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Living Where You Work, Working Where You Live

homes0420_1In early 2013, D. R. Horton-Schuler Homes introduced Awakea, a unique mixed-use commercial/residential development in its master planned Mehana community in Kapolei.

Awakea at Mehana consists of residential units, primarily townhomes, representing a variety of home styles, plus commercial spaces in eight three-story buildings. The overall development features 22 commercial/residential condominium units with flex space on the ground floor and the residential space above it. “When we went to market in April of 2013, we called these our live/work units and buyer response was amazing,” said Mary Flood, D.R. Horton-Schuler Homes Vice President of Marketing. “When we announced their availability, buyers were literally standing in line at the sales office. They sold out immediately. Two more buildings with flex units will be offered this summer.”

According to Flood, residential space includes a living room, dining area, kitchen, bedrooms, baths and a lanai. The ground level flex comes with a finished bathroom, flooring and electricity. It is the buyer’s choice to utilize the ground floor as a commercial space or ohana unit.

“We are now in the process of planning another Awakea increment of two three-story buildings with commercial spaces also available for retail and commercial use, but on a different basis,” she said. “Unlike the flex units, the upstairs residential area and downstairs commercial space are deeded separately. Buyers finish off their own space depending on the intended use.

“Two upper floors of condominium apartments will offer single-level living with two or three bedrooms, two baths, living room, dining room, kitchen and lanai,” she added. “These residences will come with elevators and parking spaces in the rear.”

Flood noted that commercial use will be subject to approval by a developer’s committee. Currently convenience stores and other types of retail operations, including food vendors and restaurants, are on the “approved” list, along with financial and medical offices.

“We have already sold commercial space to a hairdressing salon, a café, a psychologist, a massage studio and a vision care center,” she added. “For these commercial bays we provide only an empty space and it is up to the owner to make the necessary improvements and installations.

“Mehana currently offers the only residential community in the urban center of Kapolei, which is a huge feature when you consider that the commercial space owners will want to be able to attract foot traffic. Conversely, residents will be within walking distance of numerous options for shopping and dining.

“Although Awakea is innovative as a new development, the concept of living where you work or working where you live is anything but modern. In most old downtown areas across the nation and in foreign countries people have traditionally lived above their shops and offices. There are many examples of this lifestyle in older sections of downtown Honolulu. At a time when convenience and security have become priorities in choosing a home or neighborhood, Awakea represents an old idea whose time has come again. We expect Awakea to continue to generate the same enthusiastic buyer response when we go to market with more product and more options this summer,” Flood said.

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