Maui

Find Your Lahaina Life on Front Street – One of America’s Greatest Streets

As you enter Lahaina Town, you’ll quickly notice that West Maui’s major “town” is not grand in size by any means. It is only about one mile long and more like a mile long village, in both commerce and community. Yes, the ocean dominates the landscape, but town itself has a meaning to it…a feel to it…an energy to it. It’s our version of city living.

At the epicenter of town is Front Street, with its shops, restaurants, activities…it truly has action day and night, something for everyone. A post for entertainment at every corner. And on the outskirts or edge of town, you can find peaceful and private residential and condominium living.

Downtown Lahaina Offers Food, Beverage & Enjoyment at Every Block

Front Street living is for those that like to leave the car behind and just cruise…get some sunshine while walking to a restaurant or heading to the harbor. Take in the sights, sounds, and ocean smells while checking out an art gallery, indulging in retail therapy, or just people watching while you stroll to your next destination.

Biking is the preferred local method of transportation versus the car, and is actually much faster, not to mention, way less stressful when it comes to parking. This town is much less like Waikiki, and more like Duval Street in Key West, or summertime Petosky, Michigan, or the Newport Beach Penninsula in Southern California.

During 4th of July, Lahaina Town exhibits one of the most spectacular fireworks displays anywhere in the country. In September, during the Maui Marathon, runners come right down Front Street on their home stretch to Whalers Village in Kaanapali. You can always find fun surf at Breakwall, Shark Pit, Mala Wharf, or in Puamana.

In May, we have the Festival of Canoes and in October there’s the huge Halloween celebration, referred to as Mardi Gras of the Pacific. On the weekends, when the local bikers come through town, it looks and sounds a lot like Daytona Beach. It’s easy to see why Front Street was named as one of North America’s Greatest Streets.

Lahaina’s Front Street: A Great Street Indeed

For those that like to have all of the conveniences, amenities, entertainment, and ocean activity within a stone’s throw of home….Lahaina Town and Front Street deliver. So if town is your thing, and you want to have both the oceanfront resort and the carefree town lifestyle, check out these 3 Lahaina condominium complexes with a Front Street address on one side and the Pacific Ocean on the other.

Puamana: Lahaina’s Gold Coast

Starting with the largest property, Puamana is a 60 building, 230 unit, gated beachfront community located at the southernmost end of Front Street. It sits on 30 acres offering spatial low rise condominium living with 3 pools, tennis, badminton, and bocce ball courts, a historic oceanfront clubhouse, a children’s playground, AND really fun surf breaks spread throughout the neighborhood.

Puamana: Lahaina's Beautiful "Gold Coast" Stretch of Beach Front Living

Puamana: Lahaina’s Beautiful “Gold Coast” Stretch of Beachfront Living

One of Puamana’s greatest qualities is its location. Fact! Easy access to Lahaina town and only a 5-15 minute drive to any other West Maui resort area, plus “Central Maui” (aka Kahului airport, WalMart, and Costco for us West Mauians) is only 30 minutes away. Additionally, the privacy and spatial living that Puamana offers is truly unique and unparalleled compared to other West Maui oceanfront complexes. 

The privacy factor is created with Puamana’s position at the very south end of Front Street, with its own gated entrance and no thru traffic. This setup literally cuts Puamana off from everything else, creating a very private, exclusive living environment – and the spatial element, too…all the way through. 30 acres of green space, pools, beaches, private roads, mango trees, and much more. Your own playground. Where else can you get a 2 mile jog in your own neighborhood without circling it 10+ times? Try 2.5 here.

The Entrance View to Puamana  from front Street

The Entrance View to Puamana from Front Street

From a real estate standpoint, Puamana currently has 7 units on the active market ranging from a 2 bed, 1.5 bath bank owned REO, garden view fixer-upper for $590K, to a move-in ready 3 bed, 2.5 bath direct oceanfront unit for $2.75M. There have been 10 units sold this year, which puts Puamana on record sales pace compared to the past 20 years. For complete historical sales stats on Puamana, see my statistic blog.

Lahaina Shores: Complete with Sandy Beach

Moving North up Front Street less than a mile sits Lahaina Shores, quite possibly the best oceanfront value of any West Maui condominium complex. This 7-story complex with 199 units, located just on the edge of “town” and next to The Shops at 505 Front Street, is Lahaina’s only condo that sits right on the beach (a sandy beach).

lahainashores

Right Up to the Water’s Edge: Beautiful Lahaina Shores

Half of the units have awesome West Maui mountain views while the other half are directly oceanfront. Lahaina Shores amenities include pool, Jacuzzi, a recreation area, and covered parking for owners and guests.

A very cool feature about Lahaina Shores is the private, grassy, tree lined area that separates the grounds from the beach. In the morning it is cool and mild as the building blocks the direct sunshine coming from the East. In the afternoon it’s the ultimate hangout “shade spot” for those that like the cool feeling of the grass between their toes, or when the sand get a little too warm. Additionally, there is a sense of privacy with the ocean side tree and hedge barrier.

Lahaina Shores: Lahaina’s Only Condo Complex Located on a Sandy Beach

Lahaina Shores offers studio, 1 bedroom, and 1 bedroom penthouse units for sale. Currently, 19 are actively listed on the market, ranging from $132K Leasehold to $199K-$649K Fee Simple. 8 sales have transacted this year with an average sales price of $442K, and the reason I say Lahaina Shores may possibly be the best Lahaina resort value is the per square foot analysis.

On average, mountain view units at this oceanfront property in 2014 have sold for $568/sq.ft., while direct oceanfront units have averaged $825/sq.ft. Factor in occupancy levels and the short-term rental allowance, the value looks even better. Most direct oceanfront properties up and down the West Maui coast are priced well over $1,000/sq. foot.

Lahaina Roads: Genuine Oceanfront Appeal

On the northern end of Front Street is the 4-story, 42 unit Lahaina Roads Condominiums, and one of the closest properties to the water’s edge. At Lahaina Roads, scenic views are in your face! The reef directly below comes alive as the morning sunshine and blue sky creates transparent water all the way to the ocean’s floor.

While there is no sandy beach in front (or in the back depending on how you view it), Lahaina Roads definitely defines rustic and genuine oceanfront living. Every unit in the complex faces West and the views are unobstructed and spectacular. If you sit on the seawall, the ocean views are actually more than 180 degrees (we’re on an island, the land bends).

Not many other properties can claim to have such ocean front proximity

Not Many Other Properties Can Claim to Have Such Oceanfront Proximity. 180+ Views!

The pool and green space area are on the ocean side of the building, providing maximum enjoyment for daytime activities, yet because of the shape of the building, and position and location on Front Street where the land protrudes into the ocean, Lahaina Roads gives an intimacy and privacy quality to the setting that is unique to the property.

Lahaina Roads is made up of mostly 1 bedroom units, with six 2 bedrooms…and three penthouse units in all. Currently, there are 4 active properties for sale, all 1 bed, 1 bath, ranging from $449K to $550K. While there have been no sales as of yet in 2014, average sales price since 2012 has been $372K with an average per sq.ft. price at $581.

Yes…That’s right, I said fee simple direct oceanfront West Maui property for under $400K (and they allow short-term vacation renting).

The South End of Front Street – Mostly Residential Living

When an Oceanfront Condominium Just Won’t Do

Several Front Street residential homes lap up to the water’s edge, however, only two are currently on the market. One is priced at $3,975,000 and the other at $5,750,000. Pricey, but remember, Front Street oceanfront dirt lots have sold for $2,500,000-$3,550,000 in the past 10 years.

New homes being built here are by the premium buyer usually wanting the ultimate in luxury. This year, there have been no residential oceanfront sales and only 4 since 2012. 2 of those 4 sales were actually bank owned REO transactions.

In real estate and in business as the saying goes, “location, location, location.” Whether an oceanfront condo suits your fancy, or a residential home, why not buy on one of America’s greatest streets?

“Lahaina Town and Front Street No Ka Oi!”

About the Author

Jeff Onderko

Jeff Onderko is a REALTOR(B) with Hawai'i Life. West Maui Real Estate Broker, and ultra enthusiastic advocate of Maui's Lahaina, Kaanapali and Kapalua areas. I truly believe it's an honor & privilege to call Hawaii home. For 15 years now, West Maui is where I live, work and play. My team and I specialize in resort market home and condominium sales striving to deliver the highest level of professional service possible. With over 25 transactions in the past 24 months, a panache for extensive statistical research and 35+ West Maui real estate articles published since 2015, I'm relevant, information driven and responsive. I bring a passionate energy, an entrepreneurial understanding and a client-first approach to my real estate business. Prior to becoming a Realtor, I was an independent publisher, starting and operating Maui, Kauai and Hawaii Real Estate Weeklies, Maui Time Weekly (partner), and in 2005, I was a Mayors Small Business Award finalist. In 2009, after seeing the demand and living in an under serviced pet market, alongside my Mom, Susan we opened West Maui Pet Supply. I started my career after college as an account executive with Orlando Weekly ultimately becoming their Advertising Director. Then I moved on to Advertising Sales Manager at Orange County Weekly, in Southern California. I am native of Detroit, Michigan, but grew up in Florida splitting time between Miami, Orlando and Cocoa Beach, Fl. I was a scholarship soccer player at the University of Central Florida and graduated with a BA from their School of Communication. Always attracted to healthy lifestyle, adventure, great weather, water sports and the outdoors, I moved to Maui in the summer of 2002. When the Realtor hat comes off, I'm active in the community coaching U-14 Boys Soccer (AYSO - West Side Pride) and I still play in the West Maui open division. I'm involved along with other fellow Hawaii Life comrades volunteering regularly at the Ka Hale A Ke Ola Shelter in West Maui and I'm on the Board of the Hawaii Life Charitable Fund. Through the outlet of the WM Pet Supply, I was heavily involved with the Maui Humane Society & ASCPA getting animals adopted & spayed/neutered. When I have free time you'll find me surfing, golfing, at the gym, a regular at yoga class, hanging at home with my animals or working in the backyard on my organic micro-farm (aka: food garden). You can email me at JeffOnderko@HawaiiLife.com or via phone at (808) 280-4881.

Comments (0) Show CommentsHide Comments (Remember)

Cool. Add your comment...

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Leave your opinion here. Please be nice. Your Email address will be kept private, this form is secure and we never spam you.

More Articles from Hawaii Life