Cou­ple finds is­land par­adise

Cal­gary fam­ily buys home in Hawaii to es­cape Al­berta chill and Ari­zona heat

Calgary Herald New Condos - - New Condos - CLAIRE YOUNG

Af­ter decades of Cana­dian win­ters, a Cal­gary cou­ple de­cided to move to Scotts­dale, Ariz., to es­cape the cold.

They took the two youngest of their five chil­dren — the other three are at univer­sity — on the move with them a year-and-ahalf ago.

But that ended up prompt­ing an­other move. Don and Kim Gray dis­cov­ered they really needed to es­cape the Ari­zona heat in the sum­mer.

“Part of the sum­mer, we go to Canada and the other part, we wanted some­place else to go,” says Don.

They found a mag­i­cal place on the Hawai­ian is­land of Kauai to re­treat to — Kukui’ula, a lux­ury golf re­sort. It is be­ing jointly devel­oped by Alexan­der and Baldwin of Honolulu and DMB As­so­ci­ates Inc., a Scotts­dale, Ariz.-based com­mu­nity devel­op­ment com­pany.

The Grays were fa­mil­iar with DMB, which is the de­vel­oper of their Scotts­dale com­mu­nity, Sil­ver­leaf DC Ranch.

“This year, when our kids had their fall break, we went to Kauai and really loved our ex­pe­ri­ence,” says Don, an en­gi­neer who co­founded Peyto Ex­plo­ration and Devel­op­ment Corp. in Cal­gary in 1998.

“We went and saw the prop­erty and fell in love with it. We thought it would be a great fit for us and for our fam­ily.”

Devel­op­ment at Kukui’ula — “kukui” is the Hawai­ian word for can­dlenut, the state tree of Hawaii, and “ula” means glow­ing — will be capped at 1,500 homes.

Now in its sec­ond year, 100 homes have been sold and about 30 homes are com­plete. The de­vel­op­ers will work through the next phases in the coming years to in­tro­duce more hous­ing types and price ranges.

There are three dis­tinct ar­eas in Kukui’ula. The Club Cot­tages, where the Grays bought, are twoand three-bed­room cot­tages lin­ing the av­enue lead­ing to the main club­house ameni­ties.

The Mauka neigh­bour­hood of­fers es­tate cus­tom home sites in rolling moun­tain­side ter­rain, with a strong em­pha­sis on big blue ocean and golf course views. This area has four homes un­der con­struc­tion.

The Makai neigh­bour­hood is a mix of pre­designed homes by the de­vel­oper to mix and match lots with homes, as well as a hand­ful of cus­tom cot­tage lots. Th­ese are in the flat­ter, more neigh­bour­hood­like en­vi­ron­ment.

Cus­tom lots start around $800,000 US, while fin­ished homes in the Club Cot­tages start at $2.5 mil­lion. Homeowners’ as­so­ci­a­tion dues are $850 per month and club dues are $1,060 per month.

The Grays bought a Club Cot­tage for $2.9 mil­lion. It’s a twobed­room home with a third guest suite in a sep­a­rate build­ing on the prop­erty.

The bed­rooms in the main cot­tage are dou­ble master bed­rooms with en­suites, which not only in­clude in­door show­ers and soaker tubs, but out­door show­ers as well.

It of­fers a spa­cious kitchen and din­ing room — and the doors from the great room open out­side onto the lanai, which is a screened cov­ered porch.

The back­yard holds a fire pit for en­joy­ing the evening, the scene set with tiki torches.

The home, which the fam­ily took pos­ses­sion of in De­cem­ber, is right next to the Plan­ta­tion Club, spa build­ing and golf club house.

“We were look­ing for a place

C MVisit our web­site un­der the head­ing, ‘Rec Prop­er­ties,’ for more pho­tos and sto­ries. where we could be for a chunk of time, maybe six weeks in the sum­mer, and really im­merse our­selves in the whole com­mu­nity,” says Don.

The fam­ily loves the slower pace of the is­land and be­ing able to bike where they need to go.

“You have a num­ber of beaches,” he says. “Right at Kukui’ula is a har­bour, so there’s a calmer beach there. If you go far­ther down the road, in Poipu, they have some very calm beaches — and then there are some with amaz­ing waves for boo­gie board­ing and surf­ing. There’s a wide va­ri­ety.”

Hawaii has many ameni­ties for beach vis­i­tors, with change rooms, toi­lets and show­ers join­ing plenty of park­ing at many of the state’s beaches.

The im­me­di­ate area also of­fers hik­ing along the ocean off a ship­wreck beach, along with standup pad­dle boards, whale watch­ing and monk seals. There’s also snorkelling and scuba div­ing.

“I’ve lived all over the world, owned a prop­erty in Mex­ico and en­joyed the lux­ury of learn­ing from some of those ex­pe­ri­ences. You just can’t take away the pos­i­tive from own­ing a place in the United States,” says Don.

“The rule of law works and you have ti­tle. The ser­vice is very, very good. You can ex­pect a high level of ser­vice and get it.

“In other parts of the world where (prop­erty) is cheaper, there’s a rea­son why it’s cheaper. As much as they’re beau­ti­ful places, they come with a lot of frus­tra­tion some­times, too.”

The Grays are par­tic­i­pat­ing in the Lodge Hos­pi­tal­ity Pro­gram, a way to put their home in a ren­tal pool while they are not us­ing it.

When it came to de­sign­ing the com­mu­nity, Brent Her­ring­ton, pres­i­dent of Kukui’ula Devel­op­ment Co. and se­nior vice-pres­i­dent of DMB As­so­ci­ates Inc., was de­ter­mined it be true to the laid­back, earthy Kauai.

Known as the Garden Is­land, Kauai is ge­o­log­i­cally the old­est is­land in the main Hawai­ian ar­chi­pel­ago.

“The vi­sion of Kukui’ula was al­ways about cre­at­ing some­thing that feels like it be­longs on Kauai — some­thing that be­comes a con­nected and in­cluded part of the larger com­mu­nity of Kauai — and done in a way that really hon­ours and respects the cul­ture and the his­tory, the ar­chi­tec­ture, the bi­ol­ogy of this is­land, rather than be­ing some new, un­re­lated thing that got dropped on the south shore of the is­land,” says Her­ring­ton.

The first part to be built was a mixed-use din­ing and shop­ping area at the edge of the Kukui’ula prop­erty — the Shops at Kukui’ula — with art gal­leries and the weekly farm­ers’ mar­ket to pro­vide a place to meet and gather.

The Plan­ta­tion House, which is a pri­vate club, is the cen­tre­piece of Kukui’ula — a gath­er­ing place with most of the ameni­ties.

Ra­di­at­ing out from the club are three arms of Club Cot­tages. The first row of 15 sin­gle-fam­ily, de­tached cot­tages line the club drive, a tree-lined av­enue that pulls up in front of the build­ing.

The Plan­ta­tion House is de­signed in the style of tra­di­tional plan­ta­tion ar­chi­tec­ture as a sin­gle-storey, low-pro­file build­ing.

“As you pull up to it, you have no sense of the scale of the build­ing,” says Her­ring­ton.

“It feels like driv­ing up to the front door of a home. It’s only as you’re in­side and mov­ing through the spa­ces that you re­al­ize it’s really quite a large fa­cil­ity, but it’s been de­signed so that you never feel that you’re en­tered a big in­sti­tu­tional build­ing.”

Next to the Plan­ta­tion House is the golf club. The course is a grand, tra­di­tional one de­signed by Tom Weiskopf that makes the most of the rolling ter­rain and dra­matic views.

Along each hole grows some­thing that can be worn or eaten — from the ed­i­ble ma­cadamia nut trees and pineap­ple plants to the crown flower shrubs that are used in mak­ing leis or flower neck­laces.

The third build­ing is the Spa at Kukui’ula, which of­fers treat­ments, fit­ness classes and mas­sages.

A unique amenity at the re­sort grew or­gan­i­cally from a de­sire to set down roots in the red earth of the area.

An idea for a com­mu­nity farm re­sulted in the Up­coun­try Farm and Lake, an amenity staffed by farm­ers that al­lows res­i­dents to par­take and pick fresh pro­duce and flow­ers as they wish.

Pro­duce from the farm is also fea­tured on the menus at the Plan­ta­tion Club.

“We pro­vide in­for­ma­tion on what’s ripe on any given day and where to find it, and we pro­vide the lit­tle nip­pers and gloves and any­thing you’ll need, from bas­kets to bags,” says Her­ring­ton.

“The funny thing is that the farm was al­most an af­ter­thought in our vi­sion — and af­ter all the money we’ve spent on ev­ery­thing else, the farm is an in­ex­pen­sive amenity by com­par­i­son, yet I think most of the mem­bers here would tell you that it’s one of the most loved and the most favourite amenity in all of Kukui’ula.” The fam­ily, which is from Cal­gary, lives in Scotts­dale, Ariz. They needed a place to es­cape the heat in the sum­mer — some­where they would en­joy for years to come as a place for fam­ily to re­con­nect and en­joy out­door pur­suits. They bought a Club Cot­tage at Kukui’ula, on the Hawai­ian is­land of Kauai, which they can also put into a re­sort ren­tal pro­gram when they are not us­ing the prop­erty. The cou­ple has five chil­dren: Shan­non, 23, An­drew, 21, Jes­sica, 19, Ni­cole, 12, and Sam, 11.

Don Gray

Kim and Don Gray, cen­tre — with Sam, far left, and Ni­cole, far right, the youngest of the cou­ple’s five chil­dren — en­joy a hike on the Hawai­ian is­land of Kauai.

Pho­tos, Kukui’ula

A firepit out­side one of the Club Cot­tage homes at Kukui’ula, a re­sort on the ‘Garden Is­land’ of Kauai.

A ceil­ing fan adds a trop­i­cal touch to the great room in the home.

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