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Island Retreats


Second in a series

Located on the shores of Laie Bay is a palatial “beach house” built by a family who modeled it after their ancestral baronial home in Germany. Constructed primarily of masonry, it was built to last and weather the winds and salt air of Oahu’s Windward Coast.

The 3.88-acre estate consists of three separate dwellings with a total of 21,029 square feet of interior living area and 2,223 square feet of lanais overlooking the ocean and gardens, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, a tennis court, and a 1,344 square foot garage.

Historically, Laie’s beachfront properties served as country retreats for kamaaina families whose primary residences were located in more urbanized Honolulu neighborhoods. During the early and mid 1900s, they built large, rambling beachfront homes and cottages where they could enjoy the laid-back lifestyle in what was then a completely rural setting. The Von Holt and Knudsen families were most recently associated with the property. A remnant of one of the old estates, a one bedroom A-frame built in the 1950s, is attached to the existing main house.

Accessed by a private drive off Kamehameha Highway, the property includes lush vegetation and groves of mature coco palms. Adjacent to its northern boundary is a rocky bluff which further contributes to the sense of seclusion. Mauka of the highway are farms and Laie Beach Park.

The allure of the area for both kamaaina and new residents is now and always has been what some consider the best beaches on the island. Wide and sandy, Laie’s beaches are washed by waves that range from gentle to surfable with larger breakers attracting body surfers from all parts of Oahu during the winter months, particularly the section known as Pounders. Generally, however, the Laie beaches are conducive to swimming, snorkeling, kayaking, windsurfing, and fishing.

According to Coldwell Banker Pacific Properties Realtor Kai McDurmin, who has listed the estate for $9,700,000, the main residence was completed in 1986. “The original owners of the existing house had a large and extended family, hence its size with a total of ten bedrooms and fourteen full baths,” McDurmin said. “The current owners, who are originally from the East Coast, fell in love with the location…they wanted a home that was both private and large enough for children and grandchildren to roam and enjoy the outdoors, including the beaches and hiking trails.

“Since we began showing the property, we have been getting interest from people from the Midwest and the East Coast, even Europe. They are attracted by the spaciousness and privacy of the home, but they have also commented on the fact that the area has a more casual feel than the traditional higher-end oceanfront neighborhoods.”

Although the estate is secluded, it is not isolated. Shopping malls are close-by in both Laie town and Hauula. Haleiwa, with trendy boutiques and restaurants, art galleries, and the North Shore Marketplace, is about a half hour drive north. The nine-hole ocean-front Kahuku Golf Course is also a short drive up Kamehameha Highway.

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