Kapolei News 7/31/2018: New affordable rental project in Kapolei - Keahumoa Place - has broken ground. 5/10/2018: East Kapolei Middle School broke ground and is expected to open in year 2020. 5/2/18: Ultra Beaty, the largest beauty retailer in the US, is expected to open a store at Kapolei Commons late summer or fall.
About Kapolei Oahu's 2nd City is an idea that's been discussed and debated for decades. It's only been in the last few years that it has truly taken shape in the community of Kapolei. The need for this additional urban center became clear as early as the 1970's when growth and development had transformed Honolulu. The crowded living conditions, traffic problems and other issues were a mounting crisis that called for a solution, or at least relief.
Kapolei's real estate was the answer. Out on the open, flat and, best of all, undeveloped Ewa Plain was a site far enough from Honolulu to create that relieving effect, but close enough for commuting if needed. This second condition was important, especially for the initial years. There probably wouldn't be a significant job market centered here for a time, so drawing the first wave(s) of Kapolei homebuyers would depend on that commute being feasible for them.
In fact, even though it's further west than Ewa Beach, the homes in Kapolei have easier access to the H-1 freeway. That makes one of the biggest commute hurdles, just getting to and on the freeway, easier and quicker for Kapolei residents than their neighbors to the east.
Homes & Neighborhoods in Kapolei In general, the urban Oahu real estate world has seen a larger and larger number of condo properties. That's not the case here. Though it is an emerging city, most of the real estate in Kapolei is houses and townhomes. This is a low-rise neighborhood, befitting its plantation past. That has been the way from the very start when the first development, the Villages at Kapolei, broke ground in 1990.
The developers behind that project, as well as many after, created extremely attractive terms for homebuyers, such as lower interest rates, no closing costs and extra upgrades. That created an even greater appeal than normal an almost perpetually hot local real estate market. It benefited first time homebuyers most because they could buy a new home, without having the cash usually required to do so in Hawaii.
That affordability remains, making this a good place to invest or to buy before that changes. Charming Kapolei townhomes start at less than $300K. If you need a more spacious home, the desirable Kapolei Knolls neighborhood, for example, is famous for its 'Opus' floorplan, which has not just soaring ceilings, but 2,700 sq ft of indoors for you to live and play in as you choose.
Along with the affordable, you'll find luxury homes in Kapolei as well. The presence of both confirms that Kapolei has truly arrived as a broad-based community. These higher end properties are in subdivisions like Kapolei-Malanai, where the homes sit along a peaceful golf course. Residents get to enjoy the most beautiful of lawns without having to tend it themselves. There are also the statelier homes of Kapolei-Iwalani, which are reminiscent of Kahala styled houses.
The Future of the 2nd City What will truly change Kapolei, and all of the Island, will be the rail system that's now under construction. Its beginnings are already very apparent around the area. How exactly it will mark Kapolei does take some guessing, but it's clear that there will be an impact here, at the rail's western end.
Kapolei is a locally brewed, potent mix of firmly established foundations and a future potential that's just a question of how big it will ultimately end up being. That doesn't mean you should approach buying a Kapolei home as a speculator, though. All you need to be is someone looking for a great place to live, raise a family and have all the conveniences at your fingertips - without all the concrete & congestion of that other city.
More About Kapolei With all the attention given to Kapolei real estate during recent years, it's clear that this is a place with a future. Though huge changes are taking place all over Oahu's landscape, especially in Honolulu, none are rising up from bare ground like they are here. The 2nd City is not so much about changing a town as creating it.
That unique situation gives you both opportunities and challenges, some that will last, others that will only extend for the next few years, never to happen again. As a potential homebuyer in Kapolei, awareness of them and their possible impact, for better or worse, on you is the only way to make a decision with confidence about living here.
One of the greatest challenges of Kapolei is that a commute to Downtown Honolulu remains a reality for many residents. That may change, but for now a daily drive to and from work is a necessary slice out of your day. The rail system could relieve at least some of that process, but it's still in the future (expected completion year 2019). For now, you must use the same roads as everyone else.
The weather is a factor as well. Kapolei's climate is a little hotter and drier than east Oahu, so getting, and staying, cool can be more difficult. Summer days can mean energy prices that rise with the temperatures as your A/C gets turned up.
You also must realize that Kapolei is still a work in progress. That will bring many positives as services, shopping and job opportunities grow. It will also become more populated – and it will do so quickly.
Though it certainly won't reach anything like the scale of Honolulu, there will be adjustment as the city fills in and more people, and the homes and infrastructure to serve them, are added. Don't expect the neighborhood to stay the same.
As we said, though, there are a lot of positives, not only to come, but awaiting you right now in Kapolei and they stacks up very well.
Kapolei Real Estate Much has been written already about the affordability, larger floor plans and open skyline you get here, so we must acknowledge those significant features on the Pro side, but also cite a couple of other good reasons for considering buying a home in Kapolei.
This is a place of promise, like no other on Oahu and you can still be in on something close to the ground floor. The inevitable growth of this community means real possibilities for entrepreneurs, for example. You can establish businesses here at less cost and with a potential market that is only getting bigger. The benefits of an environment like this go far beyond business start-ups, though, creating opportunities in employment and lifestyle for all residents – like you.
It's also a golden chance for young families to own a house where their surroundings cater to them. Large parks, good, new schools at every level and access to all the shopping a family needs close by, plus numerous programs and recreation areas for kids, whether that's the many sports leagues or the beaches a short drive from home. It's a keiki paradise.
Buying a home here is more than a real estate purchase, it is the entrance to an adventure still being written all around it. If the present is any indication of the future, there will be a joyously happy outcome for your life here.
The Future of Kapolei Real Estate Kapolei real estate will remain a reliable area for more affordable homes, something badly needed for some time. With areas that still remain undeveloped, those future additions will help keep prices more stable than other parts of Oahu. New inventory keeps the existing from ramping up in value as quickly as the rest of the Island where much of the land has something standing on it already.
One segment to keep an eye on is the luxury properties that have begun to spring up, bringing in the high-end buyer. The success of these residences and the establishment of some of Oahu's best golf courses have proven that the West side can deliver on that level, which will undoubtedly result in more of these homes going up. These properties could be break-out winners, attracting those growing number of high-end buyers who don't like the urban terrain eastward, yet want the shopping and recreation options.
There is no doubt that Kapolei real estate has a bright future, just keep in mind that, in some cases, it may not have the same appreciation factor as other parts of Hawaii in the short term. As a place to live, though, it offers a whole lot.
Area Amenities This neighborhood is rich in amenities, from quality education to large parklands and some of the best shopping on the Island. Living in a Kapolei house, or condo, comes with a multitude of benefits, all within a short drive or a short walk. You'll find that everything you need is within a very few miles from your front door.
Schools & Childcare The public schools in Kapolei are the newest on Oahu, giving them some advantages such as air conditioning and often larger space, inside and outdoors. All schools are in the central part of the town so student commuting will be easy.
Island Pacific Academy – Serves Junior Kindergarten to 12th Grade. Concentration on College Prep with a rigorous curriculum.
Kapolei Middle School – Cited as probably the best Middle School in Leeward Oahu, it sits right in the middle of Kapolei.
Kapolei High School – Uses 'Project Based' teaching system, giving students more responsibility for their learning and connect it to outside world.
Leeward Community College (Pearl City) – Broad range of programs, from liberal arts to training in culinary arts, television production and numerous trades and skills. Native Hawaiian programs offered as well.
UH-West Oahu – The predominant university in all Hawaii. Almost limitless areas of study, from Bachelor to Doctoral degrees.
Public Transportation The Bus has long recognized Kapolei's need for its services, especially for commuters going to Honolulu. In addition to more than a few lines that serve the city, residents have the CountryExpress, which, unlike other express routes, runs all day between this part of West Oahu and Downtown.
Supermarkets & Groceries If you like a broad selection for your groceries, living in Kapolei is a smart move. All of these supermarkets can be found in the city limits, a short drive from your home. Foodland and Safeway are here for the more typical needs. Those who need bigger portions have Costco and the organic and healthy fare fans can get it readily at Down to Earth. No matter what you're looking for, you'll find it in town.
Shopping Alternatives Kapolei has numerous places to shop, including freestanding big box stores and small strip malls, but there are plenty of places to go if you want to take care of a range of needs at one stop.
Ka Makana Ali'i Mall – When completed, this will be the 3rd largest mall on Oahu. The first phase, set to open in 2016, will have 90 stores and restaurants, including Macy's, H & M and Forever 21. When fully done you'll have 150 options within for your shopping and dining pleasure. This will be a prime draw for all West Oahu.
Kapolei Commons – Shopping center with large retailers like Target, Sports Authority, Ross and Petco plus food chain choices, such as Denny's, Subway and Ruby Tuesday. Expansion is coming soon in the form of 'Kapolei Commons Outlets'.
Kapolei Marketplace – More local business oriented than the Commons, with HIC, Fun Factory and Koa Pancake House. No large anchor stores, but still has 64,000 sq ft of shops and eateries.
The Gathering Place – Another one still in the making, it will open in Spring of 2016. Set to be an open air outdoor shopping and dining complex near UH-West Oahu, it will have 55,000 sq ft of commercial space.
Hospitals & Health Care Kapolei does lack in one area as a city – there are no real hospitals in its borders. You do have a few clinics, along with several individual doctor's offices here, however, along with a solid facility nearby in Ewa Beach.
Kapolei Beaches Some claim that West Oahu has some of the best beaches and Kapolei puts you right near a few of them.
Ko Olina Beach Park – Multiple man-made lagoons. All very well maintained with a lot of palm trees for shade and visual appeal, plus calm, blue waters make for excellent swimming.
White Plains Beach – Good, but not intimidating waves perfect for learning surfers and boogie boarders. Lockers, changing rooms & bathrooms so you're taken care of there, too. The sand is nice and smooth for great walking and laying out.
Kalaeloa Beach Park (Barber's Point Beach Park) – Great, secluded beach with campsites just off the sands. Spend the day by some very clear, inviting waters that are cool and refreshing. Some note that fellow campers don't always quiet down at night, though.
Other Recreation The wealth of space in Kapolei brings you recreation attractions like an in-line skating arena, go-cart tracks and paintball courses other Hawaii communities can't match. Not everything requires a fee, though. Here's a sample of free and pay recreation options that Kapolei residents love.
Kroc Center – Much more than a community center it features fitness classes, art studio, multi-use gym and a pool that's more like a small water park, plus a lot more activities and services. Largest of its kind in Hawaii.
Wet 'N' Wild – Extensive water park with plenty to do - wave pool, water tunnels, tube rides and slides, too. Very popular.
Kapolei Regional Park – Huge space with many trees and a lot of parking. Fun playground for kids and perfect place for adults to jog. Often used for soccer, flag football and local carnivals. People love to picnic here, too.
Dining & Restaurants Kapolei is not a fine dining center, though you can find a few at Ko Olina. What Kapolei does have is a lot of great places to eat and snack at every price level. Some so good that jealous East Oahu foodies come over just to get a bite.
Sushi Bay – Uses conveyor belt system. Not only is the sushi delicious, but they give you a lot of it on the plate! Expect to wait for a table. Mid-level pricing.
Thai Lao – Thai fans, and fans-to-be, will love the food here. Their Evil Jungle Curry is a stand-out, but it's all good. You set the spiciness level when you order.
Pho & Company – Local foodies take their pho seriously and they love this place. Low prices and huge portions so you'll be full.
Aloha Salads – All, or most, of salads made with locally grown ingredients. Good sized, too. Soups and sandwiches, too, but the greens are the big draw.
Plantation Tavern – Serves food that “represents Hawaii plantation culture”, so mix of Asian, seafood and other elements that make up 'Local'. Must Tries include the Poke Nachos & Spicy Ahi.
Monkeypod Kitchen (Ko Olina) – The organic salads and Pumpkin Ravioli are top draws, but diners also love the live music. The pies get a lot of thumbs-up, too, making a great capper to your meal.
Kapolei Korean Barbecue – Ono Korean food. Got kids? Try the Family Pack for great price and a lot to eat. All portions are generous though.
My Cafe – Focus here is Breakfast & Brunch. Order the Eggs Benedict or if you're a pancakes lover, ask for the Pancake Flight. You get 3 mouthwatering flavors – Cookie Buta Luv, Lilikoi and Chocolate Taro Haupia!
Curry House Coco Ichibanya – Curry lovers can't get enough of this place. Chicken, shrimp, beef – it's all here and it's all ono. Water is self-served so you never run out when the spiciness gets to you. Very affordable, but Cash Only.
Koa Pancake House – The 6AM to 2PM schedule means this is a Breakfast & Brunch joint. Delicious, but served on paper plates with plastic utensils. Get past that and you'll have some of the best pancakes, eggs benedict and portuguese sausage anywhere. Can get very busy.
Ono Steak & Shrimp – Guess what they serve here. Foodies come here for, yes, the Steak & Shrimp Combo Plate most of all and they can't say enough about it! Also have an excellent seafood plate if you want to try something different.
Distances From Kapolei to Other Parts of Oahu Ko Olina: 6 miles Waikiki: 23.6 miles Honolulu Airport: 17 miles Downtown Honolulu: 21.2 miles Ala Moana Shopping Center: 23.6 miles Pearl Harbor/Hickam: 16.8 miles Pearlridge Shopping Center: 12.4 miles Mililani: 15.8 miles Kaneohe: 26.1 miles Kailua: 30.3 miles Lanikai: 32.2 miles Waimanalo: 31.4 miles North Shore (Haleiwa): 26.8 miles Sunset Beach: 34 miles
Kapolei History In the heated build-up of Oahu's 2nd City, it's been largely forgotten that this was an extremely important site for the ancient Hawaiians. Central to its significance was the tall hill, or pu'u, that stood here, a high point on the Ewa Plain. From here, kahunas dedicated to the goddess Kapo tracked the path of the sun throughout the year.
Kapo was the goddess of hula and sorcery and the elder sister of Pele. On the Winter Solstice the sunlight formed a ring around this hill, named Pu'u O Kapolei. That ring, or lei, combined with 'Kapo' gave us the name we know these lands by, Kapolei.
While the place had a major religious role, it didn't have a practical one. The Ewa Plain was a hotter, drier area of Oahu so it was not thought to be good farmland. This wasn't just the belief of the Native Hawaiians, it was the conventional wisdom among the American & European plantation owners of the 19th Century as well.
That's why the purchase by James Campbell of over 40 thousand acres here in 1877 was believed to be a foolish, if not catastrophic, move. Campbell dug deep, however, and found ample water sources that no one else realized were there. He quickly became a very rich man as huge fields of sugar and pineapple sprang up on previously barren land.
The landscape was altered some by an agreement between the victors of World War I, which required the US to reduce the size of the Navy. This meant that some guns intended for battleships were now given to coastal defenses. One such base was built on Pu'u O Kapolei and given the name Fort Barette. Decommissioned after the 2nd World War, the location can still be easily recognized from the air.
After Campbell's death his holdings were put into an estate. By the early 1950's the estate recognized that the end of the plantation economy was coming. In 1955 they revealed their plans to turn these fields into a new urban center for Oahu. Most don't know that it was the Campbell Estate, not the government, who came up with the concept that's only coming to full fruition now.
The modern, rapidly growing Kapolei that dominates the West side of Oahu is truly a tale of possibility and potential realized. What was once the local equivalent of desert, its sterile and bare lands now hold a thriving community. This was something thought to be impossible not only by Campbell's detractors, but even many in the mid-20th Century. It will be truly exciting to see what happens next in this place that has defied the odds.
We exclude Leasehold data from this market analysis because Leasehold properties do not compare with regular Fee Simple properties.
We use median instead of the average because it depicts more accurately a central tendency to the sample size. Example: Take 5 numbers - 3, 5, 7, 9, 21. The median is 7 (the middle number) and the average is 9 (sum of all divided by 5).
We count days on market from listing date through closing date.