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Paiko Lagoon…Unique Setting Inspired Leading Architects

Part Two

Kuliouou, as a Hawaiian ahupuaa, was a contiguous community extending from the mountains to the sea. Today, Kuliouou Valley and Kuliouou Makai, with its unique oceanfront comprising Paiko Lagoon, differ not only geographically but also demographically.

The makai sector of the Kuliouou neighborhood, known as Paiko Lagoon, lies between Kalanianaole Highway and Maunalua Bay with a State Wildlife Sanctuary as its defining feature. The 33-acre preserve, administered by the State Department of Land and Natural Resources Division of Forestry and Wildlife, is primarily a sanctuary for water-birds, providing habitat for the Hawaiian stilt, various migratory shore birds, and sea birds.

The pond with its small central island is a highlight of the views from the surrounding homes. Unlike the lagoon, which is a protected preserve, the pond is accessible to residents for boating and fishing.

Homes currently on the market in the area range from moderately priced condominiums to multi-million dollar estates. What homes at all price points have in common is access to the unique natural environment of Paiko.

Over the years, prominent individuals, kamaaina families, and business leaders have built their primary residences at Paiko, attracted by its picturesque coastline, serene views, and sense of privacy. In addition, large properties were available in the 1950s and 1960s when many of the estates were developed.

Property owners hired the best architectural firms of the period to design their homes. Celebrated architect Vladimir Ossipoff FAIA build his own home in Paiko and designed others in the area for clients.

A gated, 1.25 acre estate at 5931 Kalanianaole, listed by Choi International at $5,388,000, was designed by the Seattle-based architectural firm Bassetti, Morse, and Tatom. Completed in 1962, it was remodeled at various times and showcases the work of designers Jack Adams and Rose Marie Alvaro. The sprawling, single story home opens to an unobstructed view of the lagoon, Maunalua Bay, and Koko Head, with water frontage in excess of 180 linear feet. The home interior is an expansive 5,182 square feet augmented by 715 square feet of patio and lanai space. The property, one of the largest fronting the lagoon, includes a separate caretaker’s quarters, four car garage, swimming pool, and tennis court. Listing Realtor

Patricia Choi noted that an additional residence could be built on the property. “There is nothing like this setting anywhere else on the island,” Choi said. “The home is open to the lagoon and preserve with its many species of waterbirds, but at the same time there is total privacy. The view is ever changing from sunrise to sunset… always conveying a sense of peace and serenity.”

At the Hawaii Kai end of Paiko Lagoon is the Kuliouou Kai townhome community, built in 1972 and designed by the Honolulu architectural firm Boone & Brooks, whose projects ranged from single family homes to public buildings. The 2.379 acre complex, located on Summer Street, includes 28 units, all two or three story, well maintained gardens, and a swimming pool.

Recently RE/MAX Honolulu Realtor Maxine Robson listed a two bedroom, two bath Kuliouou Kai townhome at $545,000 and sold it after only one open house, receiving multiple offers. She notes that residents of this unique, well designed condominium complex rarely sell and place location and views at the top of their list of its most appealing features, closely followed by convenient access to the malls of Hawaii Kai.

“This townhome community is very popular with environ-mentalists and people who enjoy water sports…also with people who have animals, since both dogs and cats are allowed and with no weight limit,” Robson said. “Kuliouou Beach Park is just down the highway. The buyers of the property I listed are people who grew up in Hawaii. In fact, most of my East Oahu buyers in recent years have been local and they are really pleased when they can find a home they like at a price they can afford, since inventory is very low today…particularly in the most desirable neighborhoods.”

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