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
Good schools are an important consideration when looking for the best community to raise your keiki. But finding the just-right neighborhood that stands out as being truly family-friendly involves the right combination of factors — well-kept parks, recreational activities, a central location, affordably priced — all of which are part of the planned community in Waipio Gentry.
Finding a neighborhood that has the right ohana vibe, has the feeling of being safe and nurturing, with plenty of places for families to hang out together, and reasonably priced homes — a place to raise his family — was easy for Billy Lile.
“I grew up in Waipio Gentry,” says Lile, who is now married and the father of two. “I have lots of fond memories of this neighborhood: family oriented, parks, bike paths, shopping, elementary school . . . Everything that a young family needs is here.
“I lived in Waipio almost my whole life except for college when I lived by UH,” Lile continues. “After I got married, my wife and I bought a townhouse in Waipio before buying the single-family home we own and live in today. We purchased the house last October.”
Billy Lile says his 3-year old son and 1 1/2-year-old daughter are too young for school yet or to play in organized sports, but for now, they do make good use of the parks for picnics and family time. He defines family-friendly as “having nice parks and schools in the neighborhood and a lot of other young families who live there too.”
Having Kanoelani Elementary School located so close to the adjacent park is a bonus for families. The proximity of the school and park, all designed to be within easy walking distance of Waipio Gentry’s residential streets, conveniently saves on driving time, especially compared to other neighborhoods where schools and recreational venues aren’t typically so nearby.
“Waipio Gentry appeals to homebuyers because it’s an established neighborhood, which is safe, clean, and well maintained,” says Linda Tanaka, Realtor Associate with Coldwell Banker Pacific Properties. “It’s got great restaurants and shopping.
“The homes are more affordable than Mililani, closer to town than Ewa Beach and Kapolei and newer than Pearl City or Aiea,” adds Tanaka.
Inventory is varied in the neighborhood, to accommodate a variety of price ranges. Prices of single-family-homes listed in Waipio Gentry range from $450,000 to the high $600,000s. At the higher end, $649,000, a move-up buyer can own a gorgeous 3-bedroom, 2-bath home with a tile roof, 1,612 interior square feet, a 4,042 square-foot lot, an upgraded stainless steel kitchen, with wine cooler, Blue Eyes granite countertops, hardwood floors and Plantation shutters. Or, for those looking to make their first purchase, fee simple townhomes in the area start at $175,000, with a variety of product and prices in between.
“The first-time home buyer is looking for a home that has 3 bedrooms, 2 baths and is priced below $500,000, that is convenient to shopping, walking paths, activities for children, parks, and schools,” says Eva Robello, Realtor at Coldwell Banker Pacific Properties, who points out these are what tops the list of “must haves” for the Waipio buyer.
“Everything I need is within a short radius,” he says. “I do everything from the grocery shopping to vehicle maintenance all within a few miles from my front door.”
He says for his fiancé and two boys, ages 4 and 6, the three biggest selling points of the neighborhood are: 1. the proximity to parks, 2. the easy walking distance to shops, and 3. the handy freeway access.
“Waipio Gentry appeals to buyers of all ages, retirees, young families and singles, for having so many amenities,” says Robello. Demographics in the area include families, of course, first time homebuyers and a particularly unique segment of buyers. Of the 2,800 plus homes that make up the neighborhood, a growing number of the current homebuyers have a first-hand knowledge of the family-friendly appeal.
“The majority of the visitors at a recent open house were children of current Waipio Gentry homeowners, who wanted to also purchase in the area because they love the neighborhood,” says Tanaka.
Patsy Mink Central Oahu Regional Park
Home to many of Oahu’s young champions, Patsy Mink Central Oahu Regional Park is aimed at supporting youth’s passion for sports, promoting athletic ability and training future Olympians. Its list of amenities includes 20 tennis courts, four each of youth baseball diamonds, regulation size baseball fields and softball fields, an Olympic-sized swimming pool, and multi-purpose fields for soccer and football and serves children of all athletic abilities.
The Central Oahu Regional Park is more than a place for athletes to triumph, it is also a gathering place for families. Considered by many to be the island’s premier sports venue, the Park scores big with neighborhood homeowners as well.
Eva Robello says that the Central Oahu Park is one of the biggest draws to the neighborhood. A second neighborhood park, The Waipio Neighborhood Park, located next to Kanoelani Elementary School, has even more tennis courts, a baseball diamond, volleyball court and a playground for children.
If your 2016 Olympian is a gymnast looking to develop his/her agility and flexibility, check out Island Tumblers Gymnastics (678-2999), located on Ukee Street.
Island Tumblers Gymnastics was built on the philosophy that every child is a star. With more than 10,000 square feet of space and more than 900 students, this training facility offers great opportunities. Programs include a Twinkling Stars class for toddlers and preschool kids who work together through obstacle courses, a Shining Stars class for beginner-level gymnastics for girls and a separate class for boys, a tumbling class where students utilize the trampoline and foam floor, as well as a competitive team for keiki from ages 6 to 18 to compete in State, Regional and National competitions.
Girls and boys, ages 1 to 18, with aspirations to master the uneven bars, balance beam, vaulting, rings, trampoline and tumbling exercises, can learn and compete at varying skill levels.
In addition to instruction, this facility is available for birthday parties
Women’s Wellness & Fitness Center
Located at 94-530 Ukee St. is the Women’s Wellness & Fitness Center offering a variety of classes in yoga, Zumba, aqua aerobics, kick boxing, toning, high and low-impact exercises as well as a variety of free weights, elliptical, Stairmaster, treadmills and stationary bikes. For busy moms looking to take a break, the facility has a pool, sauna, steam room and you can even schedule a massage.
One and three-year memberships are available. Ask about a 7-day free trial pass.
For more information, call 680-0092.
Aloha Wellness Center
Senior Day Care @ the Waipio Business Center
As our population ages, it takes a village to care for our older generation. Aloha Wellness Senior Care Services provides day care for seniors and respite for their caregivers.
Activities at the center include arts and crafts, music, mental stimulation using interactive games, stretching and gentle exercise, discussion groups, and nutritional meals as well as time to socialize.
According to the center, the intent of adult day care is two-fold:
• To provide older adults an opportunity to get out of the house and receive both mental and social stimulation
• And to provide their caregivers a much-needed break in which to attend to personal needs, or simply rest and relax.
This center offers three levels of care to seniors, determined by their mobility. The hours are from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday.
For more information, call 393-7000.
Kaiser Permanente Waipio Clinic
While this facility does not provide emergency or urgent care services, it does offer routine health care services in pediatrics, ophthalmology, optometry, gynecology, pharmacy and family medicine as well as other specialties for Kaiser insured members. Educational programs are offered in diabetes, health and nutrition counseling.
Raising a healthy family includes access to scheduled and non-scheduled medical services and there is nothing better than a comprehensive clinic virtually at your doorstep.
For more information, call 432-3100.
Much Aloha to Coldwell Banker Pacific Properties and Island Homes Collection, Who bring wonderful neighborhoods and some of our favorite dining options.