Kauai community offers beauty, amenities, rich Hawaiian history
Date: Friday, April 6, 2012, 12:00am HST; Source: Pacific Business News bizjournals.com
Jay Furfaro’s roots run deep in Princeville.
So deep that his wife, Emalani, is a descendant of Spanish paniolos dating back to 1854.
Furfaro, a Kauai County councilman, says the area known officially as Princeville at Hanalei still retains the peace and beauty of ancient days, when Hawaiians farmed in the green valley below.
Named Princeville in 1860 in honor of Prince Albert, the community on Kauai’s North Shore has been home to sugar plantations, a cattle ranch, and more recently a resort community for about 2,500 residents.
“There’s a terrific history for us in this area,” Furfaro told PBN. “It was developed as a resort community, so we are close to facilities, like a shopping center, tennis courts, golf courses and beaches.”
But what Furfaro loves most about Princeville is being surrounded by the majestic mountains, which show off some of the most beautiful waterfalls in the world.
“Every day we have a little bit of a waterfall to watch,” he said. “It’s something I look forward to seeing every morning when I wake up.”
Jeff Stone, president and CEO of The Resort Group, a Honolulu-based development company, owns roughly 8,500 acres out of the 10,000 acres that make up Princeville.
“It’s very unusual,” he told PBN. “It has just a huge amount of open space and virtually every amenity, such as the golf courses, an extremely well-heeled group of retailers, restaurants, and obviously it has that iconic town of Hanalei by it but not in it, so you get the best of both worlds.”
With Phase I of a community master plan nearly built out, Stone plans to build 400 new housing units as part of Phase II.
“It’s got a mixture of residents and vacationers — short and long — and you can pretty much live there forever,” he said. “It’s almost like a little hub. Overall, it’s a cool little niche in our market.”
Alex Nakajima, director of golf at the Makai Club at Princeville, one of two courses in the area, said he has lived in the resort community “on and off” for about 10 years.
“I’ve seen the changes and the growth but the site is just spectacular with the waterfalls — it’s just hard to find a place like this,” he said. “We have a cooler climate — the high will be about 83 degrees — even at night sometimes we put on the long pants. It’s a very comfortable place to live.”
Nakajima also likes the abundance of wildlife he sees at Princeville, noting that it is one of the few places the nene — Hawaii’s state bird — roam around.
“I see a lot of people emotionally attached to the North Shore of Kauai and I think we have a higher percentage of celebrities, who choose to live up here,” he said.
According to Stone, Princeville is home to such celebrities as actors Pierce Brosnan and Will Smith, actress Julia Roberts, singer Todd Rundgren, Nike co-founder Phil Knight and a host of well-known surfing families, including the Irons and Blanchards.
According to the latest U.S. Census figures, there are 2,484 people living in Princeville on about two square miles of land.
The median price of a single-family home is $865,280, according to the most recent data from Hawaii Information Service
For Rory Enright, general manager of the Princeville at Hanalei Community Association, there are few better places to live.
“I’ve lived here for 10 years and it all begins with the scenic beauty,” he said. “It has attracted a lot of interesting people, including writers, athletes and musicians.”
On top of that, Enright said it’s a well-organized community and that most of its residents take pride in living in “one of the greatest places to live in Hawaii.”