Plantation Estate

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Obama signing the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act of 2010 on January 2, 2011

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.[1]


The house was originally built and occupied by Harold Kainalu Long Castle in 1948 and was designed by the Honolulu architects Ives and Hogan.[2] The house was added to the Hawaii Register of Historic Places on August 2, 2009, and was identified as the Harold Castle Beach Residence.[3][4] 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.[5] 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.[6]

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.[7]

The house is in the Paradise Point Estates gated community at Paradise Point.

Zoning, taxation, and dog rules issues[edit]

  • 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."[8]
  • 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.[9]
  • Hawaii has an up to 120-day quarantine rule for dogs from off the islands because the state is rabies-free.[10] 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.[11]

Obama visits[edit]

Obama meets in Kailua on December 29, 2009, with National Security Council chief of staff Denis McDonough concerning the attempted terrorist attack of an airliner on Christmas Day.
  • 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.[12][13]
  • 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.[14][15][16][17]


  1. ^ "Obama craves familiarity on Hawaiian vacation - Yahoo! News". Retrieved 2011-01-03. 
  2. ^ "Historic Places Review Board Adds to State Register" (PDF). Historic Hawaii newsletter. October 3, 2009. Retrieved December 25, 2010. 
  3. ^ "Recent Additions to the Hawaii Register of Historic Places" (PDF). Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources. November 7, 2010. Retrieved December 25, 2010. 
  4. ^ Don Hibbard and Anna Grune (April 25, 2009). "National Register of Historic Places Nomination: Plantation Estate" (PDF). 
  5. ^ "Homescape - Powered by Honolulu Advertiser". Retrieved 2010-12-25. 
  6. ^ "The skinny on Obama's five-bedroom oceanfront Hawaii rental". 2008-12-23. Retrieved December 25, 2010. 
  7. ^ "Plantation Estate". Retrieved December 25, 2010. 
  8. ^ "Obama party stays in home taxed at $300 - Hawaii News". 2010-12-27. Retrieved 2011-01-03. 
  9. ^ Obama’s rental home in Kailua is legal, city says, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, (August 14, 2008)
  10. ^ "Animal Quarantine Information — Hawaii Department of Agriculture". Retrieved 2011-01-03. 
  11. ^ "Bo Obama Faced Possible Quarantine in Hawaii, Asked to Produce Papers". 2010-12-21. Retrieved 2011-01-03. 
  12. ^ Lee, Carol E. (2008-12-20). "Obama Heads to Hawaii for the Holidays". NBC Bay Area. Retrieved December 25, 2010. 
  13. ^ "August 2008 Obama Hawaii Vacation". blog. Retrieved December 25, 2010. 
  14. ^ Tolin, Lisa (December 23, 2008). "Shirtless images of ‘buff’ Obama cause stir". Toronto: Retrieved December 25, 2010. 
  15. ^ Pallasch, Abdon M (January 2, 2009). "Obama returns to Chicago after two weeks in Hawaii". Chicago Sun Times. 
  16. ^ Zeleny, Jeff (January 4, 2010). "Obama Faces Full Plate Upon Return". New York Times. 
  17. ^ "December 2008 - Obama Christmas Vacation in Hawaii". Retrieved December 25, 2010. 
  18. ^ Hawaii House Rental: A Look Inside The 'Winter White House', Huffington Post, (December 24, 2009).
  19. ^ "Obama’s 'winter White House'". Front Row Washington (Reuters). December 23, 2009. [dead link]
  20. ^ "December 2009 - Obama Christmas Vacation in Hawaii". blog. Retrieved December 25, 2010. 
  21. ^ "Mrs. Obama’s Separate Hawaii Travel Likely Costs at Least $63,000 | The Blog on Obama". White House Dossier. Retrieved 2011-01-03. 
  22. ^ "Obama Announces Six Recess Appointments". December 29, 2010. Retrieved 2010-12-30. 
  23. ^ Jon Carroll (December 30, 2010). "Neil Abercrombie versus the birthers". Retrieved 2010-12-30. 
  24. ^ Pace, Julie. "Obama hits town in Hawaii, extends vacation - Politics - White House -". MSNBC. Retrieved 2010-12-30. 
  25. ^ Memoli, Michael A. (January 2, 2011). "Obama in Hawaii: Aides to Obama talk about crisis, calm in Hawaii". Retrieved 2011-01-03. 
  26. ^ – Fri Dec 31, 5:33 pm ET. "Obama and family to spend quiet New Year's Eve - Yahoo! News". Retrieved 2011-01-03. 
  27. ^ Obama Christmas in Hawaii 2010
  28. ^ President Obama starts delayed Hawaii vacation | KHON2 Hawaii's News Leader
  29. ^ President Obama Hits Golf Links On Christmas Eve - Honolulu News Story - KITV Honolulu
  30. ^

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 21°25′23″N 157°44′38″W / 21.422954°N 157.744027°W / 21.422954; -157.744027