Toronto Star Touch

04/23/16

This Penthouse Comes with a Trip Around the World

Buyers pick and source materials to personalize their own paradise

Buyers of yet-to-be-built homes usually get their choice of finishes and fixtures from a limited selection. But the purchaser of a luxury penthouse in Hawaii is being offered customization on a much bigger scale: a trip around the world to personally source materials and products.

The home is one of three grand penthouses in Park Lane Ala Moana, a new low rise community of 217 residences in Honolulu on the island of Oahu. Only Hale Moana, or “house of the ocean,” includes a trip in its $28-million (U.S.) price tag.

The developers, Kobayashi Group and The MacNaughton Group, travel the world to find the best materials, finishes and fixtures for their residential projects, says Alana Kobayashi Pakkala, partner and executive vice-president of Kobayashi Group.

“We want the buyer to have all that fun,” she explains. “Now, Hale Moana’s owners can accompany us to personally hand-select every fixture and finish while also working alongside our trusted team to finalize their home’s design.”

Pakkala describes the “hands-on” developers’ quest for limestone at a quarry in Germany where they test-drove samples suitable for lanai (patio) floors.

They walked on it with bare feet, and rubbed and poured wine on it to see how the stone felt and performed, she says. “It was a really cool experience for our team.”

And it would be especially meaningful for the penthouse buyer to choose his or her own stone, Pakkala adds. “We love the idea of someone having a memory of being part of it.”

The sourcing trip, which will be tailor-made for the homeowner, could include travels to countries such as Italy, Portugal and India. The developers’ appliance supplier in Germany, for example, has offered a tour of the factory to reveal what goes into the manufacture of Wolf and Sub-Zero products.

It’s a unique opportunity not just to personalize a home but to partner with some of the world’s top interior, architectural and landscaping designers, Pakkala points out.

The penthouse that comes with the trip is part of a collection of single-family residences that combine the best of luxury homes and condos. With prices starting at $2.7 million (U.S.), the units range in size from 1,600 to more than 6,000 sq. ft.

The six-storey buildings, expected to be completed early next year, will be nestled atop two levels of landscaped commercial parking space. A one-minute private elevator ride will take residents to Ala Moana Center, Hawaii’s largest open-air shopping destination.

Situated on a 2.8-hectare site overlooking the Pacific Ocean, the project will be the area’s first ultraluxury lowrise community, according to the developers, both Hawaii-based family companies.

Pakkala points out that landscaping is one of the most important elements of the development, which will overflow with lush courtyards, natural paths and verdant gardens.

Each residence will have large lanais that offer a seamless transition from indoor to outdoor living spaces.

Hawaii’s all about the outdoors, says Pakkala. “You live outside most of the time. At Park Lane you can do that every day.”

Once you’ve returned from your world travels, that is.

BRING IT HOME

Your own home can look like $28 million for a tiny fraction of that amount. A few ideas to get the posh without the price tag:

Subway tile for the kitchen backsplash is timeless and looks stunning.

Bling it on with an elegant chandelier, not just in the dining room but kitchen, bedroom or even bathroom.

Black accessories and accents look expensive whether it’s lampshades, side chairs or interior doors painted a rich ebony.