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Hawaii’s Heavenly Heights

HOMES-101115-4Nineteenth in a series

Punchbowl is a dual neighborhood with Upper and Lower sectors consisting of a diversity of home styles in a wide price range. An extinct volcanic crater, Punchbowl is both a natural landmark and a historic site as the location of the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific.

The profile of the crater, which was formed between 75,000 and 100,000 years ago, duplicates that of Diamond Head when both are viewed from the west. Its ancient Hawaiian name, “Puowaina,” or “hill of sacrifice,” took on new meaning with the construction of the cemetery as the final resting place of those who sacrificed their lives in modern wars. Now on the National Register of Historic Places, it is open to the public and among Oahu’s most frequently visited historic sites.

One of Oahu’s largest concentrations of condominium apartments is in the Punchbowl area where apartment development gathered momentum in the mid 1960s. Gradually lowrise, midrise, and eventually high-rise structures replaced the original single family homes, changing the landscape of this older residential community on the edge of town.

The convenience of the neighborhood has continued to drive residential development on the slopes of Punchbowl over the years. The Ward Centres and Ala Moana Center are just down the hill, and downtown Honolulu is accessible by several routes. Cultural options, such as the Honolulu Museum of Art, Blaisdell Center, and the concert hall are close-by.

However, the enduring popularity of the Punchbowl area with both buyers and renters is not predicated solely on convenience. The rich fabric of the neighborhood with its diverse architectural styles and vintage homes side by side with new builds adds to its visual appeal.

One of the few new single family homes to be built on the slopes of Punchbowl in recent years is a custom-designed residence offered at $1,350,000 by Maggie L. Huang (RA), CIPS, Vice President, Choi International.

The brand new 6 bedroom, 4.5 bath luxury home commands a spectacular unobstructed view of Diamond Head, the ocean, the mountains, and, at night, the spectacle of the sparkling city lights of Honolulu. Situated on a quiet street in Upper Punchbowl, the home is designed to capture views from most major living areas, as well as from its multiple lanais. The 5,415 square foot, terraced property backs up against preservation land, which contributes to a sense of privacy. Space has been well-utilized to accommodate both the 3,886 square foot home and a two-car garage.

Located on the ground floor are two bedrooms, a full bath, den, and wet-bar; the main living/dining area, spacious chef’s kitchen, two bedrooms, and one-and-a-half baths occupy the second floor; on the top floor are a family room, master suite with luxurious bath and walk-in closet, plus an additional guest bedroom with bath, and a deck. Luxury finishes throughout include hardwood, marble, and ceramic tile flooring and granite counters.

“This home reminds people of San Francisco urban living,” Huang said. “A new single family home with a spectacular view so close to downtown and priced under $1.5 million is a rare fi nd in this market. Plus the masonry construction is of the highest quality. The builder/seller, 57 Builder Ltd., has completed numerous projects for both the State government and the military. Company owner Jianjie Ji acknowledged that building on the tight, sloping site was a challenge requiring extensive engineering and architectural work. Concrete footings, retaining walls, and the composition of the underlying soil and rock all ensure the stability of the structure. Mr. Ji said the fact that the lot was purchased 10 years ago has made it possible to offer the home at the current price, an excellent value that could not be duplicated if the property were priced at today’s market rate.”

Huang is showing the home by appointment and at Sunday open houses (Open House, Sunday, October 11, 2-5 p.m.).

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