By Invitation Only

Developers at The Vintage at Kaanapali threw a real estate party and almost everyone came.

September, 2000

Who says you can’t get too much of a good thing? New home buyers at The Vintage at Kaanapali, most of them already property owners in the immediate area, certainly didn’t think so and put their money where their mouths were.

Terra Pacific Development Co., LLC, which developed the $40 million project, took 145 reservations for 73 available homes, with prices ranging from $475,000 to $725,000. “In December of last year, we introduced the project on reservation only, which is a non-binding agreement or an indication of interest,” says developer Bob Johnston. “Our buyers put up $10,000, which is a significant indication of interest and we had 145 people sign up and it was so overwhelming, we immediately decided to do a lottery.”

According to Johnston, a Maui development hasn’t held a lottery for homes in over 20 years.

Terra Pacific Development Co.’s Ted Taylor, Howard Kihune and Bob Johnston have enjoyed an overwhelming response for The Vintage at Kaanapali from current residents.

Today, over 90 percent of the Vintage buyers are current Kaanapali owners. Quite a few of these buyers currently are high-rise condominium dwellers, seeking more spacious living quarters in the single-family detached home condominiums.

One of the project’s biggest selling points, of course, was location. The Vintage is surrounded by Kaanapali’s famous South Course golf track. “I think initially the site is a super site. It’s surrounded by five golf holes,” says Terra Pacific’s Howard Kihune.

Another selling point was the prospect of owning a free-standing home, including an enclosed garage, with all the benefits of living in a condominium community.

“There are (buyers) who started out on the water, and they’re for the resort-condominium-hotel-type of product and that’s why they came here. … Then there are those who have large single-family homes in Kaanapali and they’ve experienced that when you have a home here and you live on the mainland, and you have pool maintenance and yard care, or a leak and this and that, you’ve gotta deal with all of that,” Johnston says. “But under our concept of a condominium, where even though physically and architecturally it looks like a single family home, it’s structured like a condominium. There’s a property management company, you don’t worry about the pool, you don’t worry about anything.”

The success of The Vintage with the Kaanapali crowd isn’t so surprising when you consider that Terra Pacific first began the development process by mailing surveys to current Kaanapali residents.

“This was very much a direct invitation marketing program,” Johnston says. “We started out last fall with a survey that we mailed out to 3- or 4,000 Kaanapali property owners. And the survey had a number of questions of what kind of product they were looking for, condominium versus single family, the number of bedrooms, the type of amenities, the sizes, things like that. Of course, those people were the ones we went back to when we really did nail down our product in late fall, early winter.”

And prospective buyers responded to their inquiries at an unusually high rate for such pricey property. According to Kihune, a Maui native, the rate was about 85 percent, activity he hasn’t seen since the late ‘70s and early ‘80s.

“You don’t have to worry about taking care of anything. You can turn the key and go to Vail and know that everything’s going to be taken care of,” says Kip Norris, a new Vintage owner who has been a part-time Maui resident for 27 years. “And yet we have the independence of not having someone upstairs who’s going to be clonking around and annoying us.”

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