What is the Urban Core of Honolulu?

What is it Like Living in the Urban Core of Honolulu

Oahu has several distinct sections that each have their own feel, with Honolulu holding a large portion of the island's population. Within the city lies the Urban Core, an area with shops, restaurants, and high-rise condos between Downtown Honolulu and Diamond Head.

What is considered Urban Honolulu?

The bounds of the urban core of Honolulu aren't cut and dry. Generally, it includes the mixed residential and commercial areas from downtown Honolulu,  Kakaako, Ala Moana, to Waikiki, and a few surrounding neighborhoods such as Maikiki Heights and Manoa.

Related: New Development Condos On Oahu

Urban core living near downtown Honolulu means you’ll be close to shopping, dining, and potential employment as well. People love this area because they can walk to work, ride the bike, or shop and dine all within a few block radius.

What is it Like Living in the Urban Core of Honolulu

Ala Moana is a bustling residential and retail district on the southern shore of Oahu. The golden sand beaches of Ala Moana Beach Park are a popular destination for nearby districts that include Waikiki and Kakaako. It's home to some of the most luxurious oceanfront residential towers and also has the Ala Moana Center, the world's largest open-air shopping center.

Waikiki is one of Hawaii's most popular resort districts. This dense high-rise neighborhood has plenty of luxury residential condos, hotels, and even a few single-family homes. You'll also find some of the best restaurants in Hawaii here in addition to globally recognized art galleries, the aquarium, and the zoo.

The Central Business District, the Capitol District, Chinatown, and the Waterfront are the four districts that make up downtown Honolulu. Each has its own historical and cultural significance. It's home to over a million people and a thriving economic center.

Enter Kakaako

Honolulu government and development is setting its sights on developing Kakaako as Oahu’s third city. This warehouse district is home to a vibrant up-and-coming arts community and future plans are to create a live/work/play neighborhood full of cafés and parks, businesses, and both upscale and affordable urban housing.

This new development is attracting interest from across the state. The vision began decades ago in 1976 when the state legislature created the Hawaii Community Development Authority and designed Kakaako as the authority's first Community Development District.

Redevelopment started out slow. With the development of condominiums in the 1980s and 90s, the total population of the neighborhood hovered around 2500 residents by 1990. 30 years later in 2010, there were 10,673 residents living in the Kakaako area.

Today, Kakaako’s development is accelerating, with population expected to double within the next several years. Residents with increased income levels want bigger spaces and better neighborhoods that provide all the community amenities one could want including dining, shopping, playing, and working.

In 2010, 58% of Honolulu residents were living within 10 miles from the city center and 84% were living within 15 miles.

What is it Like Living in the Urban Core of Honolulu

Changing housing demand

Housing in the urban core of Honolulu is largely being developed in the areas of Ala Moana and Kakaako.

The results are dynamic, urban island communities with colorful street art, unique dining, and fantastic shopping. Both Kakaako and Ala Moana (as well as nearby Waikiki) host many lively events and have unique gathering places. The urban core is Hawaii’s most unique and progressive area, with Cultural values and modern spaces coming together in perfect harmony.

Related: Luxury House Vs. Luxury Condo - Advantages & Disadvantages

These communities are bringing a brighter future to Hawaii by creating new places for people to live, play, and work. If an urban core is underutilized and there's not enough demand, it can cause redevelopment efforts to fail. For the area to grow in population it requires an adequate supply of housing and enough demand to live in that area. In Honolulu County, over 3300 new homes would be needed each year to accommodate the anticipated population growth.

Kakaako is a mixed-use, revitalized, and walkable neighborhood offering a variety of housing options, rentals, high-rise, lowrise, and shopping options. Nearby, Ala Moana and Waikiki are other mixed-use areas with similar options.

The key is convenience and proximity. Everything you would want is close to where you live. This allows for more access and exposure to entertainment, revenue, and reduces the need for expensive commutes. 

Interested in moving to the Urban Core of Honolulu? We have decades of experience in helping people find their dream home in Honolulu. Use the form below to get started or give us a call at 1-(808) 427-0867 and we’ll have you sorted in no time.

Kakaako Condos for Sale

248 Properties
Page 1 of 21
Open 3/3
425 South Street #1704 Honolulu,  HI 96813
$969,000
Condo: One Waterfront Tower
2
Beds
2
Baths
1,470
Sq.Ft.
1989
Year Built
2
Days on Site
202402975
MLS
Open 3/3
725 Kapiolani Boulevard #3604 Honolulu,  HI 96813
2
Beds
2F11/2
Baths
2,008
Sq.Ft.
1991
Year Built
2
Days on Site
202403872
MLS
$4,880,000
Condo: Waiea - 1118 Ala Moana
3
Beds
2F11/2
Baths
2,022
Sq.Ft.
2016
Year Built
2
Days on Site
202404215
MLS
$1,388,000
Condo: Symphony Honolulu
2
Beds
2
Baths
1,142
Sq.Ft.
2016
Year Built
2
Days on Site
202403851
MLS
2
Beds
2
Baths
1,561
Sq.Ft.
2006
Year Built
2
Days on Site
202404542
MLS
Open 3/3
888 Kapiolani Boulevard #3303 Honolulu,  HI 96813
$1,200,000
Condo: Symphony Honolulu
2
Beds
2
Baths
1,142
Sq.Ft.
2016
Year Built
3
Days on Site
202404464
MLS
Open 3/3
888 Kapiolani Boulevard #PH 4501 Honolulu,  HI 96813
$2,199,000
Condo: Symphony Honolulu
3
Beds
3
Baths
1,653
Sq.Ft.
2016
Year Built
4
Days on Site
202403308
MLS
$1,300,000
Condo: One Waterfront Tower
2
Beds
2
Baths
1,188
Sq.Ft.
1989
Year Built
5
Days on Site
202328350
MLS
1
Beds
1
Baths
561
Sq.Ft.
2022
Year Built
5
Days on Site
202403991
MLS
$7,200,000
Condo: Waiea - 1118 Ala Moana
3
Beds
3F11/2
Baths
2,674
Sq.Ft.
2016
Year Built
6
Days on Site
202403211
MLS
$740,000
Condo: Pacifica Honolulu
1
Beds
1
Baths
663
Sq.Ft.
2011
Year Built
6
Days on Site
202403958
MLS
$980,000
Condo: Anaha - 1108 Auahi
1
Beds
1
Baths
753
Sq.Ft.
2017
Year Built
6
Days on Site
202404238
MLS

Kakaako New Condo Developments

51 Properties
Page 1 of 5
1
Beds
1
Baths
561
Sq.Ft.
2022
Year Built
5
Days on Site
202403991
MLS
1
Baths
367
Sq.Ft.
2019
Year Built
6
Days on Site
202404236
MLS
1
Baths
347
Sq.Ft.
2019
Year Built
7
Days on Site
202404051
MLS
1
Beds
1
Baths
473
Sq.Ft.
2019
Year Built
10
Days on Site
202404028
MLS
2
Beds
2
Baths
842
Sq.Ft.
2019
Year Built
16
Days on Site
202403675
MLS
1
Beds
1
Baths
588
Sq.Ft.
2019
Year Built
18
Days on Site
202403596
MLS
2
Beds
2
Baths
968
Sq.Ft.
2021
Year Built
19
Days on Site
202401168
MLS
1
Baths
433
Sq.Ft.
2022
Year Built
19
Days on Site
202403505
MLS
1
Baths
435
Sq.Ft.
2021
Year Built
30
Days on Site
202402946
MLS
1
Beds
1
Baths
665
Sq.Ft.
2021
Year Built
31
Days on Site
202401686
MLS
1
Baths
364
Sq.Ft.
2019
Year Built
32
Days on Site
202401761
MLS
Active Under Contract
1000 Auahi Street #2907 Honolulu,  HI 96814
2
Beds
2
Baths
968
Sq.Ft.
2022
Year Built
33
Days on Site
202401592
MLS

Kakaako New Construction

12 Properties
Active Under Contract
3318 Esther Street Honolulu,  HI 96815
$1,750,000
Neighborhood: Kapahulu
5
Beds
4
Baths
2,349
Sq.Ft.
1986
Year Built
31
Days on Site
202402827
MLS
$3,800,000
Neighborhood: Kapahulu
3
Beds
4F11/2
Baths
2,712
Sq.Ft.
1973
Year Built
41
Days on Site
202401198
MLS
Active Under Contract
737 Olokele Avenue #1401 Honolulu,  HI 96816
1
Beds
1
Baths
520
Sq.Ft.
1979
Year Built
58
Days on Site
202328462
MLS
2
Beds
1
Baths
600
Sq.Ft.
1967
Year Built
59
Days on Site
202325034
MLS
1
Beds
1
Baths
531
Sq.Ft.
1979
Year Built
61
Days on Site
202400077
MLS
$1,295,000
Neighborhood: Kapahulu
4
Beds
2
Baths
1,404
Sq.Ft.
1953
Year Built
91
Days on Site
202325420
MLS
$1,640,000
Neighborhood: Kapahulu
8
Beds
4
Baths
2,136
Sq.Ft.
1950
Year Built
96
Days on Site
202325917
MLS
Active Under Contract
3126 Catherine Street Honolulu,  HI 96815
$1,450,000
Neighborhood: Kapahulu
5
Beds
3F11/2
Baths
2,406
Sq.Ft.
1956
Year Built
132
Days on Site
202321640
MLS
Active Under Contract
3310A Castle Street Honolulu,  HI 96815
$899,000
Neighborhood: Kapahulu
2
Beds
1
Baths
572
Sq.Ft.
1930
Year Built
137
Days on Site
202323612
MLS
$2,350,000
Neighborhood: Kapahulu
5
Beds
2
Baths
2,144
Sq.Ft.
1950
Year Built
147
Days on Site
202314196
MLS
$1,480,000
Neighborhood: Kapahulu
3
Beds
3
Baths
2,154
Sq.Ft.
1978
Year Built
174
Days on Site
202320860
MLS
$2,350,000
Neighborhood: Kapahulu
6
Beds
6
Baths
2,395
Sq.Ft.
1970
Year Built
306
Days on Site
202310044
MLS
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