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Hilo Bay Views & Commercial Downtown Hilo Zoning April 2, 2014

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Commercial development site on Kapiolani Street near downtown Hilo. Over one-half acre with Hilo Bay and Coconut Island view planes. Commercial Downtown Hilo (CDH) zoning allows a number of options, including residential condominiums.

Prime location on Kapiolani Street between Ponahawai and Haili Streets, next to the Japanese Learning Center. Walking distance to downtown Hilo, Hilo Public Library, Federal Building, and Kalakaua Park.

This site is ready for immediate development. The Seller will work with the Buyer for transfer of the development project documents. The Condominium Property Regime (CPR) documents and the Underground Injection Control (UIC) permit have been processed and filed.

Seller will transfer development plans, architectural site plans, specifications and condominium documentation for a proposed 18 unit residential condominium. This proposed condominium would have 2 and 3 bedroom units with outstanding Pacific Ocean and Hilo Bay views. The architect who created the preliminary designs of the project may consider working with the buyer to continue through development construction. General contractors are available to begin construction. “Wrap-up” Insurance quotes for construction are available. Sewer access for this project, a critical development cost factor, is available on Kapiolani Street.

Seller has spent a lot of time and money positioning this development site and is willing to work with buyer on transferring their work to the new owner. Site work completed by buyer includes extensive tree removal, site grading and driveway access work.

Complete information packet and details available to qualified buyers upon request.

For full images and virtual tour, go to: http://245718.kellymoran.com

What They Really Mean? April 1, 2014

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By Kelly Moran

What They Really Mean?
It’s Springtime, and I’m feeling so good, I’m going to let you in on a little secret.

When you see an ad for a property, consider that the words might not mean what you think.  For instance, “Small” means it’s small.  “Cabin” means it’s very small.  And “Cozy” means it’s really, really small.  So, here are a few terms, euphemisms and otherwise, to help you find the perfect home.


“Needs Your Touch” = “needs paint and flooring.”

“Needs TLC” = “needs work.”

“Needs Work” = “needs a lot of work.”

“Fixer-Upper” = “needs everything.”

“Contractor Special” = “consider tearing it down.”

“Quiet Neighborhood” = “maybe when school’s in session.”

“Lively Neighborhood” = “keep your door locked.”

“Nighttime Security” = “streetlights shine in your window.”

“Close to Schools” = “playground next door.”

“Close to Park” = “ball field next door.”

“Close to Sports” = “ball field with night games next door.”

“Close to Town” = “you’ll still have to drive there.”

“Central Location” = “no on-street parking.”

“Close to Transit” = “the bus stop is a block or two away.”

“Steps to Transit” = “the bus idles in front of your house.”


There may be more, but as I said, this is Spring, and . . . well, actually it’s April 1st!

HERE ON THE BIG ISLAND – The People’s Theater – a Hamakua gem March 28, 2014

Posted by Kelly in : Big Island Hawaii, Entertainment, HERE ON THE BIG ISLAND , add a comment


By Kelly Moran

The People’s Theater – a Hamakua gem

Quick – what’s the biggest historic theater on the Big Island?  There are several, after all: The Aloha in Kainaliu (built in 1932), with 298 seats?  Downtown Hilo’s Palace (from 1925), with 485 seats?  Getting warmer.  Believe it or not, it’s the 525-seat People’s Theater in Honoka’a.


When it opened in 1930, it was the largest of three(!) movie houses on Mamane St., the main artery of Honoka’a, which was then the booming center of sugar production on the Hamakua Coast.  (Hilo, about an hour’s drive away, and Kea’au, further away in Puna, were the cane-capitals to the south.)

The People’s Theater was built by the Tanimoto family, which owned several other theaters on the Big Island; and like many theaters in that era, one of the owners lived in an apartment upstairs.  (The Palace and Aloha had similar apartments, which are now their offices).  By 1988, however, the matriarch of the Tanimoto family was too ill to manage the family business, and she sold it to her physician, Dr. Tawn Keeney, who undertook a massive renovation project.

Besides making necessary repairs, painting and restoring historic details, he installed a 50-foot movie screen and a modern sound-system, and encouraged producers to bring in musical and dramatic acts.  The theater also became the home venue and practice-hall for the national-award-winning Honoka’a High School Jazz Band.  The current manager is Dr. Keeny’s daughter Phaethon; and the lobby now boasts a café with locally-made refreshments.

It’s on the “circuit” for many touring musicians, such as Maria Muldaur and John Sebastian, who are well-known to the Big Island’s sizable population of baby-boomers.  On April 3, for example, the theater will feature bluegrass dobro-guitar virtuoso Jerry Douglas, playing with Hawaiian slack-key guitar giants Ledward Ka’apana and Mike Ka’awa.  One-night-only acts like these can command top ticket prices of $40 or more.  But regular first-run movie tickets at the People’s are only . . . (wait for it) . . . $6.

Visit www.honokaapeople.com for schedules and more info.

Water Falling Estate in Escrow After 3/22 Auction March 24, 2014

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Waterfalling Estate

There’s a tanned, bare-chested young man sweeping leaves out of the Olympic-size swimming pool as you drive up to the Water Falling estate.  But upon being introduced, you discover he’s not the pool-boy.  He’s Scott Watson, the co-developer of several luxurious homes on the Big Island, including this one, his most prestigious construction yet.  And you realize that Watson takes just that sort of hands-on approach to his work.

Water Falling takes its name from an enormous cascade along the north side of the property, which was an abandoned macadamia orchard seven years ago, when Watson and his partner, Laurie Robertson, bought it.  The first 18 months were spent clearing the vegetation  and scraping the land down 14 feet to the basaltic bedrock, so that the support structure of soil-grade beams and rebar could be anchored to the site, and 4,285 yards of engineered concrete poured into the forms.

Like its namesake cataract, everything about Water Falling is impressive.  All the walls and floors of the 10,000-square-foot home, inside and out, are clad in ivory-colored Travertine marble – 140,000 square feet of it.  The interior woodwork, the doors, the cabinets, the stair-railings, and so on, are an African mahogany called Sapele.  The ceilings are Sapele too: in a clever re-purposing of materials, they are panels of engineered-wood flooring.  To carry people between floors, an elevator employs the latest pneumatic technology for near-silent operation.  Water comes from a private well, and is solar-heated.

On the 9.4-acre grounds, there’s a nine-tee pitch-and-putt golf course (complete with sand-traps), a kiddie-pool, a landscaped stream, and two koi ponds.  Yet, despite having so much land around them, the buildings do not sprawl.  And some components serve multiple purposes.  The roof of the three-story, four-bedroom main house doubles as a three-helicopter landing pad.  The roof of the one-bedroom guest house and multi-car garage doubles as a 450-seat tennis stadium.

Watson is currently living in the house, which has been listed with us at Hilo Brokers for $26.5 million. However, we took what on the Big Island is an unusual path toward selling it as a turnkey, furnished residence.  Concierge Auctioneers “cried” the Water Falling estate in an auction, without reserve, on Saturday March 22nd, and the estate is currently in escrow.

“Diving into this project was a dream of Laurie’s and mine,” said Watson.  “We have built many houses together, on both the east and west sides of the Big Island.  But this is absolutely the coolest house we have ever built!”

Interview with Owners of Kalapana Tropicals March 20, 2014

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Join us in this personal interview with Mindi and John Clark, owners of Kalapana Tropicals, a thriving Orchid Nursery Business & Custom Home on 6 Acres currently for sale.

Waterfalling Estate Hits the Auction Block THIS Saturday 3/22! March 19, 2014

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Scott Watson, a developer in Hawaii, built this 10,000-square-foot Waterfalling estate, perched on a cliff on the Big Island’s Hamakua Coast, over the course of four years. Well, make that seven years, start to finish; four years were spent on the main structure alone.

The home has a high-dive platform, a two-story water slide, a three-chopper helipad, a space-age vacuum-tube elevator lined in Louis Vuitton leather, a nine-tee golf course, a 450-seat tennis stadium — oh, and of course you can whale-watch from the bedroom.

Truth be told,Watson would love to do even more to the property. It has enough land — about 10 acres — to build out a second house just like the first and make a “super trophy home for a Donald Trump or a Larry Ellison or Oprah,” he says.

He’s so confident he issues an open invitation: “I dare any one of those guys” to visit the property. “I’d put this house up against any house anywhere in the world.” It’s such a fantastic property that Trump could buy it, slap a giant T on the helipad, and turn around and sell it the next day for twice as much as Watson can get for it, Watson says.

SATURDAY MARCH 22nd, 2014!

Registration is open through Concierge Auctions until Friday, but bidders are eligible for early incentives if they register by Wednesday.

Click to Play Video


Makalani Orchid Farm! Live and Work in Paradise! March 13, 2014

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Live and work in paradise. This fully operational turnkey orchid nursery supplies cut flowers to both wholesale and direct mail clients across the United States. Located on a fee simple 3.1 acre parcel with highway frontage and ocean views in the beautiful region of Kalapana on Hawaii’s Big Island.

A lovely two bedroom, two bath home is perched above the sea of orchids, and enjoys great views of the lush East Hawaii coastline and tropical landscape below. Enjoy the sunrise while sipping coffee from the viewing deck, then stroll down a stone footpath to visit your orchid growing export operation.

The home also features a spacious recreation room, perfect for use in entertaining or as a guest quarters. Beautiful landscaping surrounds the property, including Raphis and Areca palms, coconut trees, and stone terrace work.

The well organized growing operation is meticulously maintained, and is supported by a large packing shed and irrigation systems installed throughout.

Kalapana’s sunny days provide ideal growing conditions for the nursery, and perfect weather for the mangoes, avocados and oranges also being grown on the property.

Generous highway frontage offers a great opportunity to promote your business, while municipal water supply provides on-demand irrigation and maximum convenience.

The property is fenced, with separate driveway entries available for the home and growing operations.

This price on this property is firm.

For full images and virtual tour, go to: http://271155.kellymoran.com

Nature Lover’s Dream! Ocean View Retreat! March 11, 2014

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house exterior

This 4.2 acre ocean view retreat features a hilltop architect designed home surrounded by one of East Hawaii’s most impressive palm collections. Lush tropical landscape in the sunny region of Opihikao, on the Big Island of Hawaii.

The 2 bedroom, 2 bath home has split living areas with multiple ocean viewing decks, providing each space privacy and beautiful vistas.

Vaulted ceilings and dual level windows allow plenty of natural lighting and great views of the ocean and landscaping below. The spacious decks extend across the home, providing indoor and outdoor living options.

The open concept split level design is flooded with natural light. The kitchen, with ceramic tile counters, wood cabinets and recessed lighting open onto the living area. The home also features convenient loft level storage and a recessed tub bath.

A variety of prized palm species are studded throughout the property, along with tropical fruit and native Ohia trees. The forested hillsides provide both beautiful scenery and blissful seclusion. This is a nature lover’s dream.

Enjoy tropical living amidst the sounds of native birds. Relax under the palms in a hammock, or enjoy a cool drink from the ocean view deck. The choices are yours.

Large acreage and agricultural zoning allow for multiple potential uses.

Live on your own secluded agricultural estate, develop an income from propagating exotic palms, or take advantage of the fantastic growing conditions provided by the area’s sunny micro climate.

For full images and virtual tour, go to: http://271156.kellymoran.com

Oceanfront Bluff Property! Jaw Dropping Views! March 10, 2014

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View 6

Rare three acre oceanfront bluff property. Jaw dropping ocean vistas offer timeless value in a pristine environment. Build a premier estate and enjoy the Pacific panoramas along this prized East Hawaii coastline.

Located just 30 minutes from downtown Hilo, this parcel enjoys the warm and sunny micro climate of the Puna District, a region once prized by Hawaiian royalty.

Situated on a bluff, the property is high enough on the cliff above the ocean to be protected from surf and high tides, yet low enough to allow access to the rocky coastline. Listen to the song of the whales as they make their annual migration, and witness the awesome spectacle of these majestic creatures breaching near the coastline.

The property is located in an artistic community, with neighboring quality homes. Owners are lured by the peace and quiet offered by the low traffic access road, allowing them to take in the sounds of the ocean at hide-away retreats. Buy now in this exclusive area and build your dream private estate!

This property has Conservation zoning: You will need a Conservation District Use permit to build a single family home on this parcel.

Directions: From Hilo head south towards Pahoa. Turn left off Highway 130 on Makuu Drive. Go down towards ocean and turn right on Beach Road. Located on left approximately 1.3 miles from Makuu Drive, just before the parcel with iron gate.

For full images and virtual tour, go to: http://270085.kellymoran.com

HERE ON THE BIG ISLAND: Ethanol-Free Gas is Best for Small Engines March 7, 2014

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By Kelly Moran


Ethanol is ethyl alcohol – the kind you can drink. Diluting gasoline with this home-grown fuel, distilled mainly from corn, reduces America’s demand for imported oil.  The mixture has helped to moderate the rises in crude-oil prices, but it is widely criticized, from left and right both, as a subsidy to big agribusinesses, and as a diversion of corn that ought to be food for people and livestock.

Gasoline with ten-percent alcohol is called E10; with 15% it’s E15.  Burning alcohol yields less energy than burning gasoline: it takes 1.5 gallons of alcohol to equal the propulsive power of one gallon of gas.  In today’s automobiles – those built after 2000, anyway – that doesn’t matter.  Hundreds of times a second, the computer in the engine senses the percentage, and makes the optimum mix of fuel, air, and ignition timing, no matter what the fuel.  But small gas engines, like those of lawn-tractors, and particularly the even smaller gas engines of lawnmowers, chain-saws and weed-eaters, don’t have computers.  They have old-fashioned carburetors, which can’t make adjustments for the difference between gas and alcohol.  So they simply don’t perform as well burning E10 or E15 as they do burning pure gasoline.

Ethanol-Free Gas - Bayfront Chevron

This pump at the Bayfront Chevron calls its ethanol-free fuel “100% Gasoline,” but notes that it’s “not a Chevron product.”

With ethanol in the gas, though, there’s an even bigger problem for small engines than mechanical inefficiency.  If you have any landscaping to do at home, here, you probably have some small-engine tools.  But you probably don’t mow your lawn or whack your weeds as often as you drive your car.  So in a typical small engine, the fuel can hang around in its tank for a while, unused.  After a few weeks or a month, the alcohol separates from the gasoline; it starts dissolving things made of fiberglass (like the tank itself!), and corroding a few metal components.  And when those residues get into the fuel line and carburetor, they gum up the works.  Small-engine repairmen get business from this, but they are not necessarily happy about it.  They tend to have great respect for these well-engineered, highly efficient and reliable machines, and they hate to see them fail for fully preventable reasons.

The best “ounce of prevention” is ethanol-free gas.  Some automotive-supply stores sell it in small cans, by the pint or the quart.  But it’s cheaper to buy it and pump it yourself, by the gallon, and you can do that easily at a couple of gas-stations here on the Big Island.  For a long time, the only outlet was the Aloha station in Mountain View, on Hwy 11 between the 14- and 15-mileposts.  Recently, though, Hilo’s Bayfront Chevron, on Kamehameha Ave. at Pauahi St., has begun selling it too.

Chevron on Kam Ave

The Chevron station on Kam Ave. in Hilo has begun selling ethanol-free gasoline. Is this a sign of things to come? As more people become aware of the problems that ethanol causes in small engines, will more stations start to offer gas without the added alcohol?

Ethanol-free gas does cost a bit more than Regular E10 (about the same as Premium E10).  But a gas engine without alcohol is a cleaner-running gas engine.  Use it in your mower, chainsaw and weed-whacker, and you can take comfort in knowing that those tools will be giving you a big “Mahalo,” and working a lot longer for you.