I recently stopped by to view progress at Kohanaiki, the new residential community and private club just south of the Kona airport. At the time of my previous blog post, only vacant lots were available for sale. I’d just learned that a third client was in escrow on a property there (good news for the Beth and Pam team as an owner trading up gives us a great listing), and the latest was in escrow on one of the Hale Mai’a townhomes.
Kohanaiki – oceanfront private membership community under construction just south of the Kona airport
One of my takeaway lines from last year’s Hawaii Life Worthshop was, “Realtors, like philosophers, get paid to think.” I love that sentence because the most value I can add to a buyer’s equation is not to give them the facts and figures about a property (they have a hundred ways to research that for themselves). The question they want me to help them answer is, “Which of the communities is the best fit for my lifestyle and objectives?”
With 23 lots sold (closed or in escrow), ten town homes sold pre-construction, and four of the twelve Zak-designed custom homes currently being built already spoken for, the character of the community is becoming clearer. So who are the buyers at Kohanaiki on the Kona Coast?
Do You Read Dwell Magazine or Use the Word “Epic?”
When I wrote about Kohanaiki versus Hualalai Resort or Kukio a year ago, I made some predictions. The development and sales team at Kohanaiki told me they were targeting the demographic that Dwell Media Group calls “the new face of affluence.” That has turned out to be a good generalization. Buyers at Kohanaiki tend to be young (often with a pack of young children) or at least young at heart, active, independent. They are buying on the basis of what they see as much as who they know (whereas the typical Hualalai or Kukio buyer already has friends who are members).
Let me throw out some other phrases that Michela O’Connor Abrams, CEO of Dwell Media, uses. If this characterization fits you, my guess is you would feel right at home at Kohanaiki.
“They don’t vacation, they are cultural explorers.”
Appreciation of diversity is part of what drives a family to want a home in Hawai’i, with its cultural richness. The sales staff at Kohanaiki is versed on the historical context of the land being developed and the developers strive to maintain a sense of place. Activities available to Kohanaiki Club members include surfing, outrigger canoeing, and deep sea fishing…provided by the “Adventure Team.” The members calendar notes Big Island cultural events such as the Merrie Monarch Festival and the Queen Lili’uokalani Long Distance Canoe races.
“They care about good design: WOW factor, enduring, pleasing to the senses, functional, authentic, quality of life.”
Kohanaiki’s Hale Mai’a Town Homes have living areas and master on the second floor for the views (MLS# 272995)
The developer-built options at Kohanaiki address this definition of good design. The town homes are designed to be functional for their owner’s lifestyle. We talk about indoor-outdoor living as part of the resort lifestyle: these lanai spaces are 50% as big as the indoor space of the home. Some town homes come with a separate 500 sq. ft. guest house. Built with the main daytime living spaces and the master suite on the second floor, in order to enjoy those epic ocean views.
Notice the subdued, modern interior design by Claire Ownby, who makes her second home in Hawai’i. Honolulu-based architect Warren Sunnland, no stranger to Kona-Kohala Coast resort communities, considers these homes his updated version of the Hawaiian beach house. Who needs more, when the entire Kohanaiki community is your playground?
“They are informed, independent thinkers, design savvy, discerning consumers. Social status is unimportant; their affluence is understated.”
The first single family home collection at Kohanaiki – a modern interpretation of the original “hale”
The first of the Custom Hales will be complete by end-2014. These are single level homes with the interior contained under a steeply pitched roof to allude to the traditional Hawaiian “hale.” The Shay Zak designs are modest in their size (1,966 sq. ft. for the three-bedroom and 2,392 sq. ft. for the four-bedroom) but with attention to detail and materials for buyers who care more about quality and authenticity than display. Prices start at $3.6 million (MLS# 273002), competitive with single family homes at any of the Kohala Coast resorts.
What’s Next at Kohanaiki?
Members are looking forward to completion of the 70,000 sq. ft. permanent Club House, which in addition to super fitness facilities will include areas for bowling, movies, member wine lockers, and even a poker-and-cigar lounge. Several members who have bought already are pro athletes who will be sharing their talents at special events.
Meanwhile, feel free to head to the over-the-top comfort stations on the golf course. Clearly, Kohanaiki is designed for folks who take quality seriously…but don’t take themselves too seriously.
A hui hou,
Beth Thoma Robinson, R(B)