Aloha! This is David Buck and today we're going to be talking about the pros and cons of living on Waialae Iki.

Waialae Iki Park Sign

Waialae Iki Park

Waialae Iki Park at the Base of Waialae Iki

First, we're going to start off at Waialae Iki Park, which is a public park. It's got an incredible soccer field, which is used on the afternoons and weekends. There's also basketball courts, a jungle gym and more.

Waialae Iki Basketball Courts

Waialae Iki Basketball Courts

Laukahi and Poola Streets

This is kind of like the base of Waialae Iki. To the west, you’re going to have the main artery up the hill. There’s a lot of traffic on Kalanianaole Hwy. The main artery to the west is Laukaih St., which will take you up to the top to Waialae Iki 5. Directly behind me is Poola St., which will run you up to the east side of Waialae Iki.

Waialae Iki History

When I first got into real estate in the early 2000’s (2001 to be exact), there were 5 different phases of Waialae Iki in MLS. It was called Waialae Iki I, II, III, IV and V (roman numerals then. Phase V is actually at the very top of the hill. It was a gated community. Gentry diid a number of homes in there. Then, there were a number of private owners that bought the lots and developed homes from there. I lived on Waialae Iki as a kid.

Buck Home on Waialae Iki

Buck Home Built in 1976

My Dad and Mom built a house in Waialae Iki in the 1970’s, probably what would be considered the 3rd phase of development. Some of the homes lower in the hill were more like in the 1960’s, then they went up through the 2000’s as you got to the top (of the hill). We’re going to cover both sides of the ridge today. Also, on the east side up at the top on Poola St., there’s another gated community called Kahala Kua. Now, Kahala Kua has its own MLS neighborhood (and was developed by Bill Mills), which is separate from Waialae Iki.

Poola Street Home Overlooking Aina Haina

Poola Street Home Overlooking Aina Haina

Going up the majority of Poola, on that eastern side overlooking Aina Haina, that still falls under Waialae Iki from an MLS standpoint.

Was Street

As you come up Poola Street, there’s a sleeper little street called Waa Street. It’s a “horse shoe” loop that runs you up and you can get a little bit of views and hooks back down on Poola Street. I’ll give you a quick little tour of Waa Street. As we drive up Waa Street, it’s a horse shoe looped street and it curves up to the right. Most of the homes were built in the early 1960’s. You have a mixture of upslope properties on the mauka (mountain) side of the road, as well as downslope propertiies. The pros and cons about that is carrying the groceries upstairs as opposed to carrying groceries downstairs. You’ll notice a number of recycle bins on the street. It’s one of the pros of living in Honolulu is you get trash pickups. Today is recycle day and we also have green waste and grey can (pickup days).

Kahala Kua

Kahala Kua Entry Sign

Kahala Kua Entry Sign

Now we’re at the very top of Poola Street on the eastern side Waialae Iki. What’s behind me is the entrance to Kahala Kua, which is a gated community at the very top of Poola Street.

Gated Entry to Kahala Kua

Gated Entry to Kahala Kua

There’s a lot of newer homes up there. Basically, if you continue up past that gate, you’d travel up and to the right. Waialae Iki is an older ridge and wraps around at the top of Kahala Kua. The 2 neighborhoods do not connect at the top. So, you have to get to Laukahi to get to those homes. Here on Poola Street, you have some nice homes with perimeter views facing the west toward Diamond Head.

Driving Down Poola Street

Now, as we head back down Poola Street, you can just imagine the types of views you’ll have with the ocean on the horizon. On the left side of the road, you have the homes facing east towards Hawaii Kai. Then, the homes on the right are facing west towards Diamond Head. Obviously, the ones on the east are going to get more of that morning sun and not the afternoon sunset. Whereas, the homes on the right side of the street are going to get more of the afternoon sun. On those, you’re probably going to want to have sun shades or window coverings in the afternoon. As we round the corner, you can imagine what it took to carve out this development. You can see a lot of the rock work here and there’s actually a “dead spot” for cell phone coverage here. One of the cons about the Poola side of Waialae Iki is it’s a lot more narrow of a road.vs. the main part of Waialae Ikii on Laukahi Street. First, we hit the eastern flank of Waialae Iki, which was going up Poola Street, which is a windy, curvy road. It’s a very narrow road, which is one of the cons, which some people can say. It might also control people speeding.

Analii Street

We’re going to run you up Laukahi Street next, which is the main artery that runs you up and down Waialae Iki. I just came back here on Analii Street and remember earlier I’d mentioned that kids do play soccer. So, they’re starting to set up. Analii Street connects both sides of Waialae Iki from the west side to the east side.

Driving up Laukahi Street

As you head up Laukah Street, we’re going to go through all 5 phases of Waialae Iki. As we get to the very top, we’re going to hit Waiallae Iki 5.

Waialae Iki 5

Waialae Iki 5 Sign

Waialae Iki 5

We’re now at the very top of Laukahi Street, which is the very top of Waialae Iki. Here we have the entry to Waialae Iki 5, which was the 5th phase of development we talked about earlier. It is a gated community. You have a lot of newer construction, newer design, a lot more contemporary and more steel framed builds vs. wood frame. At the very top of the ridge, there’s an ironwood forest and there’s a hike back there as well. You do have to be an owner to get into Waialae Iki 5. They also have tennis courts and a club house. Next, we’ll head back down the hill and see some of the views that you’ll get living here in Waiialae Iki.

Driving Down Laukahi Street

Now, as we head back down Laukahi, you’re going to get a similar feel of perspective ini Poola Street in that the homes on the left hand side are going to have more of the eastern sunrise and tradewinds blowing through. Then, on the right hand side of the street you’re going to get more of the sunsets facing west. As we talked about earlier, one of the pros about being on Laukahi or the main part of Waialae Iki is you’l notice how wide the streets are. If you recall driving down Poola and seeing how tight things were, if a car were coming, you’d have to pull over to the side. Here, in Waialae Iki on Laukahi Street, you have these nice wide streets, where you do not have to pull over. As we round the bend, we’re going to be heading back towards Black Point and Diamond Head. One of the perks about Waialae Iki is you have these beautiful community parks.

Waialae Iki Community Parks

Laukahi Slopes Park

Laukahi Slopes Park

One of the cool things about Waialae Iki is you have these community parks that are periodically spread throughout the hill. They are big open spaces to take advantage of the views. This one is a little bit gown in. It’s maintained by the city.

Waialae Iki Community Park off Laukahi

Community Park off Laukahi Street

There is some cactus, kuaiiwi, keawe and halekoa throughout. You do have some great views of Waialae Golf Course to give you a perspective. We’ll hit another park or two down the way. This one is right off of Laukahi Street by the way.

Continuing Down Laukahi

We’re back on Laukahi Street heading back down the road. Off to the right is where my old house was when I was a kid. To the left is Board of Water Supply tank. As you can imagine, there’s a pumping station to get water up the road because of gravity. Although the main part of Waialae Iki is not a gated community, there is security patrol that kind of monitors the homes throughout Waialae Iki. So, that’s another positive thing about Waialae Iki.

Kamole Mini Park

Kamole Mini Park

Sign for Kamole Mini Park

Here we are at another park off Laukahi Street. It’s Kamole Mini Park and this one actually stretches through to Kamole Street, which is down below on the makai (ocean) side of the park. You can access it up here. There are some park benches. As you’ll see down below, there’s ocean views, which is one of the awesome things about living on Waialae Iki.

Waialae Iki Demographics and Location

I didn’t talk about earlier, but Waiialae Iki falls in the zip code of 96821 and it is in East Honolulu. You’re straddled on one side by Aina Haina valley, which will be off to the east. Then, to the west you have Kalani Iki. That’s a little bit more from a macro level of where Waialae Iki is located. What not many people are aware of (this went on for many years), when they did the census, some of the most wealthy neighborhoods in Hawaii, some of the neighbors that do come to mind might be Diamond Head or Kahala. Believe it or not, Waialae ski has some of the more wealthy people here on Oahu. The reason why is you have a lot of doctors, attorneys and professionals that do live up here. Whereas, the demographic of Diamond Head and Kahala, you do get a lot of second home owners and then you get a lot of LLCs, corporations and trusts. So, you don’t really know who is living there and claiming it as their residence. That’s just one thing to keep n mind. You do have a lot of professionals up here.

Gentrification in Waialae Iki

We’re mid way on the ridge here and we’re going to wrap up here shortly. The construction across Kamole Mini Park gives you an idea of what was being built back ini the 1960’s and 1970’s. Over time, people are upgrading. There’s a home under construction there. There’s some gentrification in the neighborhood.

Contact a Waialae Iki Expert

If you have any questions about Waialae Iki or are thinking of buying or selling here, feel free to reach out and give us a shout at 808-371-3509. Mahalo!