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The Vintage Homes Of Kaimuki Hill

First in a series

Located in the heart of Kaimuki in the area referred to as Kaimuki Hill is Ocean View Estates, a unique enclave of large vintage homes built in the 1930s. Most of these homes share a similar architectural style characterized by steeply sloping roofs, clapboard siding, and extensive use of lava rock in pillars, foundations, and retaining walls.

Seven of the homes, including one currently offered for sale, are located on Hanole Place; others are sited on walled lots above Ocean View Drive.

City and County records indicate that development plans for Ocean View Estates were under way as early as 1928 on a parcel of land known as “Ocean View Tract.”

This was Kaimuki’s original luxury home development. Other vintage upscale homes are found throughout Kaimuki, but none in what could be considered a homogeneous neighborhood.

Developers of the period tended to shun Kaimuki which for the most part was hot, dry, dusty, and unpaved. Distance from Downtown Honolulu and the beaches of Waikiki were considered other negative factors. However, the next best thing to being on the ocean is a view of the ocean, and the early developers and builders of Ocean View Estates recognized the potential of this area that is now commanding prices comparable to Kahala. The various rises enjoy not only ocean and mountain views but breezy weather as well.

The homes on Hanole Place and Ocean View Drive rarely become available. Most of them have been well maintained and frequently remodeled. The most recent sale was an Ocean View Drive home built in 1930 and remodeled in 2007.

One home in Ocean View Estates is currently being offered for sale at $1,100,000 fee simple by East Oahu Realty Realtor Pat Reilly. The three level, 11 room home at 728B Hanole Place is perched on a 5,487 square foot lot at one of the highest elevations in Kaimuki. Built in 1938 it has been remodeled at various times, most recently by the current owner, whose family has occupied the home for three generations.

“This is the perfect multigenerational home becoming available at a time when people are choosing this kind of living arrangement,” Reilly said. “We are hearing a lot about college graduates moving in with their parents due to the weak job market. Young marrieds with children are living together with parents and grandparents who take care of the keiki while they work. Each of the three floors of this house has an exterior entrance but all living areas are also connected within.

“On the main mid level the home opens up to a huge lanai overlooking Waikiki. Rooms at all levels have spectacular views of ocean, mountains, and the coast from Koko Head to Ewa. When you open a set of sliding glass doors on the upper level you look out at an unobstructed view of Diamond Head…you see the entire crater with the ocean in the background framed like a painting.

“The current owner has lovingly remodeled the home with fresh paint inside and out. The trim work around windows and doors, the ceiling and base moldings is a work of art. The kitchen is all new, as are the classic double hung windows. The large windows and high ceilings impart a sense of spaciousness and airiness…the designers and builders who created these hidden treasures understood how to take advantage of natural light and ventilation. They were ‘green’ before it became a trend.”

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