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The Coconut Chronicles

The Newsletter

Volume 8 » page 2 ...

Coconut Community Spotlight: Kihei

Located in the rain shadow of Haleakala among the sun kissed beaches of Maui's South Shore is the community of Kihei. This town of 16,000 swells to populations twice that size during tourist season as island visitors flock to the area for its sunshine and beautiful beaches.

Kihei History

Hawaiian legend tells of two cloud warriors that did battle along the flanks of Haleakala. One warrior came from the south and the other the north. The two battled back and forth until a truce was eventually called. When the two warriors parted, the ensuing clear space of blue sky was known as Alanui o Lani or the Highway to Heaven. This place is what we now know as South Maui and Kihei.

Early inhabitants of the area were known primarily to be fishermen. A number of areas along the Kihei coast had fish ponds used for aquaculture. It was thought that many of these ponds were dedicated to Ali'i or royalty. The prehistoric inhabitants supplemented their diet through locally grown sweet potato and poi traded from taro grown in the windward areas of Maui.

South Maui and the Kihei area were home to one of the more significant battles in Kamehameha's conquest of Maui. When Kamehameha landed with his forces in 1790, his warriors were driven back to their canoes by fierce resistance. Kamehameha was able to turn the tide when he burned the canoes of his war fleet eliminating the option to retreat. His forces emboldened, marched onto Wailuku where a final confrontation in the Iao Valley defeated Maui's warriors once and for all.

Kihei was an area of minimal population throughout the first half of the 20th century. While agriculture boomed in the Central Valley, Lahaina, the North Shore and the Upcountry, South Maui remained occupied by a limited population of fishermen and Kiawe (Mesquite) harvesters. In an effort to shift population to Kihei, the government offered 11 beach lots in 1932. Only 6 were sold. Up until the early 50's, land here was cheaper than almost anyplace on island. As more tourists began to descend to Hawaii, Kihei's population increased as appreciation for the area's beautiful beaches and sunny weather grew.


When most people think of Kihei, they think of the beach. Kihei beaches come in all types. Whether you want the ideal beach for snorkeling, taking a long walk, having a picnic or learning to surf, Kihei has a beach for you.

Starting at the North End of Kihei is Sugar Beach. This is arguably the best walking beach on the island. This stretch of beach runs all the way from North Kihei to Ma'alaea to the West. The nice sandy beach is a great place to take in a sunset, watch whales in the wintertime or go for a quick dip. The South end of Sugar Beach is also a popular spot for outrigger canoe teams. South of Sugar Beach is Mai Poina Oe Lau Beach Park. Try saying that ten times in a row. This is a great spot for windsurfing. It has consistent side shore winds and generally has flat water or small waves. There may be a few select days in the summer with bigger waves when south swells sneak through the narrow window between Kahoolawe and Maui. For those that are learning to surf, the area around Cove Park is a good place for surf lessons. The gentle waves make for a pleasant learning experience.

The best swimming beaches start at Charley Young central Kihei. The north area of this beach is a good place for snorkeling. Just south of Charlie Young are some of Maui's most popular beaches, the Kamaole Beach Parks. Nice sandy beaches combined with grassy areas for picnicking have made these beaches a strong draw for residents and visitors alike. If you are looking for a beach with a little more solitude, Keawakapu is a long beautiful sandy beach with great swimming. This beach at the end of South Kihei road runs down into the Wailea area and sees fewer visitors due to its less conspicuous public access.

Kihei Activities

As you may have already noticed, Kihei is a town that thrives around the ocean. Visitors and residents use Kihei as an area to embark on a number of ocean adventures. The Kihei Boat Ramp is a place where snorkelers and scuba divers head out to explore the waters around Molokini. Molokini is a sunken crater and now a marine sanctuary. This is one of the most popular if not the best places for underwater exploration around Maui. As I mentioned earlier, North Kihei is a popular area for canoeing. This whole stretch of coast also gets a good bit of kayak traffic. No matter what your choice of water sport might be, Kihei has options.

For those that are looking for land based activities, Kihei has its own golf course with the Elleair Country Club. Not to mention the proximity of all of the courses in Wailea and Makena. You can keep the kids entertained down at Kalama Park. The park has playgrounds, skate park, and in line skating rink and is home to a number of youth athletic leagues. It's also not a bad place for a picnic or to fly a kite with the beautiful Pacific just to the West.

Kihei Homes for Sale

Kihei offers a diverse array of homes for sale ranging from starter homes to luxurious oceanfront and beachfront estates. Communities such as Piilani, Hale Piilani, Piilani Villages, Waiohuli Estates and the Meadowlands are good family oriented neighborhoods with prices in the $400k's-$600k. Older homes in areas such as Keonekai start in the mid $600k's and can run up to the $800k's. Maui Meadows is one of the nicer neighborhoods in the Kihei area with prices from the high $600k's to over $2 million. Part of the value and demand for Maui Meadows stems from the area's views and larger ½ acre lot sizes. Newer neighborhoods like Keonekai, Honu Alahele, Ke Alii Kai feature homes with more modern amenities and higher prices. Their prices start anywhere from the $800k's up to the $900k's. As one would suspect, homes on the beach and near the beach are particularly in demand. Halama Street is a neighborhood in Central Kihei right on the beach. Homes across from the beach have sold recently around the low one million dollar range. Beach and ocean front properties on Halama Street and other areas of Kihei run from about $3.5 million up to $10 million dollars. In addition to all of the aforementioned neighborhoods, there are wide variety of homes throughout Kihei that may meet you or your families needs. Contact The Maui Real Estate Team today to learn more about Kihei and Kihei properties.

Please Note: This article was originally published in June of 2005. Prices in our market have changed since this time. Contact us today for a Kihei Real Estate Market update or you can use our site to view all of the current MLS listings for Kihei Homes for Sale.

Kihei Condos

As much diversity as there is in terms of homes, Kihei's 80 plus condo complexes offer housing options to suit almost any need. As you could see in this month's "Billy and Pete's Picks", there are a number of condos targeted at owner occupants. The units that we listed tended to be among the larger and more recently developed complexes. There are other owner occupant complexes that have fewer units if that is a preference. There are many more options when one includes properties that permit vacation rentals. Amenities and location are what generally differentiate complexes that permit vacation rentals and those that do not permit rentals.

The superior location and amenities of vacation rental permitted complexes also tends to result in higher pricing. There are a few complexes where vacation rentals with studio and one bedroom units in the $200k's. However, most one bedroom units are now starting in the low $300k's. Two bedroom units are starting in the $400k's. Prices increase based on factors such as location, amenities and ocean or beachfront.

In North Kihei, Sugar Beach Resort is one of the most sought after complexes. Its location on Sugar Beach and the long walks accessible along Ma'alaea Bay combine with amenities at the complex such as pool, barbecues, Jacuzzis saunas, tennis and putting greens have resulted in sales prices starting in the mid $400k's and ranging up to mid $500k's for one bedrooms. Comparable beach access and the rising prices at Sugar Beach raised demand for neighboring complexes such as Ma'alaea Surf and Nani Kai Hale. As you go further south in North Kihei, the complexes do not have comparable beaches. Most of the area is rocky and the shallower water is not as ideal for swimming. That being said, the beautiful views and oceanfront location have fueled demand for units in places like Kauhale Makai. This property's oceanfront location, nicely manicured grounds and amenities such as pool, central air and convenience stores have prices ranging between the mid $200s for studios up to the high $500k's for 2 bedroom/ 2 baths. Other complexes such as Maui Sunset and Luana Kai are also seeing considerable demand.

In South Kihei, there are a number of complexes across the street from the Ocean that have become incredibly popular over the last few years. The ability to walk across the street to Kamaole Beach combined with nice amenities and garden like settings have made places like Hale Kamaole, Kamaole Sands, Maui Banyan and Maui Kamaole increasingly popular. Comps in these units range from the mid $300k's for a one bedroom up to the high $600k's for larger 2 bedroom units. As prices have increased at these complexes, other more affordable complexes such as Maui Vista across from Charley Young have increased in popularity. The places that are selling at the highest premium are the beach front complexes in South Maui. Condos such as The Royal Mauian, Mana Kai and Hale Pau Hana benefit from being on some of the prettiest beaches on Maui. A limited inventory and turn over in these complexes have only added to market demand. When these condos come on the market, they have been selling in the $800k's all the way up to $1,000,000.

With the vast assortment of condos in Kihei, give us a call so we can help you find a condo that fits your specific needs.

Please note this article was published in June of 2005. Contact us for a Kihei Condo market update or use our site to check out all of the current listings for Kihei Condos for Sale.

Taste of the Tropics

Chicken in Coconut Milk

4 pieces chicken breasts skinless, boneless cut in strips
2 pieces lemongrass cut into long strips
¼ cup thai ginger thinly sliced
¼ cup green beans
2 cups coconut milk
¼ cup green and red pepper
¾ cup water
½ cup carrot
½ cup onion cut in pieces
¼ cup lemon juice
4-5 kaffir lime leaves
½ tsp black pepper
Sugar, fish sauce, or shrimp sauce

Combine coconut milk with water in a soup pot. Add thai ginger, lemon grass and salt.
Simmer over medium heat. Add chicken, Let it cook. Add all vegetables and season with shrimp sauce, sugar, black pepper and lemon juice. Taste as desired.
Garnish with kaffir lime leaves before serving.
Serves six.


Coconut Cultural Calendar


The following calendar highlights some of the cultural events on Maui at places like the Maui Arts and Cultural center and the Hui No'Eau Arts Center.

Schaefer International Gallery, open Tuesday – Sunday, 11:00 am – 5:00 pm; also open before Castle Theater shows and during intermissions. FREE Admission.

Main Gallery, 1st floor exhibits
Exhibit Dates: March 19 – May 21
Hui No' Eau

All shows below at the Maui Arts and Cultural Center:
Sunday, May 1
Maui Film Festival - MONUMENTAL
3:00 pm, 5:00 pm & 7:30 pm, McCoy Studio Theater
Tickets: $10 single (MFF Passports not valid for this benefit screening.)

Sunday, May 1
4:00 pm, Castle Theater
Concert Conversations: 3:00 pm "Emma Veary Talks Story"
Tickets: $10, $25, $35, half price kids 12 & under, discount for seniors.
Food & beverages available starting at 5:30 pm, Yokouchi Founders Court, with food by The Catering Company.

Monday, May 2
Ho‘onanea Hawaiian Series
7:30 pm, Castle Theater
MACC's annual Lei Day Concert!
Tickets: $10, $25, $35, half-price kids 12 & under (donor discount available)
Ho‘onanea pre-show festivities start at 5:30 pm, including entertainment in the courtyard and local crafters in t he arcade with fresh flower lei, Hawaiian arts & crafts, and ono food selections from Ka'anapali Beach Hotel catering.

Friday, May 6
7:30 pm, McCoy Studio Theater
Tickets: $18, 1/2 price kids 12 and under

Friday, May 6
7:30 pm, Castle Theater
Tickets: $35, $40, $45
Food & beverages available starting at 5:30 pm, Yokouchi Founders Court, with food by Longhi's Catering.

The Wailers

Saturday, May 7
THE WAILERS and special guests
A & B Amphitheater: gates open at 4, show starts at 5:00 pm
Tickets: $25 advance $30 day of show
Tickets available at the MACC Box Office
Also available at:
--Beach Road Records in Dolphin Plaza, Kihei
--Groove 2 Music in Lahaina.
Food & beverages available; catering by Bentos & Banquets, Fiesta Time, Coldstone Creamery, Maui Kazowie Kettle Korn.
*see below for outdoor concert guidelines

Saturday, May 7
7:00 pm, Castle Theater
Tickets: $18.

Wednesday, May 11
Maui Film Festival - weekly movie title TBA
5:00 & 7:30 pm, Castle Theater
Tickets: $10 single, $8 w/MFF passport
Candlelight Café 4:30 - 7:30 pm, Founders Court, with selections from Maalaea Grill.

Friday, May 13
Pacific Connections Series
7:30 pm, Castle Theater
Supported in part by The National Endowment for the Arts, American Express, Western States Arts Foundation, Hawaiian Airlines, KPOA and KNUI Radio.
Tickets: $10, $18, $28, ½ price kids 12 & under (donor discount available)
Food & beverages available starting at 5:30 pm, Yokouchi Founders Court. Catering by Aloha Mixed Plate.

Saturday-Sunday, May 14-15
2:00 pm, Castle Theater
Saturday: Jazz, Tap & Hip-Hop Revue
Sunday: Sleeping Beauty Ballet
Sunday-Monday, May 15-16
McCoy Studio Theater
Sunday 4:00 pm: From Russia With Love
Monday 7:30 pm: Festival Finale: A Night of Romance
Tickets: $10, $23, $33 each evening

Wednesday, May 18
Maui Film Festival presents DEAR FRANKIE
5:00 & 7:30 pm, Castle Theater
Tickets: $10 single, $8 w/MFF passport
Candlelight Café 4:30 - 7:30 pm, Yokouchi Founders Court

Thursday, May 19
An Evening with RAM DASS
6:30 pm, Castle Theater
Tickets: $25, $50, $100
($100 ticket includes private reception & meditation with Ram Dass) Food & beverages available starting at 5:30 pm, Yokouchi Founders Court. Catering by Consuelo's.

Friday-Saturday, May 20-21
Local Voices – Talk Story Series
7:30 pm, McCoy Studio Theater
Tickets: $20, ½ price kids 12 & under. (donor discount available)
Food & beverages available starting at 5:30 pm, McCoy Courtyard. Catering: Bentos & Banquets by Bernard.

Tuesday, May 24
6:30 pm, Castle Theater

Wednesday, May 25 IMAGINARY HEROES
5:00 & 7:30 pm, Castle Theater
Tickets: $10 single, $8 w/MFF passport
Candlelight Café 4:30 - 7:30 pm, Yokouchi Founders Court

Thursday, May 26
6:30 pm, Castle Theater

Tuesday, May 31

Classes at Hui No' Eau
Watercolor: Surface Texture with Gel Medium
Anita Marci
Wednesday, May 4
10:00 am – 2:00 pm

Tiny Hands: Parent and Child
Jesse Stuart
Tuesdays, 4 weeks
Session III: May 10 - 31
9:00 – 11:00 am
Age: 2.5–5

Marbling and Monoprinting with Watercolor and Ink
Anita Marci
Wednesday, May 11
10:00 am – 2:00 pm

Watercolor: Tropical Flowers
Pamela Hayes
Saturdays, May 14 & 15
10:00 am – 1:00 noon

Glass Fusing
Joshua Cox
Wednesday, May 18
10:00 am – 1:00 pm

Jewelry Making
J.B. Rea
Spring II: Thursdays, 6 weeks
May 19 – June 23
6:00 – 9:00 pm

Clay and Kiln Building: Backyard Firing
Sandy Vitarelli
Wednesdays, May 25 – June 15
6:00 – 9:00 pm
Sat., June 18, 10:00 am – 1:00 pm
Sat., June 25, 8:00 am – 5:00 pm

David Kuraoka
Friday, May 27, 7:00 pm

Pitfire, Wheel Throwing & Altering
David Kuraoka
Saturday & Sunday
May 28 & 29
10:00 am – 4:00 pm


Continued in » Real Estate Market Update