WAIMEA — The outhouse is gone.
But everything else is still there, as leaders of Kikiaola Land Company dug deep into the pages of their history books to come up with the plans for their Waimea Plantation Village housing project.
Roland Sagum, in charge of development for Kikiaola Land Co., speaking before an audience of about 150 community members, said, “there comes a time when we need to create opportunities for our children, and this is one way.”
Sagum added that, of the 18 pre-sale units, all of the prospective buyers were either residents of Waimea, or former residents looking to return to the community.
The audience members were there to celebrate the unveiling of the 56-unit residential community located in the heart of Waimea, the project taking up the parcel known as Field 14 immediately behind the West Kauai Technology & Visitors Center’s two buildings along Kaumuali’i Highway.
The homes will be tucked into a new community surrounded by Waimea Canyon School and Waimea Canyon Park, Kauai Veterans Memorial Hospital at the West Kauai Medical Center, Waimea Canyon Road, and the technology centers.
Sagum said the lot has been vacant for years now, and Kikiaola leaders could have easily sold off the acreage to a big land developer, but, voicing the concerns of Kikiaola leaders, he said that they needed to take care of members of the community where the company has been housed and doing business for years.
The Waimea Plantation Village will be made up of 12, single-family homes in either three-bedroom, or four-bedroom configurations, all featuring two-story designs, with the remaining 44 units of the project made up of three-, four- and five-plex units.
Kikiaola Land Company leaders own about 600 acres on the Westside, and Sagum noted that their mission is to have profitability while protecting the heritage of the community.
Additionally, Sagum noted the ongoing controversy over the need for the hospital (Kauai Veterans Memorial Hospital at the West Kauai Medical Center), and said the proposed housing projects under the Waimea Plantation master plan will hopefully fuel the argument of keeping the hospital in Waimea, a point that drew applause from the audience.
“The hospital is here to support us, and we need to support the hospital,” Sagum said.
Waimea Plantation Village is the newest phase of the master-planned Waimea Plantation, a plan that Sagum said was adopted by county planning officials.
The objective of the plan is to help rebuild the economic and social fabric of Kaua’i’s Westside after the loss of most of its sugar industry, he continued.
Kikiaola leaders hope that, as the unique, award-winning Waimea Plantation Cottages have provided new jobs while preserving the heritage of the area, Waimea Plantation Village will provide new residential opportunities that remain true to the plantation architecture and lifestyle of a more-rural island period.
“Waimea is unique,” Sagum continued. “Most people do not want to cross the (Waimea River) bridge.”
Under the master-planned Waimea Plantation, Kikiaola leaders will help to build the necessary infrastructure for each of their phases. Waimea Plantation, phase one, will include land available for expansion of both the Waimea Canyon School and Waimea Canyon Park, where a proposed golf driving range will be added.
Additionally, 15 acres of Waimea Plantation, phase one, has been designated for a residential neighborhood that will integrate a wide spectrum of affordable- and gap-group housing opportunities.
Gap-group housing is for those families whose members make more money than would allow them to qualify for low-income housing assistance, and less money that necessary to qualify for traditional, bank financing for a home.
More business and employment opportunities will be afforded by the expansion of the Waimea Plantation Cottages, with a new Waimea Hotel reminiscent of Kaua’i’s Victorian era, a light-industrial park near a planned, expanded Kikiaola Small Boat Harbor, and the transformation of the old Waimea Sugar Mill into a thriving Waimea Plantation Heritage Commercial Center.
“We are blessed to see people come home,” Sagum said of the first 18 pre-sale prospective buyers.
Real-estate professionals with Kauai Realty and Aloha Sterling Properties are the brokers in charge of sales for the Waimea Plantation Village.
- Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, may be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 253) or firstname.lastname@example.org