Honolulu’s Gold Coast: To Know It Is To Love It

People occasionally ask me why I refer to O’ahu’s Gold Coast as a “precious” neighborhood. I tell them, “First, with respect to its rich history, and next, in reference to the unique lifestyle that one can create there.” During my 36 years of living in the area, I have gained a wealth of knowledge dating to King David Kalakaua — the last reigning monarch of the kingdom of Hawai’i, and his Queen consort Kapi’olani Napelakapuokakaʻe. He dedicated the original 300-acre Kapi’olani Park to her, the first public park of Hawai’i. More about them, the horse track, and park next in this series.

Phoenix Fountain

Residential condominiums and cooperatives stretching along the shoreline southeast of Waikiki to the base of iconic Diamond Head were developed in the late ‘50s and ‘60s by some of Honolulu’s most preeminent architects of their day. Watch for more about these shining stars later in this series. Several of the 16 buildings were built as hotels, ostensibly to accommodate the glamour, high luxe set seeking refuge from what they deemed were commoners who had discovered Waikiki — despite that only wealthy travelers could afford to cruise the SS Lurline and her sister steamships bound for the glory of post-war Hawai’i.

Today 14 of the Gold Coast buildings are residential co-ops and condos; the recently sold New Otani Kaimana Beach Hotel remains — though not its original name or structure, and Diamond Head Beach Hotel and Residences is a condo-tel — individually-owned condos allowing nightly rentals. The latter, along with the Sans Souci co-op, is the only remaining leasehold (LH) properties dotting this coastline.

Sans Souci 1893

The Lifestyle

Residents choose this neighborhood for the best reasons. They lead an active lifestyle, are fans of oceanfront living with all its pros and cons; they appreciate mid-century architecture and a peaceful, hospitable environment. Most of all, they are discriminating yet down to earth, embracing history during their daily routine. Naturally, they want superb value in property with area stability. Despite its age, the Gold Coast proves those:

  • According to the MLS, the number of sales during the recent twelve months 2018-19 adjusted down slightly to 27 from the 33 sold the previous 12-month period. 
  • High sales were $4.8M in the 2017-18 period; $4.195M in 2018-19, though eight of the sale prices were at or over asking — double the 2017-18 period.
  • Days on market decreased substantially to just over a month compared to nearly 90 days the previous 12-months.
  • Average price per square foot increased from $1,418/sf to $1,532/sf in recent 12 months.

Real Estate Now

Currently, there are 34 condo listings peaking at $5.99M for a direct oceanfront three bed/three and one-half bath co-op (MLS 201913729), and $6.88M for a 4bed/4bath home, vintage oceanfront fixer (MLS 201921918); 15 properties sold in recent six months topping @ $4.195M for a three bedroom/two bathroom condo (MLS 201831744).

My current personal favorites, with something for full-time residents, second-home owners, and/or investors:

  • The beachy remodeled 7th floor LH studio @DiamondHeadBeachHotel. It pencils out as a legal hotel lodging unit after $1,100 lease rent, property tax, HOA fees. $193,000 (MLS 201901506);
  • A nicely upgraded ground floor one bed/one bath plus huge lanai that makes for another room. Priced at $599K @Lily Center Building, but with no deeded parking (MLS 201917963);
  • Diamond Head Ambassador (MLS 201906983) offers the best value under $2M on the Gold Coast: 1,500sf mauka (mountain) side three bed/two bath penthouse priced at $1.698M, a down-to-the-concrete remodel featuring smart home details, custom luxury finishes, and cooling breezes.
  • The Tahitienne Inc. penthouse offers ultimate privacy of an entire floor, 2,800sf. In their super stylish remodel Sellers retained mid-century terrazzo floors, then complemented them with natural stone and wood finishes. Direct oceanfront living. Price $5.99M (MLS 201913729).

How can I help you with living the Gold Coast lifestyle?     #ListedAtSunsetSoldByDawn

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Anthony Rodriguez

August 22, 2019

Nice pictures.

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