Plantation Estate is a single-story, wood frame, 5,000-square-foot (460 m2) Pacific Ocean-front house at 55 Kailuana Place in Kailua, Honolulu County, Hawaii, which President Barack Obama rented for use as a Winter White House during his Christmas vacations in 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011.
The house is less than a mile south of the Marine Corps Base Hawaii. Obama works out at the Semper Fit Center at the base and attends dinners there during his visits. He also swims in the ocean at the base of Pyramid Rock.
The house was originally built and occupied by Harold Kainalu Long Castle in 1948 and was designed by the Honolulu architects Ives and Hogan. The house was added to the Hawaii Register of Historic Places on August 2, 2009, and was identified as the Harold Castle Beach Residence. Among other buildings by Albert Ely Ives (1898–1966) is the Kaneohe Ranch Building which is on the National Register of Historic Places. George Hogan (1914–2009) designed numerous houses on the island and the Hamilton Library at the University of Hawaii.
The Castle family sold the house in 2003 to Paul Sullivan. Sullivan extensively remodeled, adding among other things a lava rock pool, hot tub and eight waterfalls. He sold it in January 2008 for $9 million to Houston, Texas, investor Kevin Comcowich (after dropping the price from its listed $11.9 million). Comcowich has rented the house out for between $2,500 to $3,500 a day.
The specifications for the house describe it has having 4,951 square feet (460.0 m2) interior space on land area of 27,131 feet.
The house is in the Paradise Point Estates gated community at Paradise Point.
Zoning, taxation, and dog rules issues
- Comcowich paid $300 in property taxes on the $9 million house in 2010, because it had been added to the State Register of Historic Places in 2009. The taxes on the property in 2007 were $48,000. Owners who receive the break "must sign an application that certifies, among other things, that the pre-exemption level of property taxes is a "material factor" threatening the existence of the home."
- The house is in a single-family housing zoned area. Honolulu authorities say ordinances permit the short-term rental of the property as long as it is rented to only one family during a month.
- Hawaii has an up to 120-day quarantine rule for dogs from off the islands because the state is rabies-free. However, Obama's dog Bo was able to accompany the family immediately in 2010, because they had followed the Hawaii's “Five-Day-Or-Less” rules enacted in 2003. The rules include, among other things, a rabies vaccination in the previous 90[?] months, a current blood test for rabies, and a microchip identification implant.
- August 8-14, 2008 - Obama visited Kailua August 8–14 during the 2008 U.S. Presidential Election staying at a different house belonging to Jill Tate Higgins, the general partner of Lakeside Enterprises, a Burbank, California private family investment company. During the visit he made what would be his last visit with his grandmother Madelyn Dunham who had raised him in Honolulu from age 10 on.
- December 20-31, 2008 - Obama in his first visit to Plantation Estate took a two-week vacation after winning the election. Among the activities was the scattering of his grandmother's ashes at Lanai Lookout at the same location where he had scattered his mother Stanley Ann Dunham's ashes in 1995. His grandmother had died two days before Obama's election. Photographs of him shirtless on the beach and looking buff were widely circulated.
- December 24, 2009-January 3, 2010 - During the visit he went to his maternal grandfather Stanley Armour Dunham's grave at National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific. Obama's trip was cut short after he dealt with the attempted Christmas bombing of Northwest Flight 253. Obama was at the house from December 24 to January 3.
- December 23, 2010-January 3, 2011 - Obama arrived on December 23 for a planned 11-day visit. His arrival was one day late because of the lame duck congress approval of the New START treaty. Michelle Obama, Malia Obama and Sasha Obama and Bo (dog), left for Hawaii on December 18 flying on a C-40B Special Mission Aircraft. Press reports indicated that her not flying with the President cost $63,000 to $100,000 additional for the trip. He extended his departure date one day to January 4. During the vacation he made recess appointments of James M. Cole to be United States Deputy Attorney General, William J. Boarman to Public Printer of the United States, Matthew Bryza to be United States Ambassador to Azerbaijan, Norman L. Eisen to be ambassador to the Czech Republic, Robert Stephen Ford to ambassador to Syria and Francis J. Ricciardone, Jr. to be United States Ambassador to Turkey. During the trip Hawaii Governor Neil Abercrombie who knew Obama and his family as a child said he would seek to find a way to release the original birth certificate showing that Obama was born in Hawaii and not in Kenya as birthers have argued. He also dined with his half sister Maya Soetoro-Ng at Alan Wong's Restaurant near his boyhood home in Honolulu. Other destinations have been snorkeling with family at Hanauma Bay on a Tuesday when the bay is normally closed to tourists. Obama's reading list for the trip included The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet by David Mitchell (author), Our Kind of Traitor by John le Carré and President Reagan: The Role of a Lifetime by Lou Cannon. Obama signed the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act of 2010 on January 2.
- December 23, 2011 - Obama arrived six days after his family and stayed until January 1, 2012. Reportedly, this year's vacation home is a few doors down from the home used in the previous years.
- December 21, 2012 - Obama arrived at the same house he stayed in 2011.
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- Obama Christmas in Hawaii 2010
- President Obama starts delayed Hawaii vacation | KHON2 Hawaii's News Leader
- President Obama Hits Golf Links On Christmas Eve - Honolulu News Story - KITV Honolulu