There’s a tanned, bare-chested young man sweeping leaves out of the Olympic-size swimming pool as you drive up to the Water Falling estate. But upon being introduced, you discover he’s not the pool-boy. He’s Scott Watson, the co-developer of several luxurious homes on the Big Island, including this one, his most prestigious construction yet. And you realize that Watson takes just that sort of hands-on approach to his work.
Water Falling takes its name from an enormous cascade along the north side of the property, which was an abandoned macadamia orchard seven years ago, when Watson and his partner, Laurie Robertson, bought it. The first 18 months were spent clearing the vegetation and scraping the land down 14 feet to the basaltic bedrock, so that the support structure of soil-grade beams and rebar could be anchored to the site, and 4,285 yards of engineered concrete poured into the forms.
Like its namesake cataract, everything about Water Falling is impressive. All the walls and floors of the 10,000-square-foot home, inside and out, are clad in ivory-colored Travertine marble – 140,000 square feet of it. The interior woodwork, the doors, the cabinets, the stair-railings, and so on, are an African mahogany called Sapele. The ceilings are Sapele too: in a clever re-purposing of materials, they are panels of engineered-wood flooring. To carry people between floors, an elevator employs the latest pneumatic technology for near-silent operation. Water comes from a private well, and is solar-heated.
On the 9.4-acre grounds, there’s a nine-tee pitch-and-putt golf course (complete with sand-traps), a kiddie-pool, a landscaped stream, and two koi ponds. Yet, despite having so much land around them, the buildings do not sprawl. And some components serve multiple purposes. The roof of the three-story, four-bedroom main house doubles as a three-helicopter landing pad. The roof of the one-bedroom guest house and multi-car garage doubles as a 450-seat tennis stadium.
Watson is currently living in the house, which has been listed with us at Hilo Brokers for $26.5 million. However, we took what on the Big Island is an unusual path toward selling it as a turnkey, furnished residence. Concierge Auctioneers “cried” the Water Falling estate in an auction, without reserve, on Saturday March 22nd, and the estate is currently in escrow.
“Diving into this project was a dream of Laurie’s and mine,” said Watson. “We have built many houses together, on both the east and west sides of the Big Island. But this is absolutely the coolest house we have ever built!”