January 18th, 2021 4:10 PM by Scott Sakata
The History of Hawaii Kai
Hawaii Kai is one of Oahu's premier planned communities, developed by Henry Kaiser and Kaiser-Aetna in the 1950s, formed by dredging and filling Kuapa Pond. Originally, Kuapa Pond, or "fishpond wall," had a natural barrier beach, that protected the tidelands from Maunalua Bay and the Pacific, encompassing 523 acres. Ancient Hawaiians used the lagoon and wetlands as a fish pond. But in 1961, Kaiser-Aetna leased the acreage from Bernice Pauahi Bishop Estate, one of the largest landowners in the entire state of Hawaii, to develop residential tracts and a marina. At one time, Kaiser even hoped for a minor league baseball team to be based in Hawaii Kai, playing in a 50,000-seat stadium. Because of failing health, he rushed construction and some locals even considered Hawaii Kai to be "Kaiser's Folly."
Real estate appreciation in the last 50 years, and the quality of life in the community, have confirmed his vision of a mixed-use development with wide appeal.
Hawaii Kai's Ideal Location in East Oahu
Hawaii Kai is about 12 miles from downtown Honolulu, has easy access to the H1 Freeway, and is in close proximity to the Kahala and Kaimuki neighborhoods on one end and Waimanalo and Kailua on the other. Residents enjoy s a good variety of beaches, golf courses, tennis courts, movie theaters and restaurants. Hanauma Bay Beach Park is one of its greatest attractions.
The Hawaii Kai Marina leads into Maunalua Bay on the East side of Oahu. The Hawaii Kai Marina and Maunalua Bay are great places for watersports including boating, waterskiing, wakeboarding, fishing, kayaking, canoeing, stand-up paddling, and snorkeling. Festivities at the Hawaii Kai Marina include an annual celebration of the 4th of July and the Annual Christmas "Festival of Lights" Boat Parade.
Hahaione Elementary – 595 Pepeekeo Street – 397-5822
Kamiloiki Elementary – 7788 Hawaii Kai Drive – 397-5800
Koko Head Elementary – 189 Lunalilo Home Road – 397-5811
Niu Valley Middle – 310 Halemaumau Street – 377-2440
Kaiser High – 511 Lunalilo Home Road – 394-1200