Kapolei is located on the former site of sugarcane and pineapple plantations, on land that was originally part of the estate of industrialist James Campbell. While Kapolei is often referred to as a city, it is not an official municipality. Also called The Second City of Kapolei, the community is named after a volcanic cone, Puu o Kapolei. “Puu” means “hill,” and “Kapo lei” means “beloved Kapo,” with Kapo referring to a mythological goddess.
As the island’s fastest-growing town, Kapolei is currently being developed as an urban alternative to Honolulu. According to town projections, by 2025 there will be 7 million square feet of commercial space and 65,000 jobs in the Kapolei region. The initial construction of residences in the area began in the late 1980s, and commercial development followed shortly thereafter. New road construction, such as the Manawai Street-Kama‘aha Avenue extension in 2006, is helping reduce traffic congestion on Kamokila Boulevard and Farrington Highway. A $2 million road to extend Kamokila Boulevard from Kapolei Parkway to Roosevelt Avenue also began in 2007.
Many Kapolei residents commute into Honolulu for work, and its location next to Interstate H1, make it an enticing bedroom community. However, it is predicted that in the next 20 years there will be 40,000 new jobs in the Kapolei region, too.
A new addition to the area is the 200,000-square foot Kroc Center, a community center run by the Salvation Army that features childcare, an aquatics center, a state-of-the-art gym, classrooms, meeting space and more.
Real estate in Kapolei includes single family homes, condos, townhomes, and rentals. The large number of new homes, shopping malls and movie theaters that are being built around town, as well as Hawaii’s first water park, the Hawaiian Waters Adventure Park, are drawing many to call Kapolei home
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