Oahu Neighborhood Profiles: Waipahu
In the Middle of O'ahu
"Home Sweet Home in Sugar Country"
For decades, central Oahu was agricultural country. Waipahu was a sugar plantation town, Waipio was a dot on the map, and Waikele didn't exist at all. In the 1970s and '80s, things began to change. Sugar started to fail as a viable crop and there was nothing economically stimulating enough to take its place.
That's when the people-growing business of real estate development took hold, waking up this sleepy part of Oahu, and creating hope for new families to buy their own homes and begin new lives. Waikele and Waipio rest on slightly elevated land, offering vast views all the way from Diamond Head to the Waianae Mountains. These are communities of beautifully designed homes, townhomes and condos in lower to middle price ranges, with a nice selection of affordable rentals also available.
Many residences in these neighborhoods are priced to give young couples just starting out their first chance to buy a home.
The community of Waikele is built around gently curving, tree-lined streets, beautiful Waikele Golf Course and Oahu's leading premium factory outlet center. The 50 discount outlets, shops and restaurants of Waikele Shopping Center include such celebrated names as Donna Karen, Tommy Hilfiger, Saks Fifth Avenue, Anne Klein, Brooks Brothers and Banana Republic.
Indeed, exciting retail offerings are part of the big attraction of the central portion of Oahu. The island's newest and largest Costco is located in Waipio's Gentry Business Center.
The Waipio Peninsula is the site of the City and County of Honolulu's Waipio Soccer Complex, providing playing fields for 23,000 local youngsters and future national and international soccer competitions.
Waipahu has undergone several incarnations over the years, from fishing village to wetland farming area to sugar town. Part of the community's rich and colorful history can be viewed in the 50-acre Waipahu Cultural Garden Park, a must-see attraction. Visitors are able to experience what life was like from 1850 to 1930 in the park's Hawaii Plantation Village. Waipahu Mill Town Center now occupies 60 acres of the old sugar mill property. It combines a light industrial business park with a retail center that also utilizes the area's plantation past as a visitor attraction.
*Content provided courtesy of the Honolulu Advertiser