Primetime living

WAILUA — Lights, camera, action.

A couple who purchased and improved a local condo will soon be featured on a television show about their real estate transformation.

Frank Groff and David Krause, of Portland, Ore., said they looked at islands around the Mainland and Central America for beachfront property, but for the price range they wanted, nothing came close to the units they found in Wailua.

“This is the most beautiful island of all,” Groff said of the location that caught the eye of a popular T.V. show as well. “This is a million-dollar view just in-and-of itself, and there is nothing close to that for a fraction of the price.”

The landscape is beautifully maintained, and the pool area is about to undergo renovation, he said. The overall appeal of the redeveloped place and location seemed a perfect fit for television, even.

The condo project will be featured in a two-part episode of “House Hunters,” a program on the HGTV Network. The first “Before” episode will air on Nov. 11, followed by a subsequent “Where are they now” follow-up program to show off the finished project. The two shows should leave a lasting impression on the work that went into the property’s makeover.

The couple bought the unit in April and, after some serious TLC, it was ready to rent out six months later.

There is a modest honorarium as compensation for taking part in the television show, but the financing and renovation of the condo was all on the owners.

They chose the Wailua Bay View Oceanfront condominium, they said, after looking at three properties in the area. They also looked at a zero-bedroom unit at Kauai Beach Villas, and a small single-family home in Historic Koloa Town.

“We decided on this one because it is smaller and has this oceanside view that is so stunning, we had to do it,” Groff said.

The couple agreed to do the House Hunter program because they knew there would be a pronounced ‘before and after’ result that makes the show so appealing. It started by meticulously scraping the decades-old textured walls and ceilings down to their foundations.

“That was a huge job,” Groff said. “When we bought the unit it was dreadful and looked liked the interior of an 1970s RV.”

They brought in Mike Lee and Jacob Thorpe, of Sike Construction, a Honolulu-based contractor who came in and made sure that the permitting and logistics were timely and managed the subcontractors.

The condo was stripped and gutted down to the bare walls and flooring. They were pleased to see there weren’t signs of moisture or termite damage.

“Being so close to the water there are many issues we need to stay on top of so we don’t fall behind on the maintenance,” Groff said.

Groff runs Groff-Hinman, a public relations company, and Krause is an architect and owner of Architecture TEN Reality in Portland. They made six trips to Kauai during the half-year project and said the planning early on with Sike and designer Dana Eggerts, of CDC Designs, helped the process.

“Distance and construction always has its delays,” Krause said. “It’s hard when we are not there every day to make some of these on-the-spot decisions.”

The vision was to bring the natural and fresh island feel inside as much as design sensibilities would allow, Groff said. The soothing blue of the ocean and the sandy colors of the beach are reflected in soft wall colors, the artwork, and grassy window coverings.

Krause worked with the designer to bring in new plantation doors, crown moldings and recessed lighting. Even the lanai with its sloped roof has a warm, all-weather coating over the base.

The unit has new white-washed oak flooring, windows and a redesigned kitchen with new cabinets and a counter that doubles as a dining table.

The couple wanted to do as much locally as they could but limitations meant shipping in tile and some furniture. Their association fees cover management and they contract a local maid service.

Mary Wheatley, of Kalaheo, did the window trimming and Groff said she really came through for their oceanic theme. The sand-colored, palm-mat look matches floor coverings of the same material.

“She’s amazing!” Groff said.

Groff and Krause own a cabin in a Mount Hood skiing area and a historical home in Portland. This is their second Kauai property after purchasing a zero-bedroom unit at Kauai Beach Resort.

“An ocean front unit for $55,000 is amazing,” Groff said. “Then David found this second unit with a kitchen and an incredible view, and visualized what it could be with some freshening up.”

They felt the condo — with an unobstructed ocean view with an open and quiet bay, beach and mountains — was comparable to the million-dollar properties on other parts of the island. Its advantage is being centrally located and near all the amenities.

They bought the unit for $268,000 and invested another $90,000 for the contractor, site design, furniture, materials and shipping. Now they plan to use the unit as a vacation rental.

The Coco Palms redevelopment across the road was announced around the time they bought the property. The old hotel restaurant borders their condo property and could soon regain its former luster.

With a six-mile walking path running right along the condo property, and the Coco-Palms redevelopment, the couple hopes it will trigger a renascence for the Wailua business district with more tenants and improvements to serve new tourists and workers.

They plan to market the condo as a get-away-beach vacation on relaxing and peaceful Kauai. Online through The Kauai Beach Resort unit is on


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