A piece of tropical paradise in Honolulu is headed for the auction block with an opening bid of $8 million. The owner, Japanese beauty mogul Akemi Shimomura, purchased the property in 2010 for $7 million.
Shimomura has had the residence on and off the market since 2016, at prices that ranged as high as $20 million.
In 2018, the home was in the news when Bloomberg reported that Shimomura had chopped the price to $15 million. After another price cut to $13.8 million last year, with no takers, she’s pursuing the auction angle.
However, should a buyer propose a bid that the seller accepts before the live auction date of Feb. 20, the auction will be called off, according to the listing agent, Dianne Willoughby with Harcourts Island Real Estate.
Willoughby adds that an auction may be the best way to sell this languishing gem and unlock its true value.
“The unique property doesn’t easily compare to the one next door,” she says. “An auction is the best way to find out what the market is.”
Built in 1964 by Vladimir Ossipoff, the secluded property, which is surrounded by water, was created to take advantage of its location. The interior design made Hawaii’s famous trade winds a focal point, to bypass the need for air conditioning. (The home is now in fact equipped with AC.)
Much of the glass-walled home opens outside to the 1.1-acre grounds, which include a pool and the Kanewai Fishpond, which is fed by one of the few natural springs left on Honolulu.
Willoughby says the pond, now controlled by the Trust for Public Land, “is preserved in perpetuity.”
The fishpond also feeds Paikō Lagoon, a wildlife sanctuary of local and endangered plants and wildlife. Apart from the occasional visit by curious sea creatures, the owners’ privacy is pretty much guaranteed.
The aquatic theme continues inside, with an indoor waterfall and pond that both connect to the pond outside.
The 7,995 square feet of interior space incorporates five bedrooms and six bathrooms, including a staff bedroom and guest quarters. The master suite includes a bathroom with a sunken tub that looks out to the fishpond and a shower that has access to the outdoors.
The well-maintained, open concept home includes a large living area that opens out to the grounds. The kitchen and bathrooms were updated about a decade ago.
The beauty business entrepreneur, who owns a substantial Tokyo-based chain of beauty salons and schools, hasn’t left the area. The agent notes that Shimomura owns other properties in the area.
“It’s time for the next adventure,” she adds.
For potential bidders, the top selling point—aside from the marvelous midcentury architecture—is the location.
“It’s so private. It’s so secluded. The house itself is massive, it’s huge—it’s majestic. It would be very easy for a large family to feel very comfortable. When you’re there, there’s such a feeling of serenity and peace,” Willoughby says. “The energy that flows around the property, it’s very Hawaii.”