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Resort Living

The 140-acre award-winning neighborhood of Ka Makana at Hoakalei kicks into high gear

by MARK DOYLE >> lead photos RANDY T. FUJIMORI

Haseko Homes




 Now that all but a handful of the 2,500 homes at Ocean Pointe have been sold, Haseko Homes has turned its full attention to kicking Hoakalei Resort, its new showcase development in Ewa Beach, into high gear.

Haseko burst out of the blocks quickly last spring when it debuted the first four series of residences for its new 140-acre resort neighborhood called Ka Makana at Hoakalei, which received 18 awards at the 2008 BIA Parade of Homes, including Grand Champion and Best of Show awards for the project’s Koa SeriesResidence 60.40.

Then, on Jan. 12, the developer opened the project’s latest and final series of singlefamily model homes and anticipates introducing a town home series by April or May.

“It’s very exciting,” said Richard Dunn, Haseko’s executive vice president of residential sales and marketing. “What we’re doing here is providing a tremendous opportunity for people to get in on the ground floor of living at a resort.”

An exciting new residential project to be sure, but what about the current housing market? It was just reported that in January, the sales of 122 single-family homes and 159 condominiums on Oahu indicated decreases of 46.5 percent for single-family homes and 50.9 percent for condominiums, compared to the same month last year. Doesn’t this pose a daunting challenge for a brand-new resort community?

“The current economic conditions are causing buyers to take a ‘wait-and-see’ attitude, as evidenced by the slow sales in Oahu’s residential housing market during January,” said Sandra “Sam” Bangerter, president of the Honolulu Board of Realtors. “We hope the federal efforts restore not only the housing markets, but that the entire economy, will be successful.”

Haseko, for its part, has adopted a more optimistic outlook, undoubtedly buoyed by recent Ka Makana sales results. “So far, 2009 is really picking up for us,” Dunn said. “We’ve had a lot of interested parties touring our models and made quite a few sales since the beginning of the year.”

Nevertheless, according to Harvey Shapiro, research economist at the Honolulu Board of Realtors, it appears the housing market in Hawaii is now following the same pattern as on the Mainland, namely very slow sales and diminishing prices. What will sustain the launch of an ambitious community development like Ka Makana if things turn worse before they get better?

“We do not know what difficulties we might run into in the future,” Dunn responded. “We remain optimistic that with the type of quality, design and craftsmanship of the homes we’re offering, coupled with the future amenities of Hoakalei such as the Hoakalei Marina, shops and restaurants, and being surrounded by the emerald green fairways of Hoakalei Country Club’s Ernie Els signature golf course, we can provide a unique resort lifestyle that’s very attractive to buyers.

“Also, with interest rates at historic lows right now, well-qualified buyers with sound credit are provided a tremendous opportunity to purchase a home and lifestyle that
may not have been in reach to them.”

The designs of the homes themselves at Ka Makana are based on contemporary island architecture, with coordinated color schemes and intricate detail planned throughout the neighborhood. Each residence is within walking distance of the newly opened Hoakalei Country Club, with many overlooking the club’s sparkling new Ernie Els signature golf course.

“Homebuyers in this community will not just be buying a beautiful home, they’ll be buying a lifestyle,” Dunn pointed out. “We’re not just selling a neighborhood, it’s all interconnected to a planned resort. Residents will have access to the Ka Makana Swim Club, the tennis courts and more.”

Plans call for a pool, spa, shady cabanas, barbecue areas, tennis court and fitness center. The resort’s master plan also includes a future marina, luxury hotel and waterfront shopping and dining, all targeted for completion over the next 10 to 15 years.

“Hoakalei is envisioned to become a very active, lively gathering place where you can set sail on a whim, enjoy a latte with friends or peruse the offerings of local farms and artisans,” said Nancy Maeda, executive vice president of Haseko.

It’s also a project that pulls money into a region of Oahu that could use the shot in the arm. “Haseko’s project is very important to the Ewa community,” Hawaii State Sen. Will Espero said. “Work on their Ka Makana at Hoakalei neighborhood and the Hoakalei Country Club both are providing vital jobs to residents and pumping money back into the economy with every home and membership sold.”

Aside from resort amenities, the homes at Ka Makana are built to be environmentally friendly. Each residence comes with a solar hot water system and is pre-wired for an optional photovoltaic solar electric system. All of the homes have been given the highest ranking of three stars based on Hawaii Built Green standards and are energy efficient and Energy Star¨ qualified.

With prices ranging from $550,000 to $1 million, fee simple, the four-bedroom model homes offer approximately 1,802 to 1,973 livable square feet. All of the homes feature welcoming porches, expansive lanais and island-style architecture, and each home has a family-size island kitchen with stainless-steel GE Profile appliances, a master suite, a walk-in closet, an ovalshaped soaking tub, coffered ceiling and separate stall shower.

The homes also offer state-of-the-art digital services (cable, phone and highspeed Internet), central air conditioning and an enclosed, professionally designed front and back landscaped yard.

“We’re building more than beautiful homes at Ka Makana — we’re building energy efficient homes,” Dunn said. “It will save homeowners money when compared to conventional homes. We’re trying to provide a unique resort lifestyle and be good stewards of the environment at the same time.”

Sounds like the right approach. Now, if only the market will bear it.
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