Well, it's a beautiful day here in Hawaii Kai and what we have directly behind me is what locals consider Portlock. I've now been in the real estate business for over 20 years. When I first got into the business, I myself and a lot of people I grew up with considered that entire area out there Portlock. Low and behold, I was practicing real estate for about a year and I was showing a client some homes. He had his appraiser's license and he's like "there's actually 3 neighborhoods there." This was back in like 2001(ish).

Portlock, Triangle and Koko Kai

What we're going to cover today are the 3 main neighborhoods out here, which are going to be Portlock, which is everything along the ocean behind me. Then, Triangle, which is above it to the left. Then, Koko Kai is going to be the 3rd MLS neighborhood. I'm going to walk you through all 3, talk about the ins and outs of them and why it's a great spot to live here in Hawaii Kai.

Before we get on the road, I wanted to give you a little bit of perspective. This jetty went in over the last 5 years or so and what would happen is all the sand would collect during storms and clog the channel for boats to get out. Now, it's preventing sand from coming in the channel and they don't have to dredge the private marina as much. It's creating a much larger beach there. That was the former Rosa Estate and there used to be a pier out in front of there. I've got a picture somewhere of myself there when I was a kid (toddler). However, starting at the Rosa property, all along the water here, that's all going to be considered Portlock, up until what was considered the old Kaiser Estate. The big green grass lawn, the miid century modern house on the ocean and then to the right where those pillars are, that's the old boat house of the Kaiser Estate.

I just want to give you some perspective, that's going to be Portlock, which we're going to cover. Then, there's Triangle, which is up above to the left. Then Koko Kai, which is above to the right. Portlock saw most of the homes being developed there in the early 1940's. Whereas Koko Kai and Triangle, they didn't start developing and building houses until the 60's. I did an article on this a few months back. If you want to take a look at that article, it talks about the history of this area. When Henry Kaiser (hence the "Kaiser Estate") teamed up with Bishop Estate at the time (now Kamehameha Schools), they owned all of this land out here in Hawaii Kai. Over the years, they've made the fee or land interest available, so pretty much everything you see out here right is going to be considered Fee Simple

Kaiser Estate Largest Residential Salle in Hawaii - 34 Years Later

A little bit of history, we're going to drive by it later, but the Kaiser Estate, still to this day, when it traded in 1990 was the highest residential real estate sale here in Hawaii. At that time, when Genshiro Kawamoto purchased the Kaiser Estate, it was still Leasehold. It just shows you some of the history here in Hawaii Kai and the value of properties here. Some of the bigger trades on the island have actually taken place out here in Portlock.

Portlock Road Tour

The first neighborhood we're going to hit is Portlock (of the 3). Portlock is going to be the oldest neighborhood in Hawaii Kai. Homes here were built in the early 40's, which is actually several decades before homes started getting built up in Koko Kai and Triangle. As you'll see, there's a lot of overhead utilities. As we go along, all throughout Portlock, you've got public beach/coastal accesses. It is a narrow road, it's probably one of the most narrow roads in Hawaii Kai. You have these overhead power lines. Like I talk about in a lot of my videos and when I'm showing property to my clients, I always say "a lot of the best properties were taken first". 

Here in Portlock, everything is zoned R-10, so you're going to have at least 10,000 sq. ft. min on the lots. There's been a lot of gentrification over the years. You have newer "McMansions" as well as traditional older Hawaiian style homes. It is a narrower street compared to Koko Kai and Triangle. 

Portlock in MLS

Portlock Homes in MLS

As far as Portlock goes in our MLS, it's literally a one street neighborhood. All of the homes on the left or mauka side of the street are going to have even numbers. Then, everything along the ocean is going to have odd numbers. There's no parking on the ocean side of the street on Portlock Road. Over time, everyone kind of walls up their property for privacy. In the old days, everything was opened up. Similar things happened in Kahala

As I mentioned earlier, with R-10 zoning, you have 10,000 sq. ft. min. on the lots. However, some of these are triple or quadruple lots which stretch all the way through the ocean. Driving along, you have awesome views of Koko Head out the back, which is the backside of Hanauma Bay. The addresses on Portlock Road run between the 200 block when you come off Kalanianaole Hwy. (where we started) and they're going to round out at the 500 block near the top here. 

There's a really cool Alfred Preis Mid Century Home off to the left here. It has a tennis court. I've blogged about it over the years. As we get up here into the 500 block of Portlock Road, we start to get into what was part of the old Kaiser Estate. This was several acres on the ocean in Hawaii Kai. Still, to this day, it's the highest trade for a residential real estate transaction on Oahu. It's been chopped up since (into smaller lots). It's something that's very special. It was owned and developed by Henry Kaiser, who basically developed all of Hawaii Kai. He was an industrialist and he's also the same "Kaiser" like Kaiser healthcare. Then, you have some cool mid century homes on the other side of the street. 

We then come up to the old boat house of the Kaiser Estate at the very end. This gives you a perspective of how long I've been driving and how vast the Kaiser Estate is. The old boat house is under construction. We're going to hit a beach park  a little bit later around the corner. This is a walking path to take you through to the next cul de sac there off Hanapepe.

One thing I'd like to point out here, it's no longer the case, but this home on the right used to have a really cool sign on the front that said "In Dog We Trust". For those of you that were fans of Dog the Bounty Hunter, that's where he used to live. It's really sad. His wife Beth passed away a few years ago. We used to bump into them when I was a firefighter and doing our shopping at the grocery stores here in Hawaii Kai. 

Portlock and Lunalilo Home Road

Portlock and Lunalillo Sign

Here we are now at the corner of Portlock and Lunalilo Home Road, which will run you into the main part of Hawaii Kai. This is basically where Portlock ends and as you head up Lunalilo Home Road, then Poipu Drive runs parallel to Portlock Road behind these houses and then everything back up this direction is going to be considered triangle. Next, we're going to give you a tour of the Triangle Neighborhood here adjacent to Portlock. 

Koko Head Neighborhood Park

As we pull up to Koko Head Neighborhood Park, you see this Tsunami Evacuation Area sign. It's saying you're entering a Tsunami Evacuation area. If you saw the flip side of it across the street it says you're leaving a Tsunami Evacuation area. These have been popping up all over Honolulu. I don't know if it's to freak people out, but I'm now 50 years old and we have yet to have a tsunami that's taken out this area. There was one around the corner near Sandy Beach at Alan Davis. There was a tsunami there in the mid 20th century. We haven't had something since then, however I guess you can never be too prepared. 

Koko Head Neighborhood Park

Koko Head Neighborhood Park

Although it's a summer day, we've had some trade showers and the clouds have come out. This will give you a great perspective of Koko Head Neighborhood Park. You've got a baseball diamond here and back in that direction is Koko Head Elementary, which is one of 3 elementary schools in Hawaii Kai.

Koko Head Elementary

Koko Head Elementary

Out the back is Mariners Ridge, which is a great neighborhood with awesome ocean views. You have a bathroom house and a play structure out the back. What's happened is you have a lot of public restrooms on Oahu have gotten design awards for their architecture and this is one of those examples here at Koko Head Park. Then, you've got basketball courts, jungle gyms, picnic benches and a nice green space. 

This is Poipu Drive, which runs you through Triangle. It starts down below and if you were to go left, it would take you back to Portlock. One monument you have in the distant view is Mount Terrace, which is a high rise condo building. 

Kokee Mini Beach Park at Hanapepe and Kokee

Kokee Mini Beach Park

Kokee Mini Beach Park

We just walked past "The Ocean House". What's funny about this area is people do name their homes. This is at the corner of Hanapepe Loop and Kokee Place. As we walk up, we're approaching Kokee Mini Beach Park. If you'll notice, the grass is just a little bit brown because we are well into June and it's summer time. You've got to see these captivating views out the back of Maunalua Bay here in Hawaii Kai. 

If you can bare with me, I've got my slippers on and we're going to walk down towards this beach access at Kokee Mini Park. You'll see they've got a cable here on the ground because not everyone's got the best footing walking down here. They just want to ensure safety for people coming back up from the ocean. As you come down this walking path, you're once again going to be captivated by the views. You have "Pillars" surf break out there and if you look to the right, you'll see part of the old Kaiser Estate boat house. As we pan to the left, you'll get a view of Diamond Head there and then as we look back to the right, you'll see a little strip of sand by the Kaiser Estate. 

Poipu Drive and Kekaha

Kekaha and Poipu

Kekaha and Poipu

Here we are at the corner of Poipu Drive and Kekaha. I actually lived up here on this corner when I was a kid. I don't quite remember it, but this is a wonderful neighborhood that I just wanted to point out. A lot of the streets here in Koko Kai, Triangle and Portlock all have names based on neighborhoods on the island of Kauai. 

Triangle to Koko Kai Transition

Triangle Homes in MLS

Triangle in MLS

What I want to do is point out this delineation in the road. We're here on Poipu Drive and this is literally the delineation mark between Triangle, which is the MLS neighborhood directly behind me. You can see Koko Crater out the back. It's a great hike by the way. The views from there are incredible.

Sunset View from Koko Crater

Sunset View from Koko Crater

Here we are at Triangle, which is basically the neighborhood behind me. You'll see there's a sign up on the wall over there delineating Koko Kai, which is right around 273 Poipu on one side of the street and 274 on the other side of the street. Once you get to this delineation mark, everything in the other direction is Koko Kai, which is one of the 3 neighborhoods out here that we're talking about today.

Koko Kai in MLS

Koko Kai Homes in MLS

China Walls

Koko Kai Minii Beach Park

Koko Kai Mini Beach Park Entrance to China Walls

Now, here we are on the walking path down to China Walls. You can see some foil boarders are going to do their downhill run from here. What's awesome about this location is the view out the back towards Diamond Head, which you're going to get some incredible sunsets.

Sunset View Towards Diamond Head

Sunset View Towards Diamond Head from China Walls

We diid have a south swell recently. There's a beautiful mural here that shows the location we're at, which is China Walls. This complete wraps around. Welcome to China Walls.

China Walls Mural

China Walls Mural

With my years in the fire department here, I've come to countless calls. What happens is people see the ocean here and they jump in the water because it's crystal clear and blue. There's not much surf today, but what can happen is if there is surf, they get a little bit into a panic mode when they're trying to come back up.

China Walls Rescue Board

China Walls Rescue Board

That's really cool that they have some rescue boards here just in case someone gets in trouble and the fire department can't get here quick enough. Like I said, I've been to countless calls here when I was on duty. What happens is people jump in the water here. This is pretty much a calm and mellow day, but if you can imagine on a south swell with the waves cracking out here, people have trouble getting back up on the rocks. As you can see, you've got these guys going out on their stand up (foil) boards. They're going to hit a downhill run out there.

Once again, China Walls is one of the perks for living in Portlock, Koko Kai and Triangle here in Hawaii Kai. Remember earlier when I said homeowners in Hawaii Kai love to name their homes? This one is called Hale Awa and it's right around the corner from China Walls.

Spitting Cave

Spitting Cave Danger Sign

Danger Sign at Spitting Cave Trail Entrance

This next one we're going to show you is the ocean access to spitting cave. This is going to be the most dangerous of all the beach accesses here in Koko Kai and Portlock. I'm going to show you why it can be a dangerous point to jump in the ocean. There's a walking path down to the ocean. This is another place definitely for swimmers and jumpers to beware. It's a lot more severe than China Walls because the waves whack up against the cliffs more. There's beautiful scenery once you get down below here. I've got my slippers on, so I'm moving a little bit slower than normal. Looking up, it gives you a perspective on how killer the homes and real estate is out here. At this access point, you've got a mansion on one side and an empty lot on the other. 

If you hit a Google Street View of this location (the end of Lumahai St.) there's going to be some really cool trophy properties. Once again, I have my slippers on, so I'm taking my time down the trail. For those that are locals, these are called BVD's (inside joke). 

Earlier, we were at China Walls and we saw some paddle boarders launching on their stand up foil boards. There they are. They're hitting that downwind run to ride some open ocean swells. This to give you a perspective, this is a typical tradewind day out here. So, when you're looking at the ocean, it's blowing from left to right. It is mid June, so it's starting to get a little bit warmer. But, this is kind of like our natural AC during the summertime. Fortunately, the tradewinds are going to be the most consistent during the summer. 

Similar to China Walls, they now have some of these emergency rescue buoys, which are very helpful. This is because there have been countless drownings here. I've been to some of them. It's just really tragic because they could have been avoided if people knew what they were getting into. We're making our way down to spitting caves. It's kind of a mellow day. If you saw that spray right there, that's why they call it spitting caves. There's going to be a jump off here and then in general, people try to climb back up on the rocks down there. I do not recommend this if you're not a good swimmer. This can be highly dangerous. Like I said, there's been lots of people that have died out here. There's actually an even higher jump that's around the corner from here. I'm not even going to show that to you because I don't want to set anyone up for anything.

Here we are at spitting caves with a killer view down towards Diamond Head there to the west. Then, if you could look very close and right around the corner there, that's actually Molokai to the east. Once again, we're here at splitting cave to show you one of the perks about living here in Hawaii Kai. Once again, you have these incredible estates that are up above.

Driving Tour Back to Koko Head Park from Lumahai Place

Now, we're back in the car to give you a little driving tour heading out of Lumahai here in Koko Kai. As you can see, the tradewinds are blowing pretty good today. It is a summer day as I'd mentioned. What's nice about Koko Kai and Triangle for that matter, compared to Portlock is you have these nice open wide streets. You also have buried underground utilities. That's one of the perks about living in Hawaii Kai is you have these nice wider roads with sidewalks and underground utilities. Like we talked about earlier, a lot of the homes here in Koko Kai and Triangle were first developed in the 60's and into the 70's.

Koko Kai Architecture

Example of 1960's-1970's Architecture

So, you have some that are relatively similar construction to what they were back then. That is less common because there is a lot of gentrification in the neighborhood with people that have upgraded their homes over the years. Now, as we head back down to the intersection of Lumahai and Poipu, that will give you a perspective of the (ocean) views you get from a lot of these homes here.

Deeded View Planes

Unobstructed View from Koko Kai

Unobstructed View from Koko Kai

What's great about both of these neighborhoods is you have deeded view planes. So, the homes can only go up so high. So, that protects the views of your neighbors. It works in everyone's best benefit. That was something that was done by Kamehameha Schools and Kaiser back in the day when they were developing these lots. Once again, we're on Poipu and we're going to be coming up to that transition of Koko Kai going back into Triangle. Once again, you've got that gorgeous backdrop of Koko Crater out the back, which is that incredible hike. I know I've showed you a nice sunset view from the top of the crater earlier. 

Now, as we round this up, we're going to be coming back down Poipu and coming full circle to get to Koko Head park once we cross Nawiliwili. Once again, a lot of these streets have names similar if you're familiar with the island of Kauai. Nawiliwili, Poipu, etc. are all locations on the island of Kauai. As we come to the park, we're going to take a little break and then we're going to run across the highway. Another awesome thing about living in Portlock, Triangle and Koko Kai is you have Koko Marina Shopping Center directly across the street.

Koko Marina Shopping Center

Marina View from Koko Marina

Marina View from Koko Marina Shopping Center

What's really cool about living in Portlock, Triangle or Koko Kai is directly across Kalanianaole Hwy., you've got Koko Marina Shopping Center, which is where we're at now. It's a marinafront complex here on the water. Directly across the marina is Hawaii Kai Towne Center, where you've got a Costco. What's nice about being on the marina is you can have a boat dock out your back door and bring your boat over to hit up the restaurants, go to Costco or what have you. Now, let's give you a walking tour of Koko Marina, which is one of the perks of living directly across the street from Portlock, Triangle and Koko Kai neighborhoods.

Ok, here's some of the many vendors we've got here:

Koko Marina Vendors

There's Fatboys, which is a plate lunch place. Then, there's a Subway. That's not named after Jared, the fatboy. Just kidding... Starbucks Coffee, they've been here for over a dozen years now. Local Motion has been a staple of Koko Marina Shopping Center forever. There is a Bank of Hawaii, as well as a First Hawaiian, which we'll get to in just a little bit. Then, there's Loco Moco, which is another plate lunch place. Then, Walgreens and Petco used to be one big space. There used to be a Foodland here in Koko Marina that we used to shop at when I was in the Fire Department. However when Foodland went away, they split it into 2 different retail establishments. Last, but not least, you have a Leonard's Bakery food truck here. 

One of the perks about Koko Marina Shopping Center WAS...."Was" as in past tense. There used to be a movie theater here. Unfortunately, it closed down this past year. Fortunately, I was able to take my daughter to a movie there this past summer. They did close down. We have yet to find out what's doing to be going in here.

This is an awesome outdoor mall here in Hawaii Kai. After hitting all the signs of establishments here, I'm starting to get a little bit hungry... I take that back. We'll cover a little bit more. We've got Zippy's, which has been here forever down at the end. All these establishments on this wing are going to have marinafront views. We've got a number of other places here and we've got Assagio's, Coconut's, which is kind of a famous shaved ice place. Then, we're going to round the corner to Teddy's Bigger Burgers, then the Greek Marina and Kona Brew.

After Teddy's Bigger Burgers, you've got Jamba Juice with some outdoor seating. Then, we've got Greek Marina, which is an awesome restaurant. Then, you've got Kona Brewery here. Then, you have 24 Hour Fitness, First Hawaiian Bank and a Texaco Station to fill up your cars and boats. Then, one of east Honolulu's only remaining drive through car washes. They're kind of a dying breed and it's awesome that you still have one here in Hawaii Kai at Koko Marina.

Water Sports in Hawaii Kai

Another cool thing about Koko Marina Shopping Center is you've got this Water Sports setup here where they take people out for paragliding, jet skiing, fishing, etc. From the view here, you can see Hawaii Kai Towne Center and Hawaii Kai Shopping Center. That valley in the back is Hahaione Valley. Then, up to the right is Mariners Ridge. 

Backside of Koko Marina Shopping Center

Just to do Koko Marina justice, I'm now on the backside of Koko Marina. That's the old movie theater sign here. A couple of vendors we forgot to mention are Taco Bell, which is right here and they have a drive through. Then, there's a Straub Clinic. So, this is the rooftop deck on the backside of Koko Marina in Hawaii Kai and you've got that view of that nice hike up to Koko Crater as well.


I hope you enjoyed my tour of Portlock, Triangle and Koko Kai and my hunger has finally caught up to me. I'm glad you got to see a little bit of what Koko Marina Shopping Center is all about. 

My decision today was to get a yummy Korean BBQ here, a Bi Bim Bap. For those of you that aren't familiar with that, it comes with an egg, beef, kim chee, vegetables and rice. I'm going to dive into this here, but if you need help with real estate here in Hawaii Kai, whether it be Koko Kai, Portlock, Triangle or any of Hawaii Kai's over a dozen neighborhoods, feel free to reach out and give us a shout @ 808-371-3509. Mahalo!