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
As pretty as sunflowers blooming in the sun, the hillside neighborhoods that dot the ridges above Aiea and Pearl City are aligned with and enhanced by the views they offer — of Pearl Harbor, the USS Arizona Memorial, Aloha Stadium, the ocean, twinkling city lights at night and daily sunsets.
Home shoppers at these heights are rewarded with spectacular vistas stretching from east to west. In the neighborhoods of Halawa Heights, Aiea Heights, Royal Summit, Pacific Palisades and Wailuna, home prices are within reason, starting at $350,000 for homes sited on non-view lots, to more than a million for some of the premium rim settings. A typical 3-bedroom, 2-bath homebuyer will find a good selection of homes in the $300,000 to $600,000 price range.
Homeownership is high on this part of the island — 71.2 percent of the residents own their home in Pearl City, and 74.7 percent own in Aiea, according to the 2010 Census from the U.S. Census Bureau, quite a bit higher than the average 58 percent homeownership rate for the state.
The Leeward ridge communities offer a traditional neighborhood feel — not a master-planned community, not a resort community, but a quieter one, appealing to
those looking for that home-sweet-home ambiance, with big trees, a lower density, and restaurants and businesses that have stood the test of time.
When you buy a piece of real estate, you’re not just buying a home, you’re buying into a neighborhood. And you want to make sure the area around you is as appealing as what’s inside the four walls.
“Our street is very family oriented,” says Lynn Villafana, general manager of Buzz’s Original Steakhouse in Pearl City, and resident at the Heights at Wailuna since 1998. “Every year we do a Fourth of July party and all the neighbors bring pot luck. We have a water balloon toss, watermelon-spitting contest.”
Villafana appreciates missing out on all the traffic from Mililani and Ewa Beach, and loves all the amenities at Wailuna.
“We have two swimming pools, tennis courts, three hot tubs, security — I love Pearl City,” she says.
That the parking lot is full on weekends at Waiau District Park — is a testament to the dedication of parents who are involved in their children’s activities. Whether it is playing ball, scouting, water sports, bowling, or any number of other hobbies, there are plenty of opportunities for families to engage in this community, proving you don’t have to be a tourist to have fun.
Sierra Club Hawaii
For health nuts and nature lovers, Sierra Club Hawaii — which actively works to reduce the impacts of global climate change by encouraging the development of clean renewable energy, reduce the use of fossil fuels, and ensuring our fragile native habitat is protected — sponsor hikes to get intimate with Hawaii’s landscapes, geology and endemic species.
In July, join the Sierra Club on a moderate 5-mile hike in Aiea Ridge, off the Aiea Loop Trail, with many native plants and beautiful scenery.
Aimed at teaching hikers about the natural and cultural history of the area, the hikes explore the most spectacular trails and summits. For more information, go to sierraclubhawaii.com.
Electric Vehicle Charging Stations
For the electric car enthusiasts, did you know that Hawaii had the highest per-capita sales of electric cars in the nation in 2011?
It makes sense. We pay more for gas than anyone on the mainland. So if you’re one of the many people who think it makes economic sense to get rid of the gas-guzzler and buy an electric car, you’re in luck.
Two electric vehicle stations are conveniently located at Pearlridge — one in the Pearlridge Uptown parking lot fronting the main food court entrance and the other in the Downtown parking lot outside the entrance closest to Cold Stone Creamery. Plugging in is free. (There is another one at Kahala Mall, and similar stations are starting to pop up all around the island.)
The two Pearlridge charging stations are the first ever to be installed by Volta Industries, Hawaii’s only locally based EV infrastructure network.
The growing need for EV charging translates into a real customer benefit, as there were already several hundred registered electric vehicles on Oahu last year.
“We are extremely proud to be the first shopping center in Hawaii to offer free EV charging service to our customers,” said Fred Paine, Pearlridge general manager, at the EV charging stations dedication ceremony in February 2012. “Not only is this a convenience to our customers and the community at large, a network of these free charging stations will help make Hawaii less dependent on fossil fuels.”
Use of these charging stations is complimentary as a benefit to Pearlridge customers who support Hawaii’s clean energy goals. They are available during center business hours each day. Dedicated parking spaces are immediately adjacent to the two stations for customer convenience while charging their vehicles.
Halawa Xeriscape Garden
For the environmentalist, or those who simply love gardening, the Friends of the Halawa Xeriscape Garden offer workshops on gardening with water conservation in mind. Xeriscaping is a term that describes an innovative and creative means of conserving water through the landscape.
Topics include how to catch and reuse rainwater, succulents, creative container gardening, and, in June, a pumpkin planning workshop, aimed at educating children and their parents about “un-thirsty” plants and outdoor water conservation with pumpkins.
The Board of Water Supply opened the Halawa Garden to the public as a way to educate Oahu residents on ways to save water. Practices such as mulching, soil alteration, turf mowing, weed control and fertilization are showcased in tours.
The garden is located at 99-1268 Iwaena St., in Aiea.
Check out the workshop schedule at email@example.com or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pearl Country Club
For golfers, the Pearl Country Club may be one of the finest courses on Oahu. This public course gives players the opportunity to compete with an international field of professionals.
Overlooking Pearl Harbor, the USS Arizona Memorial, the USS Missouri, and the Waianae Mountain Range to the west, the meticulously maintained course is open year round.
A driving range and putting green are also open daily to the public. Ask about shotgun tournaments for fundraising or goodwill events, and about private, semi-private and group lessons for all ages. For youngsters ages 7 to 17, a Junior Golf Program teaches the skills and etiquette as part of the PCC Golf Academy.
Located at 98-535 Kaonohi St., in Aiea.
Kamaaina tee-time reservations can be made by calling 487-3802.
Pearlridge Center 16th Annual Summer Exhibit
Flutter: A Green Experience, which opened in June, runs through July 14. This free event will feature The Butterfly Pavilion housing hundreds of living butterflies, where keiki can see the life cycle from egg to butterfly, first-hand.
Admission to the Butterfly Pavilion is $3 per person. Children under 8 years of age are free with a paying adult. Previous exhibits have included Ice Age, Dinosaurs! Giant Insect Safari, TLC’s Junkyard Wars, and Amazing Mazes.
Sea Based X-Band Radar
For the military junkies, the SBX is the largest and most sophisticated mobile x-band radar in the world, capable of tracking and identifying objects in space with a very high degree of precision — for example, seeing an object the size of a baseball at a distance of 2,500 miles. Sometimes referred to as the “giant golf ball,” the SBX’s mission is to identify ballistic missile threats to our nation and to use that information for missile defense.
Occasionally, it can be spotted at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, when it is in port for maintenance. At 28 stories high, it is monumental, and has landmark status from its Ford Island docking. When it is not in Hawaii, it is operational on deployments worldwide, and it’s exact location or destination is generally undisclosed.
Much Aloha to Coldwell Banker Pacific Properties and Island Homes Collection, Who bring wonderful neighborhoods and some of our favorite dining options.