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Explaining Honolulu Neighborhoods


Area 3a: Kaimuki District

Kaimuki, located mainly on the slopes of Diamond Head, is an older established area particularly appealing to residents whose families have lived there for generations. Its residential and business community is over 100 years old. The majority of single-family properties are at least 5,000 sq. ft. with some properties subdivided into areas as small as 2,400 sq. ft. Chaminade University (private), neighborhood shopping centers, restaurants, private and public schools, parks, and grocers service the needs of the population. There are also some condominiums in this area. Although the elevation is high in these hillsides they are generally sunny and dry. Nearby in the arid neighborhoods of St. Louis Heights, Wilhelmina Rise, and Maunalani Heights you’ll find a mixed style of older and newer homes, many with city and ocean views.

Area 3b: Waialae / Kahala District

Kahala takes on the look of a nicely defined suburb with regional shopping center Kahala Mall and the Kahala Mandarin Hotel (formerly the Kahala Hilton). The lots in Waialae average 7,000 to 8,000 sq. ft. Many of the 10,000 sq. ft. and larger lot homes in the area have swimming pools, wider streets, deeper front lawns, and have consistently been on the higher end of Oahu’s price scale. The beachfront properties of Kahala, Diamond Head, and Black Point are some of the most expensive in the nation. For those desiring more view, there is the hillside neighborhood of executive homes called Waialae Iki. Other options are the golf course homes in the Kai Nani area and the homes on a peninsula called Wailupe. Other residential alternatives for the area are two high-rise condominiums and four nearby townhouse projects.

Area 3c: Hawaii Loa Ridge District

Hawaii Loa Ridge is an exclusive, gated hillside community of large homes offering buyers a community clubhouse and tennis courts. Many have spectacular views of the ocean, Diamond Head crater to the west or Koko Head crater in the east because the developer established protected view corridors for the lots. All the custom homes must first obtain the approval of the developer’s review board and meet their minimum requirements. Within this gated community is another newer gated community, The Pointe. These are premier view lots on the west slope and residents have part ownership of the elegant Pointe Club clubhouse.

Area 3d: Hawaii Kai / Portlock District

Hawaii Kai itself is a master planned community begun in the 1960s by the renowned American industrialist, Henry J. Kaiser. Once regarded as a “country area” for farmers, Hawaii Kai has become one of the premier suburbs of Oahu. The variety of housing styles and price ranges appeals to a diverse group of residents. It’s about 12 miles from downtown Honolulu with easy access to the H-1 Freeway. It is close to Kahala and Kaimuki neighborhoods on one end and to Waimanalo and Kailua on the other end. The Hawaii Kai community enjoys a good variety of beaches, golf courses, tennis courts, movie theaters, and restaurants. In fact, other popular community-based businesses and services such as supermarkets, fitness centers, playgrounds, medical facilities, and dry cleaners are located in Hawaii Kai so residents do not have to go far for their day-to-day needs. For recreation, the many wide streets encourage biking and jogging. Nearby is Sandy Beach for experienced body surfers; Hanauma Bay, a nature preserve; and Maunaloa Bay for water skiing, boating, or canoe paddling. The single-family homes are in a variety of price ranges but generally begin above the affordable range for Oahu. The Hawaii Kai high-rise condominiums have commanded higher prices than condominiums in other Oahu regions. The Portlock district offers premium luxury beachfront homes.


Cite: Real Estate in Oahu Neighborhoods.




Dr. Sheila Embry is a govie, author, pracademician, sister, aunt, cousin, and friend who loves to read, write, think, and laugh. Many of her blog postings are summaries or excerpts of books that she read and wants to share to encourage others. An author with more than 25 years experience within the legislative and executive branches of the U. S. federal government holding 3 accredited degrees: Doctor of Management in Organizational Leadership, Master of Arts in Human Resources Development, and Baccalaureate of Business Administration, she believes in continuing learning both on and off the job. She has been recognized with multiple professional and writing awards for her peer-reviewed, publications. Click the bibliography page above for a listing of all the publications.

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