A Condo Building With a Rare Nod to History

Back in the day, as they say, small islands punctuated swamps and ponds at the ewa (loosely translated in Hawaiian as “west”) end of Kapi’olani Park near its border with Monsarrat Avenue. Makee Island was the largest, a namesake of Scottish ship Captain James Makee, also a poker buddy of King Kalakaua, hence the homage to his friend. See photo from 1883. An idyllic scene for romance and picnics, one could only row through the ponds to then stroll along plank bridges amidst date and coconut palms, ironwood and kiawe trees. Here also was the original Kapi’olani Park bandstand, a palapa (thatched) structure where the Royal Hawaiian Band performed on Sundays.

black and white photo of ewa oahu

Circa 1883. Archive of Bob Sigall

Upon his death in 1879 a short Makee Road was named in honor of the Captain, angling off Kapahulu Road — now Kapahulu Avenue, and crossing what was later named Kuhio Avenue in honor of Prince Jonah Kuhio Kalanaiana’ole after his death in 1922. Kekio Tract, as the area was known before the advent of condos and hotels, was comprised of about 107 parcels with varying sizes of homes. In a small dwelling on one such parcel, twin boys were born in the mid-’30s; in the mid-’60s their parents sold the development rights of their land but retained land ownership as Lessors to the buyers of the new “Scandia” condos: 48 two bedroom/two bathroom suites, each with deeded parking. Many years later after great effort, the Scandia Homeowners’ Association prevailed in 2003 to purchase the fee simple rights from the Ornelles family; around the same time a portion of Makee Road that ran across the neighboring parcel sold to its owner by the City & County of Honolulu. “Makee ‘Ailana” was borne of this conversion with the intention by the HOA to honor its island heritage. In Hawaiian, ‘Ailana translates to island.

view from above honolulu

Today this vintage building is a coveted, prime location in “East” Waikiki, away from the fray and only 1/2 block from several beaches and renowned surf breaks. A lifestyle here affords easy access to shopping, eateries, fitness & entertainment within mere blocks: The 2.5 mile walk around Kapi‘olani Park or the more ambitious four mile Diamond Head route earn you an oceanside meal at Hau Tree, Michel’s or Barefoot Beach Café. You could join the Elks Lodge & Club or Outrigger Canoe Club. Yoga classes of various styles are held almost daily in the Park; several soccer teams can be found competing there. The Honolulu Zoo is enjoyed by all ages, especially during its summer concert series. Mele (music) seems to be everywhere — hotels, restaurants, by street musicians, and at the Waikīkī Shell.

Progressive mid-century architects of Makee ‘Ailana created bright & spacious floor plans of double en suite bedrooms, each ~12′ x 13′, with walk-in closets. Lanai are generously-sized, larger than today’s standards, and are seamlessly accessed from the interior open spaces for entertaining and leisure.

interior living room with gray floors and furniture with red accents

Currently listed for sale, suite 302 Sellers have thoughtfully designed unique and functional live/work spaces throughout their decades of ownership: One bedroom is a his & hers home office with ample floor space for a sofa sleeper or a queen bed; the other with a comfy, contemporary wall bed and large hidden storage area. Two walk-in closets were converted to one dreamy wardrobe and dressing room.

side by side photos of bedroom on left and office on right

A highlight of the remodeled kitchen is its ceiling height window with a view to the mountains of often changing scenery: billowing clouds, snowy-like rainfall, and year round rainbows. The custom kitchen cabinetry is of both scale and style to reflect the natural light, adding a spaciousness to its functionality.

small kitchen with washer and dryer

Makee ‘Ailana is a fiscally well-managed community with very high cash and reserves, thus far budgeted capital improvements, and a Board of Directors that meets monthly. Its neighborly ambiance is evidenced in monthly poolside pa‘ina (parties) and an owner/occupancy of about 56%. These condos are O‘ahu’s largest fee simple, two bedroom/ two bath, with parking, in this proximity to the beach, selling under $1M.

covered lanai

For More Information:

More photos and details are on MLS 202224593 listing page. Please ring me, Dawn Marie, at 808.722.3456 for inquiries, to schedule a showing, or for assistance with all your real estate goals and dreams.

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Lisa Abbott

December 13, 2022

Absolutely stunning with captivating descriptions.

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