Rebounding market

LIHUE — A North Shore home that once belonged to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is now back on the market.

More than just a claim that the NBA legend once owned the property, the Hall of Fame center left his mark when developing the ag land property on the bluff overlooking Secret Beach. The residence sits on a 3.4-acre portion at 2752D Kauapea Road Unit B.

Abdul-Jabbar developed the property in 1980 and sold it for nearly $2 million in 1995.

“Kareem was well liked by the locals,” said Moksha McClure, the listing agent for Sotheby’s International Realty. “The owners tell me they have heard many times from many people who worked on this house, that Kareem would bring a stack of pizzas to the house to share during construction and sit down to eat with everybody. They were amazed that he could eat an entire large pizza by himself.”

The owners confirmed that the home is now on the market with an asking price of $5.9 million. They bought the Mahina Kaupea property in 1998, and expanded the home in 2009.

McClure said this is not just another house that has a famous name in its past. The home still has vaulted ceilings and high doors that once accommodated Abdul-Jabbar’s 7-feet 2-inch height.

The architect, Gus Duffy, designed Abdul Jabbar’s island getaway and the first section of the house was built with just under 1,400 square feet of interior space, McClure said. It was one of the first homes built in the new subdivision from a large sugar cane and pineapple tract.

Duffy was asked to expand the home in 1990 and added a second two-story octagonal structure that is now the master den and bedroom.

It features traits that reflect the 19-time All Star, six time champion, and all time leading scorer known for the game’s most famous sky hook shot.

The inspiration for the octagonal shape and approximate dimension was a basketball court. A deck links the new structure with the old and provides outdoor sitting areas and a hot tub.

And there’s another sport court that’s said to come from Abdul-Jabbar’s old team.

“A tennis court was added that is said to be a retirement gift from the Lakers,” McClure said.

Bob Butler, who was general contractor for the 1990 expansion, had to construct the staircase to the second floor master bedroom twice, McClure said. The stair treads were too small for Abdul-Jabbar’s size 18 feet and the contractor designed the steps using a pair of his tennis shoes for good measure.

Abdul-Jabbar, the third highest rebounder in professional basketball, was on island for Hurricane Iniki in 2002. His home was not heavily damaged but the power was out for three months on the North Shore.

“Kareem sold the property soon after,” McClure said. “The new owners stayed only a short time, and in 1997 divided the property into two parcels — one of two acres having the majority of the cliff frontage, and the other having all the remaining property including the structures.

In 2006, a separate 50-foot swimming pool with a pavilion and spa was added. Acting on the original architect’s suggestions, the current owners underwent a 2009 remodel that included a new entrance, a larger living area with an ocean view, reorganized bedrooms, added parking and extensive landscaping.

During the remodel, the owners found a note written in Hawaiian on a floor beam under the two-story section, McClure said. It was evidently written before 1990, and translates to “Don’t Forget! Kareem Jabbar worked on this house.”

“Although he no longer owned the home, Kareem was never out-of-mind,” McClure said. “All ceilings were kept very high, and eight-foot doors used everywhere, dimensions kept generous, and the look and feel remains the same.”

There is also a carriage house and pool pavilion, lava rock fireplaces, hardwood floors, a custom pool and spa, and ocean views that include neighboring Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge and Daniel K. Inouye Kilauea Point Lighthouse.

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