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Talk Story #26 Kaka'ako Living – Enjoying the Old and New in a Prime Area

Gigantic Hawaiian mural painted on the side of the Nalu Lani Plaza building

The mural above is not a new addition to the area, nor does it have much to do with the modern plans expected in this area, but it does reflect the fact that history is always present in Hawaii no matter how much we want to modernize it. There was once a 100-acre estate called the ‘Old Plantation’ where the Blaisdell Center and Ward Centers are today.

This mural is totally eye catching in its illusion aspect and size, forcing one to study it more closely. Often noticing the mural when quickly driving past, I finally decided to walk along that section of Queen Street, just off of Ward Ave., to actually look up at it. Often, things are not really noticed and enjoyed.

Sure enough, adjacent to the mural building is a well kept, small park with picnic tables and a sense of peace, and that turns out to actually be a part of the total story of the mural. A respite from the busy world around—even with cars driving by, like mine had been. The ‘who, what, and why’ behind its origination is interesting and I do hope you take a moment to read the link provided (above).

I proceeded to stroll along, knowing that the ownership and future development of the 60 acres of the former estate property was now with the Howard Hughes Corporation. It was good to see activity and the completion of a much needed building across the street from the large mural. Eagerly awaited are the other planned improvements to the existing retail areas and the remaining portion of the Ward Village Shops, which is considered Oahu’s fourth largest shopping complex.

The brand new Ward Parking Complex is ‘Now Open’

Already, the draping vines from various levels, palm tree landscaping, and overall design and character is making a statement. Unusual to call a parking garage lovely, but the future of this one is already foreseen with a softening affect to the concrete structure. Kaka’ako is very slowly but surely changing toward a new look and further development.

The Ko’olani Condominium dwarfs 2 small parks, the parking garage, and the Ward Center areas with its prime location

Continuing along the curved road are luxury high rise condominiums. Adjacent to the Ko’olani is a new children’s play area park, and a fine pathway and a short road, which will allow for an easy access to Auahi Street where more action begins with restaurants, the Ward Village Shops, and on round back toward the multi-movie theater complex further along past Ward Ave.

For locals and newcomers alike, the ever popular Ala Moana Beach Park is just a short distance. Honolulu is only a mile or two away, Waikiki is almost ‘around the corner’…what could be better? Living in Kaka’ako is a lifestyle which may suit your needs or desires.

At the Ko’olani for example, there are currently 15 condos listed from $638,000 to $1,370,000. A 3 bedroom/3 bathroom penthouse beauty is offered at $3,450,000 (MLS# 1106356). Views range from garden, to just mountain, to full ocean, and are priced accordingly. If you have been looking for a condominium that is not directly in the city and not necessarily right in Waikiki…then Kaka’ako is the place to start your search amongst the fine opportunities.

I look forward to our own “Talk Story” of what you are looking for. Allow me, along with Hawaii Life Real Estate Brokers, to assist you in finding that path of enjoying the small things in life to the fullest.

Please contact me. Aloha, Jeanne!

Note: In Hawaii, there is often a gathering of family and friends, and in a casual way stories are told of that days happenings, or past events. We call it “Talk Story.” My continued series will be about different places around Oahu with a bit of their history, and the many opportunities for you today. I would love to hear about your personal Hawaii memories to share, perhaps during the territorial days, like I was, growing up out ‘Koko Head’ way. Hawaii is a special place and so are the people. Whether it is a new military move, a casual beach house, a downsized retirement home, a golf course fronted resort home-away-from-home, a grand residence with superb view, or a high rise condominium…the choices and the Hawaii Life Real Estate Brokers resources are many.

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Michele Meyer

August 7, 2011

Beautiful photos! I’ve never seen that mural before. I’ll have to check that out in person.

Michele Meyer

August 7, 2011

Beautiful photos! I’ve never seen that mural before. I’ll have to check that out in person.

Guy Kamaka

January 1, 2014

I came across your link in hopes that I may find more information around Kakaako. I use to live there on Halekauwila and attended the old Pohukaina Elementary early 50’s to late. We use to live 561 Halekauwila.

I just talking to my brother and he recalls “the old Plantation next to McKinley HS it was fence in and we use peek in through the knot holes to get a look. I use to go on long walks to Waikiki before Kaiser put in the lagoon next to the Ala Wai canal. I use walk along the sea walls of homes way before the Sheraton, Hilton, Hawaiian Village, Barefoot bar and Queens Surf.

Honolulu had wooden piers that we kids use to explore and made rafts out of tubes and stretchers we obtained mysteriously from the old Navy storage yard just behind Reed Land, where the Kamaka Ukulele factory stood.

We had Japanese camps, hawaiian, filipino portugese and the old Mother Walden Park it was great then…..

PAL the Police Activity League for gheto kids next to HASP Hawaii Armed Service Police Station where we learned to play sports and box on the saturdays Biddy Boxing

The family was great there we even made flowered leis for the ships.

I wak very young then but there was a visitor (Elvis) was leaving and girls from everywhere came to say good by to Elvis he took off his shirt and toss it into the harbor about 20 -30 women dove in to get his shirts

You’re right Kakaako was not far we could walk to the Fish market on Hotel Street and then walk to china town it was not far….

We could climb to Punchbowl, go to Library of Hawaii….

We ever watch Santa Clause on fort Street around christmas…….

Then one day we moved and the different camps disappeared we moved to Ewa Beach others to Waimanalo, Nanakuie…….

Thanks-Guy Kamaka

Guy Kamaka

January 1, 2014

I came across your link in hopes that I may find more information around Kakaako. I use to live there on Halekauwila and attended the old Pohukaina Elementary early 50’s to late. We use to live 561 Halekauwila.

I just talking to my brother and he recalls “the old Plantation next to McKinley HS it was fence in and we use peek in through the knot holes to get a look. I use to go on long walks to Waikiki before Kaiser put in the lagoon next to the Ala Wai canal. I use walk along the sea walls of homes way before the Sheraton, Hilton, Hawaiian Village, Barefoot bar and Queens Surf.

Honolulu had wooden piers that we kids use to explore and made rafts out of tubes and stretchers we obtained mysteriously from the old Navy storage yard just behind Reed Land, where the Kamaka Ukulele factory stood.

We had Japanese camps, hawaiian, filipino portugese and the old Mother Walden Park it was great then…..

PAL the Police Activity League for gheto kids next to HASP Hawaii Armed Service Police Station where we learned to play sports and box on the saturdays Biddy Boxing

The family was great there we even made flowered leis for the ships.

I wak very young then but there was a visitor (Elvis) was leaving and girls from everywhere came to say good by to Elvis he took off his shirt and toss it into the harbor about 20 -30 women dove in to get his shirts

You’re right Kakaako was not far we could walk to the Fish market on Hotel Street and then walk to china town it was not far….

We could climb to Punchbowl, go to Library of Hawaii….

We ever watch Santa Clause on fort Street around christmas…….

Then one day we moved and the different camps disappeared we moved to Ewa Beach others to Waimanalo, Nanakuie…….

Thanks-Guy Kamaka

Paul Byers

January 5, 2015

Wondering if this is the same Guy Kamaka I served with in the 101st Airborne .I had returned from Viet Nam and was sent to the 101st and met Guy there.He was from Eva Beach.We became good friends.Later he went to Viet Nam with the division and I got out of the army.Lost touch with him until one day I was picking up my mail from the old Haleiwa post office and there was Guy with his wife.this was back in the 70’s .anyway,I turned around to get my mail and he was gone.Would like to catch up with him .casper19er@yahoo.com

Paul Byers

January 5, 2015

Wondering if this is the same Guy Kamaka I served with in the 101st Airborne .I had returned from Viet Nam and was sent to the 101st and met Guy there.He was from Eva Beach.We became good friends.Later he went to Viet Nam with the division and I got out of the army.Lost touch with him until one day I was picking up my mail from the old Haleiwa post office and there was Guy with his wife.this was back in the 70’s .anyway,I turned around to get my mail and he was gone.Would like to catch up with him .casper19er@yahoo.com

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