yoga. The event was started by, and is run by a collective of Oahu yoga instructors. They promote all yoga styles and appeal to all yoga students, making yoga available to anyone who might feel uncomfortable walking into a yoga studio.
“The event focuses on bridging the gap between the yoga world and the non-yoga world by inviting people of all colors, ages, sizes, traditions and perceived limitations to practice yoga together,” says a spokesman for the group. “Many of the participants who come to Yoga 4 The People, leave looking for a yoga studio to start attending regular classes.”
For more information, go to www.y4tp.com. Namaste.
Check out the new stores recently opened in Ward Centre and Ward Warehouse. Bed Bath & Beyond has taken over the two-story space formerly occupied by Borders Books & Music. It is the second such store to open on Oahu, the first in Honolulu and offers bed linens, bath accessories, cookware and tableware.
Also at Ward Center, Bean & Vanilla offers a selection of organic, eco-friendly, nature inspired products.
Or, at Ward Warehouse, on the second floor above Nohea Gallery, stretch out at the Master Pilates and Wellness studio.
And don’t miss Black Friday specials on Nov. 29 or Small Business Saturday on Nov. 30, where Ward Centers invites shoppers to hunt the deals and save big during what are traditionally the busiest shopping days of the year.
Much Aloha to Coldwell Banker Pacific Properties and Island Homes Collection, Who bring wonderful neighborhoods and some of our favorite dining options.