D.R. Horton ‘flex’ homes in Hawaii allow work-life balance
Apr 30, 2013, 2:41pm HST
Jenna Blakely | General Assignment Reporter- Pacific Business News
Flexible work hours and work-life balance — we hear those words a lot at Pacific Business News as companies of all industries in Hawaii say they are trying to adapt to those demands.
D.R. Horton — Schuler Division has been building homes for the past several years in its Mehana mixed-use master plan community in Kapolei that are designed to make work-life balance easier with “live-work units” where residents can run a business from home.
Brian Smith, an active-duty nurse with the U.S. Air Force, had envisioned opening his own business for the past five years.
“I talked with someone at D.R. Horton and things fell into place,” he said. “I live on the second and third floors and my shop is on the first floor.”
Smith opened the Pray Eat Love Cafe in February out of his Kapolei home at 533 Manawai St., which is one of 20 live-work units in the Nanala community within Mehana.
Smith has hired three part-time employees to staff the cafe, which is open Monday through Saturday for breakfast and lunch.
“Business has been tough at first, we’re deep in the community so people don’t know we’re back here,” he said. “But when people do come in, they love the place and we’re developing a nice clientele even beyond the neighborhood — we’re getting folks from further out.”
He named it Pray Eat Love to resemble his mission for the cafe.
“The place is set up for small groups and Bible study groups to gather, grow and learn from each other — ohana,” he said. “The eat portion is the sandwiches and drinks. A chef that lives behind us came over and helped me design the sandwiches. And the love portion is for charity; We pick one charity per month and at the end of the month we write them a check.”
D.R. Horton (NYSE: DHI) built more live-work units in its newest Mehana community called Awakea, which began sales in April. It consists of 115 townhomes with eight different floorplans, one of which features live-work units, or “flex homes.”
Additionally, 10 commercial condos averaging 500 square feet will be available for business use. In sum, Awakea will provide around 15,000 square feet of new business space, according to a statement.
“We only released eight townhomes so far and some were residential only,” said Sales Manager BJ Nagata of Awakea. “Three of those were live-work units and we sold those three.”