Owner-occupied apartment housing, first in the form of cooperative units and later as condominiums, first came on the Hawai‘i market in the 1950s.
In a cooperative, the individual owner only owns stock in the corporation holding title to the structure, and does not have title to a specific apartment. In a condominium project, the owner has title to his actual apartment.
The first cooperative project completed in Hawai‘i was the Diamond Head Ambassador Apartments, at 2957 Kalakaua Avenue, in the summer of 1956. The development included three five-story structures with seventy-nine units. Sales prices for one-bedroom units started at $12,750, with prices for studios and two-bedroom units in proportion.
The earliest residential condominium project to receive state approval was a twelve-story apartment structure at 3019 Kalakaua Avenue, near the base of Diamond Head, in November 1961. The first commercial condominium in the state, and one of the first two in the nation, was the one hundred Wells-Kona, a 5,000-square-foot office building in Wailuku, Maui. This structure was erected late in 1961 and was granted condominium status in March 1963.
By Robert C. Schmitt