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At long last, Koa Ridge welcomes its first family after over 20 years

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  • CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / CRUSSELL@STARADVERTISER.COM
                                Greg Yamamoto took a family photo for Michael Daguio, Gaynelle Ambrocio and their 7-year-old daughter, Peyton

    CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / CRUSSELL@STARADVERTISER.COM

    Greg Yamamoto took a family photo for Michael Daguio, Gaynelle Ambrocio and their 7-year-old daughter, Peyton

  • CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / CRUSSELL@STARADVERTISER.COM
                                Harry Saunders, president of Castle & Cooke Hawai‘i, talked with Michael Daguio, Gaynelle Ambrocio and their 7-year-old daughter, Peyton. The family was the first homeowners to receive their key at Koa Ridge, a master-planned community in Waipio.

    CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / CRUSSELL@STARADVERTISER.COM

    Harry Saunders, president of Castle & Cooke Hawai‘i, talked with Michael Daguio, Gaynelle Ambrocio and their 7-year-old daughter, Peyton. The family was the first homeowners to receive their key at Koa Ridge, a master-planned community in Waipio.

  • CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / CRUSSELL@STARADVERTISER.COM
                                Construction is still underway in the Nanea subdivision at Koa Ridge in Waipio. The master project by Castle & Cooke Hawai‘i will offer 3,500 new residential housing units once completed.

    CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / CRUSSELL@STARADVERTISER.COM

    Construction is still underway in the Nanea subdivision at Koa Ridge in Waipio. The master project by Castle & Cooke Hawai‘i will offer 3,500 new residential housing units once completed.

  • CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / CRUSSELL@STARADVERTISER.COM
                                Michael Daguio, Gaynelle Ambrocio and their 7-year-old daughter, Peyton, in their new home Friday at Koa Ridge in Waipio.

    CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / CRUSSELL@STARADVERTISER.COM

    Michael Daguio, Gaynelle Ambrocio and their 7-year-old daughter, Peyton, in their new home Friday at Koa Ridge in Waipio.

It’s been a long road, but the master-planned community of Koa Ridge in Waipio finally welcomed its first family Friday.

The Ambrocio/Daguio family will be the first residents in the new Nanea subdivision featuring 146 three- and four- bedroom, single-family detached condominium homes.

“This has been more than 20 years in the making, and we are extremely excited to finally be able to turn over the keys for the first home completed at Koa Ridge and welcome its newest residents,” said Harry Saunders, president of developer Castle &Cooke Hawai‘i.

Koa Ridge is in Waipio off Ka Uka Boulevard between Kamehameha Highway and the H-2 freeway.

The development has been planned since the mid-1990s but was fought by community and environmental groups. It took three tries to obtain state land-use approvals and survived two Hawaii Supreme Court challenges.

Since breaking ground in late 2017, Castle &Cooke has spent about $70 million on construction that includes installing storm drains, water pipes, sewer lines, underground utilities and other infrastructure within much of a lower quarter of the 576-acre site between Waipio and Mililani.

Gaynelle Ambrocio and Michael Daguio said they had been discouraged by the lack of inventory in their search for a home in Central Oahu. But when sales at Koa Ridge were finally announced in June, they were one of the lucky ones to be selected by lottery.

“Today our dreams have come true. We received the keys to our new house, and together with our daughter, Peyton, we look forward to making Koa Ridge our home,” Ambrocio said.

To date, public offerings at Koa Ridge included the release and sale of 53 single-family detached condominium homes at Nanea and 38 paired homes at Luana. All new homeowners will be owner- occupants and Hawaii residents.

The next offering will be an additional 13 homes at Nanea, followed by the release of Malina, Koa Ridge’s first affordable project, starting in the low $400,000s, early next year.

Meanwhile, construction at Koa Ridge continues with more than 400 workers on-site and the expected creation of up to 1,000 jobs. When completed, Koa Ridge will offer 3,500 new residential units, including single-family, multifamily and senior homes and over 1,000 affordable units.

The $2 billion construction project includes a $500 million investment for infrastructure improvements, including water, sewer, drainage and roadway upgrades.

Plans include retail, entertainment, dining, a village green, medical center, community center, industrial/ business center, parks and a new elementary school. The community will be linked by the Hoala Trail, a 7.5-mile “pedway,” as well as public transportation, allowing residents the option to leave their car at home.

On Friday, Saunders presented Ambrocio and Daguio with a certificate for a koa tree planted in their name, a custom-engraved koa ukulele and gift certificates donated by businesses including Costco, Waikele Premium Outlets and Honolulu Design Center.

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