While doing research on the vacation housing market in Hawaii and Mexico, our Vice President of Advisory Adam McAbee recently toured a selection of new vacation home options that include community farms as an integral part of their overall amenity offering (see video above). Although golf courses, swimming pools and clubhouses are often part of the mix, it is frequently becoming the community farm that helps bring out the “wow” in the neighborhood and convert shoppers to owners. Such is the case with Kukui’ula on the island of Kauai, where their tucked-away farm is a favorite since it goes beyond the expected beach club environment and underscores the “organic feel” of the island.
Kohanaiki on the Big Island of Hawaii has had such interest from their current farm that they are building a larger, terraced farm that is reminiscent of a Hawaiian tarot patch. Other projects, such as the Culinary Cottages in San Jose Del Cabo, Mexico, makes the farm the focus of all activity. The development’s 10 residences are situated on the grounds of the wildly popular Flora Farms, home of Flora’s Field Kitchen, which attracts visitors from around the world who want to experience farm to table dining in an upscale but completely comfortable setting. Belle Mont Farm on the island of St. Kitts in the Caribbean is another example that combines a resort hotel and residential ownership with a working farm. Collectively, these projects are great examples of the growing demand for farming while on vacation – and the “digital detoxing” that it provides.
Some of the key insights learned include:
- Community farms can help drive sales at resort housing communities
- Community farms help foster connections that tie people to a place
- On-site restaurants that harvest from the community farm have an added intangible benefit
- Future projects should plan a farming element as one of the primary amenities from the beginning