The Portlock Preference
Every upscale neighborhood in Hawaii has its own unique combination of features and advantages that attract high-end buyers, developers, and investors, all of whom have varying priorities. Although most buyers are influenced by financial considerations, such as price and potential for appreciation, lifestyle and personal preferences ultimately affect most decisions.
Choi International Realtor Julianna Garris, who has been involved in numerous Portlock/Koko Kai transactions over the years, has noted that buyers who want a home that offers both ocean frontage and privacy as well as larger than average parcels often find what they’re looking for in Portlock.
She pointed out that the majority of the lots range from 20,000 to 40,000 square feet along the section of Portlock Road from Lawai Street to the former Kaiser Estate, an area where kamaaina families built the classic homes of the period starting in the late 1950s.
“Recently owners of some ocean front homes have purchased adjacent street-side parcels to extend their properties from street to ocean,” Garris said. “At recent open houses I’ve met some families who are returning to Portlock after having moved to other upscale neighborhoods closer to town for a period of time. They are realizing they miss the spacious lots. Also, because of the geography of the area, homes on the coast as well as the lower slope of Koko Head may have mountain as well as ocean and coastal views. Those facing directly west overlook Maunalua Bay and the Kahala coastline with Diamond Head in the distance the sunset views are spectacular.
“The bay, which is reef-protected and usually calm, offers opportunities for a wide range of water sports boating, kayaking, canoeing, and windsurfing also, there are swimming holes and access to deep water at a number of spots along the coast. Board surfers have a choice of about a half dozen surf breaks along the reef and off the point.”
She noted that Portlock buyers are a diverse mix, both owner-occupants and investors from the western U.S. and Canada, foreign buyers with an increasing percentage from China, and local residents.
“Another attraction of this neighborhood is the proximity of Hawaii Kai…shopping, restaurants, services, schools, everything you need is there. Portlock and Koko Kai are actually part of Hawaii Kai and so there is a shared sense of community.”
Garris and Choi International Principal Broker Patricia Choi are currently co-listing a classic Portlock estate designed by distinguished Hawaii architect Alfred Preis in 1953. Garris describes the 28,466 square foot gated property as a “mini resort,” complete with swimming pool, tennis courts, beautiful tropical landscaping, mountain views, and several outdoor areas for entertaining. The home includes a 2,598 square foot main living area and a 900 square foot guest unit with a separate entrance. It is listed at $2,599,000 and shown by appointment.