Kona prepares for its close-up on cable
The production company for cable television's popular HGTV show "National Open House" will be shooting in Kona this week.
"National Open House" guides viewers through 12 homes in each episode to show what certain price ranges will get a home buyer in various markets.
California-based Pie Town Productions
, which produces the show and many others on cable, has been here before
for this and other programs.
The show's Web page invites viewers to a "grand tour of homes valued from $100,000 ... all the way up to seven figures."
Thinking only a vacant, rusting shipping container with an earthen lua on leasehold land would go for that price on the Big Island, it was surprising to find several results in the $100,000 neighborhood using the Hawaii Island Board of Realtors Web site.
Pie Town will be shooting some segments at Hokuli'a, a master-planned community where four homes are currently occupied and a fifth is expected to be occupied within 60 days, said John De Fries, Hokuli'a chief executive officer.
They are prepared in case the production crew wants to showcase one of the homes, but his understanding is the crew wants to show "the amenities and give a large overview of the community itself," De Fries said. "We're certainly glad to have them."
One of the amenities, at Hokuli'a, its pavilion, was recently in the news as the site of outgoing UH Warriors coach June Jones' last news conference.
News footage included stark white ocean spray thundering upward against the backdrop of lush green landscaping, deep blue ocean and black lava rock outcroppings.
People eat that stuff up.
De Fries is excited that "the exposure, nationally, will help us get the word out of the current status of where we are at Hokuli'a."
Sales of the second phase of home sites began in November; construction will commence on six to eight homes this year. Some 40 site owners are "active in our design review process," said De Fries.
It is possible there will be more than one episode produced from the Kona visit, according to a publicist.
"That is big for Kona," De Fries said.
is a reporter with the Star-Bulletin. Call 529-4747, fax 529-4750 or write to Erika Engle, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., No. 7-210, Honolulu, HI 96813. She can also be reached at: email@example.com