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Destination Kailua

Explore the shops, restaurants, schools and businesses that make Kailua an alluring piece of paradise.


(page 4 of 5)

Out on the Town


One thing is certain: Kailua knows how to throw a great party. Almost every weekend, you’ll find Kailuans gathering for popular community events like the “Kanikapila in Kailua” and “I Love Hula in Kailua” performances. Throughout the year, residents take to the streets for annual parades and festivities like “Cool Kailua Nights,” “Da Kine Canine Festival” and the biggest bash of the year, the “I Love Kailua” town party. These events are sponsored by the Harold K.L. Castle Foundation in partnership with Kaneohe Ranch, Kailua’s largest landowner. Kaneohe Ranch is also responsible for improving Kailua’s accessibility, such as adding outdoor seating, Wi-Fi hubs, wider sidewalks, bicycle racks, landscaping, and improved parking. The Castle Foundation also funds grants for public schools, marine conservation programs, and Windward Oahu communities.

For more Kailua event info, visit kailuatown.net/kailuaevents.php.

Welcome Home

With its amazing eateries, great shopping and laid-back lifestyle, it’s no wonder that every year more and more visitors want to call Kailua home. According to the U.S. Census, from 2000 to 2010, Kailua’s population grew more than nine percent.

PHOTOS: courtesy donna maier/coldwell banker pacific properties / carvill & company

“We can feel our little town changing,” says Donna Maier, a Realtor with Coldwell Banker Pacific Properties and life-long Kailua resident. “It’s ‘out’–more tourists, more people know about it.” Real estate inventory, which was already low, dropped drastically in 2013 due to high demand. “A buyer needs to work with a full-time realtor who knows the market, is familiar with the area, and knows the nuances and differences between the neighborhoods,” Maier says. For instance, you could find a $500,000 house in Coconut Grove three blocks over from a $25 million house on Lanikai beachfront. She says the Coldwell Banker team often hears about things before they go on the market. “The agents in our Windward office are dedicated professionals that work very hard to meet their clients’ goals,” she says. Her own enthusiasm for Kailua is infectious. “I’m proud to be born and raised in Kailua,” she says. “I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else.”

Scott Carvill, a realtor with Carvill & Company, was brought up in Kailua and is now raising three kids of own there. An avid waterman, Carvill says growing up in the area fueled his love of all things ocean-related, like many residents of the coastal community.

“We take advantage of all that Kailua has to offer,” he says. “That’s what people are moving here for.” Carvill & Company can help those very people, he says, thanks to the company’s focus on excellent customer service and depth of knowledge.  “I’ve been here for 12 years, and I’m the young guy,” he says. “We’ve got people with 20, 30, and 40 years of experience.” He also commends their team approach, which helps keep up with growing demand. “Kailua’s gone international. We’re seeing buyers from all over the world.”

The realtors at Home Shoppe Hawaii use a team approach to deliver client-focused service.

“We are a wonderful melting pot, a great mix of people,” says Holly Turl, Realtor and Vice President of Coldwell Banker Pacific Properties. “We live aloha.”  And if you can live aloha steps away from Kailua’s signature shorelines, even better. Turl, a proud Kailua resident for 35 years, specializes in “walk to the beach” locations. Beyond finding the perfect place for buyers, Turl is known for her beautiful home staging for sellers, which helps properties sell faster and for a higher price. “Our agents are the best trained on the island,” she says. “We believe in a high level of service and we get the job done.”

Another thing that can give potential buyers an advantage is the Internet. That’s where boutique real estate company Home Shoppe Hawaii has made its mark. “We are one of the most tech-savvy brokerages on Oahu,” says Yvonne Jaramillo Ahearn, Kailua resident and Home Shoppe Hawaii’s principal broker. “This makes buying and selling easier, more efficient, and more successful for our clients. We have an information-packed website, complete with Kailua neighborhood information and other frequently asked questions about Oahu real estate.” In addition to the usual real estate services, Home Shoppe Hawaii now offers a Property Management Division to provide rental management and concierge services.  “We’re also looking forward to helping buyers with the Ka Malanai new construction condominiums going up now in Kailua,” says Ahearn.

Once you’ve found your dream home, Kailua-based companies can keep it eco-friendly, from the roof down. “Kailua residents understand the value of solar,” says Alex Tiller, CEO of Sunetric, a full-service renewable energy firm. The locally owned and operated solar company began at a kitchen table in Kailua nine years ago, and has grown into what is now considered the renewable energy leader in Hawaii. With photovoltaic installations, Sunetric helps households reduce their energy consumption and reduce or eliminate their utility bills. The company is expanding substantially on the Mainland, but remains grounded in its Kailua roots. “We appreciate the community, and we consider ourselves a part of the community,” Tiller says of Kailua. “Sunetric has 150 employees, many who live in the area. We’re working on projects with our friends and neighbors.”

Revitalize your landscape with help from Mulkern Landscaping, which also offers free how-to workshops.

PHOTO: courtesy mulkern landscaping

“For many, ‘going green’ is a relatively new concept, but to us, doing something green is a part of our DNA,” says Dorothy Mulkern of Mulkern Landscaping. This family-run business has been providing landscaping services for more than 35 years. If your idea of the ultimate Kailua-style landscape is a fuss-free one, Mulkern can help with a renovation.  “It’s a ‘spring cleaning’ that gets your garden in shape so that regular day-to-day maintenance is easier,” she explains.  Less work, means more time to enjoy your outdoor space. C & J Contracting, Inc. / Pacific Pool & Spa can help make your backyard beautiful. This full-service, Kailua-based company, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary, designs and constructs award-winning pools, spas, and outdoor projects, and provides maintenance and equipment as well. “We can do anything in your yard with water, concrete or tile,” says President/RME Clifton Crawford, “and we provide the best customer service out there.”

For interior remodels, most people start with their kitchens, says Ian Osborne, owner of Custom Built Cabinetry. For more than 25 years, the cabinetmaker and life-long Kailua resident has been designing, fabricating, and installing custom cabinets for kitchens, bathrooms, entertainment centers and more. Osborne says he enjoys running his small, family business in the heart of Kailua town. “I’ve got a seven minute commute and I go through one traffic light,” he says. “Living and working in Kailua couldn’t be better.”

Left: Custom Built Cabinetry can help transform your kitchen, bathroom or entertainment center. Right: A backyard retreat designed by Kailua-based C & J Contracting, Inc., also known as Pacific Pool & Spa.

Photos: Courtesy custom built cabinetry / pacific pool & spa

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