Kamehame…Three Decades Of Development On Hawaii Kai’s Eastern Ridge
The volcanic eruptions that formed southeastern Oahu also sculpted one of Hawaii’s most dramatically beautiful landscapes. Dominated by towering Koko Crater and Koko Head, this dry, rugged corner of the island has become the setting of upscale residential development, most notably Kamehame Ridge and Na Pali Haweo. Views from the subdivisions that extend up the ridgeline embrace a sweeping panorama of crater, coastline, and the Hawaii Kai community below.
Kalanianaole, the main route to neighborhoods nestled in the valleys or topping the ridges, soars above Hanauma Bay and wave battered cliffs before descending to Sandy Beach and the intersection with Kealahou, the access road into Kalama Valley. This is the scenic option to the approach from Hawaii Kai Drive.
Close by are numerous recreational resources, including the two Hawaii Kai golf courses, Koko Head District Park, Kamiloiki Park, Koko Head Botanical Gardens, Koko Crater Equestrian Center, beaches, and miles of hiking and riding trails.
Like most of East Oahu’s ridgeline developments, the first homes were built at the lower levels. The original subdivision took the name Kamehame Ridge, “Kamehame” being the Hawaiian name for the entire ridge. Development plans for the subdivision broke in the late 1970s and construction was well under way by the early 1980s.
The newest Kamehame development, Bali Lofts, is a nine lot single family home subdivision at the base of the ridge where two vacant lots and one home under construction are being marketed by Elite Pacific Properties.
Topping Kamehame Ridge is the Na Pali Haweo luxury home community, a subdivision of 193 lots that extends up the ridge-line to reach the highest point at approximately 700 feet.
Lot sales began in 1991 and, in 1998, 38 were still unsold. Vernco Properties Principal Broker Vernon K. T. Chock, a specialist in land sales, sold out the remaining lots for the developer, Maunalua Associates, in 18 months. Currently, 19 lots remain unbuilt.
“The mission of the developer was to create an upscale neighborhood of custom, architect designed homes on large lots with deep setbacks and protected view channels,” Chock said. “The infrastructure, including roads and the layout of the subdivision, was designed to support these objectives. Buyers are required to observe architectural and landscaping criteria overseen by the home owners association. The developer also created the community park at a cost of approximately one million and dedicated it to the owner’s association, which maintains it and provides security. The fact that Na Pali Haweo has the ambiance of a gated community with public rather than private streets is a feature that appeals to buyers because it keeps common area maintenance costs down.”
Currently topping the ridge as well as the price range is a unique custom home designed by Hawaii architect Fritz Johnson and listed by Prudential Advantage Realty at $1,795,000. The 3,559 square foot, two story luxury home is situated on a 18,801 square foot rim lot overlooking Koko Crater, Hawaii Kai, and the coast. Prudential Advantage Realty President and Owner Myron Kiriu said, “The home, built seven years ago, is designed in the style of a Mediterranean villa with Island style interior finishes, including hardwood floors, cabinetry, and trim. Wraparound decks on both levels add another 1,500 square feet to the home, which has gorgeous views from all the main living areas.”