Ala Wai Redux

The retro concrete-block facade of the Leiahua in Waikiki.

The Leiahua is one of those buildings along the Ala Wai Canal that you’ve probably passed by a million times and not given a second thought. Its stout, concrete construction (more bunker than apartment building) and fabulously funky, mid-century-modern, concrete-screen-block façade are telling of its age (the Leiahua was built in 1965), but thanks to a recent interior renovation, it’s probably best not to judge this book by its cover.

The overhaul brought the Leiahua’s 16 one-bedroom, one-bath units into the modern day via travertine floors, updated bathrooms, new kitchen cabinetry, countertops and appliances. The front units have great views of the Ala Wai, though potential renters should be warned that there’s a price to pay for that view, and that price is traffic noise (nothing an AC unit and the Ambiance iPhone app couldn’t fix, though). Tenants in the building seem to be a mixed bag of UH students, frugal twentysomethings, and military service members.

There are currently two apartments up for rent: Number 201, which is located at the front of the building along Ala Wai Blvd. and comes furnished, and #405, which comes “very lightly furnished” according to the resident manager, and is situated in the quieter, back portion of the building. Both rentals cost $1,200 per month, which includes water, sewer and trash. All of the apartments at the Leiahua are pet-friendly (see my recent post about the Island’s lack of pet-friendly rentals and you’ll see why this is such a big selling point), though there’s an additional monthly fee of $50. Parking is also an additional $50 per month, though, for Waikiki, that’s not too bad.

And, hey, if you’re thinking big, like multi-million-dollar investment big, the Leiahua is for sale. Asking price: $3,395,000.

Contact: For rental inquiries, Kai Jack, Alii Beach Rentals. 256-6091, To view rental information:

For real estate inquiries, Peter Chessen, Coldwell Banker Pacific Properties. 596-0456,