Homeowners required to farm on new Kauai agri-real estate

By Stephanie Lum - bio | email

KEALIA, Kauai (KHNL) - The next time you drive by Kealia Beach on the northeastern shore line of the Garden Isle, look for "Kealanani" across the street.

Formerly the old Lihue Sugar Plantation, it is now the site of an up and coming agricultural subdivision that spans across 2,000 acres and nine valleys.

There's no hustle and bustle here, just the beauty and soothing sounds of mother nature.

Developers of Kealanani came up with the name because it means "pathway to beauty".

"This is not another resort development on a golf course in Hawaii," said Paul Kyno of Sotheby's International Realty. "The people that we are seeing that are coming here are people that want to change their life style want to live more sustainably."

Residents will live in plantation style homes. Another major feature: agriculture. At Kealanani, you're not just a home owner, you're also a farmer.

"Whether it's tropical fruit trees or botanical or some type of live stock," said Project Manager Andy Friend. "We want them to all engage in agricultural activity way more than just doing landscaping."

Even the developers are green thumbs; planting a few thousand cacao trees for a tea business.

Taro farmer Stuart Wellington invested in the agri-subdivision. His taro farm will cover 90 acres.

Wellington says it's a dream come true to live and work in the same place.

"The need to be self sufficient in Hawaii I think this property will play a major role allowing farmers to get back to the land and have the opportunity to farm," said Wellington.

Other farmers will cultivate vanilla and avocados. When it comes to selling the fruits of their harvest, residents will have a place to do that too. There will be a special Farmer's Market near the entrance to Kealanani.

Developers say we're about six months away from groundbreaking. So far, more than 20 sites have been sold.