Ocean view parcels of land ranging from 5 to 40 acres are selling steadily in the Hawi area of North Kohala this year, just as they did in 2009.
What is most noticeable to me is that both of my raw land sales this year—and my listing currently in escrow on the Hamakua Coast—are outside of gated communities. In contrast, last year there was about equal activity in subdivisions such as Puakea Ranch and the Ranch at Puakea and outside in acreages without CC&Rs and monthly dues.
Two of my sales last year were in the Halawa/Kapanaia area, and now I have three new listings which each have their own character, but could also be purchased together for a family compound or large farm or ranch. These lots are perfect for the buyer seeking a sustainable lifestyle, in keeping with their use over the centuries.
Historic North Kohala Land for Sale.
The three lots range in size from the “Dolphin Lot” of just over 3 acres (MLS# 230834) listed for $345,000; a 14.5 acre lot for $725,000 (MLS#230835) and the largest parcel of 21 acres with a rich gulch on its border for $795,000 (MLS# 230836).
This quiet, gentle pastureland is located in the ahupa’a of Halawa between Walaohia and Halawa Streams in Historic North Kohala. The cows that graze there today would be surprised to learn the prominence their pasture once had. King Kamehameha I spent his early childhood in this area, and returned many times to surf Kapanaia Bay and tend to his taro farms.
In the first Missionary census of 1835, Halawa was home to 214 residents. Later the area saw a Catholic settlement under the leadership of recently canonized Saint Damien de Veuster. This fertile area was well-suited for the growing of sugar cane, which brought with it entrepreneurs, sugar mills, a railroad to transport the sugar cane, and ocean steamers to move goods and people back and forth to Oahu. The area has the remnants of cane haul roads built to keep the cane trucks off Akoni Pule Highway.
Waves of immigrants from China, Japan, Portugal and the Philippines, among others, worked the fields and built the irrigation systems which brought water for agriculture, and thus prosperity to the area. In time, with the demise of sugar cane as a viable commodity, the mills were closed, the railroad dismantled, the population disbursed, trucks loaded with cane no longer lumbered down the highways, and the land returned to its natural state, in which you find it today.
These parcels have had but a handful of owners since The Great Mahele of 1848 opened the doors to Western-style ownership of land in Hawaii. Studying the title reports, it would appear that Kamehameha III granted separate portions of land to commoners Kilauea and Kealoha in 1851. From them, ownership passed to Scotsman James Wight, a botanist turned sugar cane entrepreneur who ultimately accumulated seventeen thousand acres in Kohala. Wight’s heirs sold/exchanged land to Castle and Cooke’s Kohala Sugar Company in 1939. Kohala Sugar Company prospered, but the eventual struggle with the rise of unionized labor, competition from Cuba and the Philippines, the constant changes in technology, and the resulting financial losses, forced the decision to cease operations in 1975, ending 113 years of sugar in Kohala. The land sat quietly until purchased by Chalon Corporation, now called Surety Kohala Corporation, in the late 1980’s. In December of 2005, the current owners purchased a 45-acre parcel of these lands from Surety Kohala, and by consolidating existing lot lines left over from the heyday of sugar, re-subdivided the land to its current configuration.
Did I mention that these 3 listings are just a short walk or drive to the ocean at Kapana’ia Bay? Just follow the surfers!