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Hawaii’s Luxury Condos

homes062914-3Thirteenth in a series

The unique multi-level penthouse in the historic Hawaii Times Building sets the stage for a “live where you work/work where you live” lifestyle at the edge of the downtown business district. The 2,177 square foot condominium unit is being offered by Coldwell Banker Pacific Properties for $848,000 fee simple.

Designed by Clinton Briggs Ripley and Charles William Dickey, two of Hawaii’s most celebrated architects, and completed in 1897, the building once housed the operations of the Japanese language newspaper, Nippu Jiji, the name on the facade. In the mid 1980s, Norman Lacayo Architects redeveloped both the original building fronting Nuuanu and an attached structure to the rear that served as a press-room. Architect Jeffrey Nishi AIA, who was with the Lacayo firm at the time and opened his own office in the building in 1988, recalls that Lacayo added two floors to the front building and three floors to rear building, bringing it up to five stories and creating the fifth floor penthouse. The exterior was refurbished and the interior upgraded with a dramatic entry lobby with a vaulted ceiling and spiral staircase leading to a lower level and fountain.

In 2007 the building was purchased by the current owner, Nuuanu Partners LLC, which condominiumized it and converted the interior space to 15 fee simple units, with both residential and commercial use allowed under BMX4 zoning. Pets are allowed subject to approval.

The penthouse apartment is adaptable for a variety of uses. The main level includes a large space that served as an office for the previous tenant, a living room, open kitchen, 3 rooms that could serve as bedrooms or additional office space, two with views of downtown, the harbor, and the mountains, and one on an upper level, and a large bathroom with tub and shower. A 135 square foot covered lanai off the kitchen overlooks the city and harbor and provides additional dining space. A storage area on the lanai is equipped for installation of a washer and dryer. From the living room area a spiral staircase leads to a 750 square foot roof deck with potential for use as a viewing area.

Central air conditioning is supplemented by room air conditioners with individual controls and ceiling fans. Essentially a loft space, the main living area has 12 foot, open warehouse style ceilings contributing to the urban ambiance. Track lighting has been installed throughout. The entry is illuminated by a large skylight.

Coldwell Banker Pacific Properties Realtor Lisa Van Den Heuvel is co-listing the property with her colleague Realtor James Lewis. “This building is perfectly located for anyone doing business in downtown Honolulu…and the penthouse is one of the most versatile spaces available due to its size and the special zoning that allows for residential and commercial use,” Van Den Heuvel said. “The array of historic buildings that have been restored and preserved in this section of downtown makes it one of the most interesting parts of the city. It’s a walker’s paradise, with numerous restaurants, the Hawaii Theatre, Hawaii Pacific University, art galleries and the new Walmart close-by. Being close to public transportation is definitely a plus…as well as the new cab companies such as Uber and Lyft that make it easy to get around without the hassle and expense of parking a car. If the buyer needs to have a car, the seller is generously giving a $9,000 credit toward a parking stall of their choice, and there are many parking garages a block or two away.

“This building has attracted a great collection of tenants, mostly professionals and people involved in various creative enterprises, such as video production and design, as well as medical practitioners. I recently sold Unit 210 to a therapist whose main office and residence are on the Big Island. This is a perfect solution for her, since she also has clients on Oahu and the airport is just a short drive.”

Van Den Heuvel noted that a few spaces are still available in the building. She will be holding an open house at the penthouse at 928 Nuuanu Avenue on Sunday, June 29, from 2 to 5 p.m.

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