The Palms at Manele, Lana'i City, Hawaii

The island's first underground propane utility maximizes this development's serene, beautiful location.

When the entry price for a residential property starts at more than $2 million, it can be hard for a developer to find new ways to distinguish its homes from competitors. But Castle & Cooke Hawaii did just that by using propane as an innovative tool to fuel its development of 38 luxury oceanview residential condominiums, The Palms at Manele.

By partnering with a local propane company, Castle & Cooke Hawaii planned and built its picturesque homes over an invisible network of gas piping, which relies on a 2,000-gallon propane holding tank. This central tank supplies gas to each home, eliminating the need for residents to refill individual storage units. Each home features a 75-gallon, fast-recovery propane water heater; a propane clothes dryer for energy efficiency; a propane range for precision cooking; built-in propane barbecues for entertaining outdoors; and luxurious outdoor propane spas.

Douglas Pearson, vice president construction for Castle & Cooke Hawaii, says the overriding goal for The Palms at Manele was to combine beauty with an efficient and economical approach to energy use. He adds that discerning luxury-home buyers prefer gas appliances — particularly for water heating and cooking — and that propane meets those needs as a reliable, efficient, and versatile energy source.

"Our vision for The Palms at Manele was to create luxury condominium residences exuding elegance and exquisite quality while taking full advantage of the serene and beautiful location," he says. "The creation of the island's first underground propane utility system was a key factor in maintaining that environment."

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