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Choosing The Downtown Lifestyle

Honolulu Tower and Honolulu Park Place, completed in 1982 and 1989, respectively, were developed, designed, and built by the same award-winning team, Charles Pankow Builders and architect Norman Lacayo. Sharing the block bounded by Nuuanu, Beretania, Maunakea, and Kukui Street, these two very desirable highrise condominium residences constitute a mini neighborhood of their own.

The buildings are located within the Chinatown Historic District, a few blocks from the Capital Historic District and at the edge of the Downtown Honolulu Arts District with its galleries, performing arts venues, and special events.

The Honolulu Tower comprises 396 one, two, and three bedroom units with step-out lanais and is one of only a few downtown highrises with three bedroom floor plans. The secured building includes a recreation area with a swimming pool and parking. The price range for units on the market is $349,000 for a one bedroom to $659,000 for a three bedroom. Honolulu Park Place’s 437 units, all with large lanais, range from $425,000 for a one bedroom to $649,000 for a two bedroom penthouse.

Eric Hill, owner and Principal Broker of Honolulu Realty, has handled sales for Honolulu Tower and Honolulu Park Place since they first went on the market and worked closely with the developer to set the original pricing.

“Each building has its own special features,” Hill said. “Honolulu Park Place is really a masterpiece…it sold out three times over before it was even completed. Some of its features are the 40 visitor parking spaces, 24-hour concierge-like security, and elaborate recreational amenities, including a Nautilus fitness center, racquetball and squash courts, bowling alley, recreation deck with spa, swimming pool, and golf practice nets, barbecue areas, and party rooms. All are available to both owners and renters.

“Some units have seen significant appreciation, a testament to the quality of these projects as well as to the strong ‘in-town’ living trend. The trend continues to strengthen in Downtown Honolulu as more and more options for dining, shopping, and entertainment are added. It has also contributed to the stability of prices and the significant investments that many owners have made in remodeling, extending to the reconfiguring of floor plans. A case in point is a Honolulu Tower remodeled three bedroom unit on the 14th floor listed by Century 21 All Islands at $659,000….a three bedroom on the 5th floor that has not been remodeled is offered by Altera Real Estate for $515,000.”

Honolulu Park Place apartment owner Harley Oda purchased his one bedroom unit in 2002 for just under $200,000. Comparable units in the building are now listed in the high $300,000s. However, Oda is not planning to sell…he enjoys the downtown lifestyle and the building’s numerous recreational facilities. The owner of Acme Computer Services, he can walk to his office on Nuuanu Avenue in minutes as well as to the restaurants he and his wife enjoy. “We work long hours, so being able to come home, leave the car in the garage, and walk to a restaurant is one of the advantages of living here,” Oda said. “If you don’t want to leave the apartment at all, you can order from a restaurant on the ground floor that will deliver. If you want to work out or go for a swim, you don’t have to leave the premises…the facilities are comparable to what you find in a private club. The lanai adds about another 200 square feet to our 700 square foot apartment and it’s big enough to set up a table and chairs for dining outdoors while enjoying the view of the city and harbor. The eighth floor deck with barbecue areas and the party room is extensively landscaped with a koi pond and waterfall…you can always find a quiet spot to read or work on your computer and literally feel like you’re in the country…until you look up and see the building across the street which reminds you that you’re in Downtown Honolulu.”

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