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The Coconut Chronicles

The Newsletter

Volume 11 » page 2 ...

Coconut Community Spotlight: Lahaina

Lahaina has always been a destination. Whether you are a Hawaiian monarch, a 19th century Whaler or one of today's island visitors, this coastal town in the shadow of the West Maui Mountains is one of Maui's most popular locales. It is easy to understand why with Lahaina's vibrant down town and beautiful setting.

Lahaina History
When Lahaina was first seen by westerners in 1793, it was said to be a relatively modest and seemingly impoverished community. The Hawaiian Islands were marked by significant warfare during this period and the inter island violence took its toll. By 1795, the period of warfare abated as King Kamehamea had conquered most of the island chain. In 1800, he moved from the Big Island to Lahaina making it his new home. By the time missionaries arrived in Lahaina in the early 1820s, Lahaina was flourishing again. Agriculture flourished in area. The relatively arid area had diverted streams from the West Maui Mountains to irrigate the abundant crops. The Lahaina area became a focal point with missionaries. They spent much of their time trying to "educate" the local royalty. Lahainaluna school was established specifically for the Hawaiian Government.

The influence of the missionaries was challenged by another outside influence on the island. In 1819, Lahaina became a key port for provisioning whalers during the winter whale season. It did not take long for the pious missionaries and the hedonistic whalers to clash. While the missionaries preached virtue and modesty, the whalers were looking for debauchery after long months spent cramped on whaling vessels. Attempts by the missionaries to ban drinking establishments led to clashes with the whalers actually firing cannons on the missionary outposts. The missionaries established forts to protect themselves from the whalers. By the late 1830s, the whalers' demands appear to have prevailed. The town had filled with saloons and other establishments that catered to the entertainment needs of the fleet.

The whaling industry declined in the 1860s and agriculture soon filled the void. Sugar cane which was grown as early the 1840s soon began to flourish. In 1862, the Pioneer mill was constructed and within ten years it was one of the largest. Pineapple was introduced as a crop in West Maui in 1912 near Kapalua.

By the 1930s, the community of Lahaina had grown tremendously as a commercial entity both through company stores supported by the agriculture industry and independent store owners. Front street was thriving and the community had over 7,000 residents. The area has remained vibrant throughout much of the 20th century despite two disasters striking Front Street. In 1919, the community was ravaged by fire and in 1946, the area was damaged by Tsunami.

Lahaina TodayLahaina Today
Pillaging whalers are no longer drawn to the Lahaina area, but it is still a major destination for off island visitors. Throngs of tourists and locals flock to Front Street for the mixture of shops, art galleries, restaurants and historical attractions. Home to the Old Lahaina Luau, the Molokai and Lanai Ferries, The Maui Myth and Magic Show (Ulalena) and many other attractions there is no shortage of things to do. To get a first hand view of some of the history described above, the old courthouse is a great place to pick up brochures on history of the island. Baldwin House is the oldest house on the island and Hale Pa'ahao is an old prison that provides a humorous account of offenses punishable in the 19th century.

The closest thing to a marauding horde on Front Street is the annual Front Street Halloween celebration. This event draws thousands to the Pacific in what is dubbed as the "Mardi Gras of the Pacific." While sticking with the supernatural theme, another big draw in Lahaina is Warren and Annabelle's magic show. This is not your simple kid's magic show with rabbits being pulled out of hats. It is bound to astound even the most cynical observers.

Lahaina outdoors
Not all attractions in Lahaina are rowdy. For those that are looking to relax, there is the shade of the Banyan Tree at Banyan Tree Park. This amazing organism literally encompasses an entire city block. For those that are looking for sun, you can take in the scene of boats and people coming out of Lahaina harbor. For those that like to engage in more active pursuits, there are a number of activities available. Surfing is popular both for experts and beginners. The Lahaina breakwall offers the opportunity for lessons as well as more advanced riding. There are numerous other spots such both near town and in the beach parks scattered along the west side. The Harbor is a departure point for sailing, winter whale watching and other aquatic activities. Of course if you just enjoy general beach activities, the west side offers some of the best beaches on Maui. For those that enjoy their sand in sand traps, the golf courses of Ka'anapali are a short drive from Lahaina town.

Lahaina Real Estate
The attractions, the climate and the natural beauty of Lahaina have made the area a very popular choice for Kama'aina and second home owners.

Lahaina Condos for Sale
There are eight different condo complexes within Lahaina Town with dozens more up the coast in other West Maui Communities. The condos in town range from the lowest priced housing options in Lahaina town to some very nice complexes. Condos geared towards owner occupants include Channel House, Lahaina Residential, and Spinnaker. Channel House is a leasehold complex with 39 units that are studio, one bedroom or 2 bedroom condos. Recent sales have ranged from the high $100,000 range for studios to the low $300s for 2 bedrooms. Lahaina Residential consists of 60 leasehold 1 bedroom apartments. Sales over the last year have ranged from the high $100,000s to the $250,000 price range. Spinnaker is a fee simple complex with 58 1 bedroom and 2 bedroom apartments. 2 bedrooms selling in the last 6 months have gone in the high $200,000s.

Lahaina Roads and Lahaina Shores are two popular vacation rental condos with their proximity to Front Street and all of its activities. Lahaina Roads is a 42 unit fee simple complex with mostly one bedroom and a few two and three bedroom Units. This oceanfront complex has a pool and barbecue area. Recent sales of one bedrooms have ranged between the mid $500s and mid $600s. Lahaina Shores is a 199 unit fee simple location right on the beach. It is mostly studio units with a smattering of one bedroom apartments in various shapes and floor plans. Amenities include pool, Jacuzzi, covered parking, security guards and more. Recent sales have ranged from the high $200,000s to $500,000 for studios.

There are two higher end complexes in Lahaina. The first complex is Puamana. Located just south of Lahaina town and within walking distance to Front Street. This 230 unit complex is spread over 60 buildings on 30 campus-like, oceanfront acres. The complex has a number of different 1 bedroom, 2 bedroom, 3 bedroom and 4 bedroom floor plans. One of the major appeals of the Puamana is the larger square footage, with the majority of the complex having over 1,000 square feet of living space. The units are much more like single family homes than condominiums. Amenities include pools, recreation areas, tennis, club house and playground. Recent sales range from the $600,000s to over $1,500,000. The price determined by location in the complex and renovations within the individual units. Puunoa Beach Estates is a high end boutique condo complex with only ten units. Situated on Baby Beach in Lahaina, this is a beautiful little complex in a great setting. Floor plans are 2, 3 or 4 bedroom with each unit having a minimum of 1,700 square feet of living space. Amenities include pool, hot tub, bbq area and tennis courts. Turnover is pretty rare in the complex with the most recent sales occurring in 2003. Sales prices were in excess of $2,000,000.

Lahaina Homes for Sale
As with most communities outside of the resorts, there is a diverse array of homes in Lahaina ranging from modest starter homes to multimillion dollar oceanfront estates. Maui's affordable housing crunch is most acute in the West Maui / Lahaina area. By and large, starter homes start in the mid to high 400s. The majority of these homes are located on the mauka side of Honoapiilani Highway. As you get closer to Front Street and the ocean, the price of homes increases significantly. Homes across the street from the ocean start in excess of $1,000,000 while you would be hard pressed to find a direct oceanfront home for anything less than $2,500,000. Launiupoko is another high end development South of Lahaina Town. Located on the Mauka side of the highway, these homes are situated on 2 acre plus lots in the foothills of the West Maui Mountains with spectacular views of the Pacific and neighbor isles. Recent home sales have ranged from $1,500,000 all the way up to $3,600,000.

Click here to see current listings for Lahaina Homes for Sale.

Please note this article was originally published in August of 2005. Prices for properties in the community have changed since its publication for a market overview and up to date listings, contact The Maui Real Estate Team today.


Taste of the Tropics

Ahi Poke

2 pounds fresh tuna steaks, cubed
1 cup soy sauce
3/4 cup chopped green onions
2 tablespoons sesame oil
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
1 tablespoon crushed red pepper (optional)
2 tablespoons finely chopped macadamia nuts

In a medium size non-reactive bowl, combine Ahi, soy sauce, green onions, sesame oil, sesame seeds, chili pepper, and macadamia nuts; mix well. Refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving.



Coconut Cultural Calendar

Ryder 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. The World conference on Hula at the MACC is one of this month's highlights.

Main Gallery, 1st floor exhibits
Wood Skin Ink: The Japanese Aesthetic in Modern Tattooing
Exhibit Dates: Aug 1 – September 25
Hui No' Eau

Wednesday, August 3
Maui Film Festival presents:
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, Saturday, Sunday August 4, 6, 7
Maui Academy of Performing Arts presents
PIECES XXIII: It's Time to Dance
7:30 pm, Castle Theater
Tickets: $20 adult, $16 kids 12 & under, discount for MAPA members

Friday-Sunday, August 5-7
Maui Academy of Performing Arts presents
Fri: 7:30 pm
Sat: 11:00 am
Sun: 2:00 pm, Castle Theater
Tickets: $20 adult, $16 kids 12 & under, discount for MAPA members

Saturday, August 6
‘ Hold Onto your Seat' Adult Tales
7:30 pm, McCoy Studio Theater
Tickets on sale soon: $12 adults & kids 16 & older; $5 kids ages 10-15.
(program not recommended for younger children)

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

Friday, August 12
6:00 pm, A&B Amphitheater
MACC's annual gala: our premier fundraiser and all-around fabulous evening. Featuring entertainment, live auction, and fine dining. For tickets: or 242-2787 x 236

Sunday, August 14 . . . special date!... return engagement!
Maui Film Festival presents:
2:00pm, 5:00 pm and & 7:30 pm, Castle Theater
Tickets: $10 single, $8 w/MFF passport Candlelight Café 4:30 - 7:30 pm, Yokouchi Founders Court

Sunday, Aug 21
Featuring: HAPA, The Barefoot Natives, Raiatea Helm, Lono
Mana'o Radio Fundraiser
3:00 pm, Castle Theater! Tickets on sale soon: $10, $25, $35

Saturday, August 27
"Reggae on the Valley"
COOL RUSH ...and more!
4:00 pm, A & B Amphitheater
Gates open at 3 pm.

Hui No' Eau classes

August 1 – 5, Full Day
Monday – Friday, 9:00 am – 4:00 pm
Ages 6 – 8
Drawing Portraits
Ages 9 - 12
Digital Storybook

Color and Composition of a Model
David Meyer
Tuesday, August 6
10:00 am – 4:00 pm

Sketches in Time
Darrell Orwig
Saturdays, 4 weeks
August 6 – 27
1:00 - 4:00 pm

Tiny Hands: Parent and Child
Jesse Stuart
Tuesdays, 4 weeks
Session I: August 9 - 30
9:00 – 11:00 am

A Close-up Study of Hands and Feet
David Meyer
Monday, August 8
10:00 am – 4:00 pm

History of Porcelain and glazing in Korea and Japan
Hideo Okino
Wednesday, August 10, 7:00 pm

Imari Workshop
Ryusen Ichikawa
Thursday - Sunday
August 11 – 14
10:00 am – 5:00 pm

Jewelry Making
J.B. Rea
Thursdays, 6 weeks
Summer II: August 11 – Sept.15
6:00 – 9:00 pm

The Digital Camera
Rick Allred
Friday, Saturday & Sunday
August 12 – 14
10:00 am – 2:00 pm
Aluminum Plate Lithography: Intermediate
Nancy Skrimstad
Saturdays, 3 weeks

August 13 - 27
10:00 am – 2:00 pm
Overview of Printmaking
Paul Mullowney
Mondays, 8 weeks
Summer: August 15 – October 3
6:00 - 9:00 p.m.

Painting Orchids in Watercolors
Pam Hayes
Saturday & Sunday
August 20 & 21
10:00 am – 4:00 pm

Watercolor I
Connie Adams
Mondays, 8 weeks
August 22 – October 17
(No class September 5)
6:00 – 9:00 pm

Katsura Funakoshi
Thursday, August 25
7:00 p.m.

Stained Glass
Joshua Cox
Saturday & Sunday
August 27 & 28
10:00 am – 4:00 pm


Continued in » Real Estate Market Update