When Waref Hawasli moved back to his hometown of Grosse Pointe in 2014, he purchased a foreclosed home on Kenwood Road with the goal of fixing it up and moving into it. “It was supposed to be a one-off experience, but I fell in love with the process,” he says. “I ran the job myself. I found tradespeople, and I did some of the work myself, from the demo and laying tile to flooring and painting.”
Afterward, it became a passion for him to take neglected homes and find creative ways to add beauty and value to them. “I was not your typical flipper, though,” says Waref. “My approach was more about taking a property and adding a tremendous amount of value to it while always envisioning my family living there. And in the early years, we moved into every single home.”
Luckily, his wife Danielle, also a Grosse Pointe native, went along with it. “She is such an incredible individual in my life,” he says. “She understood my vision and supported it from day one, even though it was challenging at times, picking up and moving over and over again.”
In 2017, Waref, a licensed residential builder and real estate developer, opened Hawasli Homes in Grosse Pointe Farms. His company now builds many new homes, including a forever home in Grosse Pointe for himself, Danielle, and their three daughters, 6-year-old Sienna, 3-year-old Sydney, and 1-year-old Summer.
Among many other assets, Hawasli Homes has a reputation for integrity, creativity, attention to detail, and quality craftsmanship. One of its homes, located at 707 Lake Shore Drive, clearly reflects these attributes and more.
“It’s just a beautiful home,” says Waref. “I wanted to make it appear as if it had been there for hundreds of years. Many people think it’s an extraordinary renovation or a restoration.”
“The unique thing about this property is that although it’s brand-new construction, it looks and feels like the grand estates that were built years ago,” says real-estate broker Alex Lucido, whose agency, Lucido Real Estate, is representing the home. “Hawasli Homes hit a home run when they designed and built this magnificent home.”
The architecture, says Waref, could be considered French Colonial meets modern masterpiece, and it’s entirely built of limestone, which also helps it blend in naturally to the area. “Using limestone was purely based on the existing architecture of Detroit. You can go through its central business district and see everything is built out of limestone.”
The 5 bedroom, 8 bath home with 7,575 square feet of living space is indeed impressive from the outside, but it’s when you walk in that you grasp the fine details that make the home so unique and luxurious. The foyer and its grand staircase are made of imported marble. “The staircase is one of a kind; I'll never build another one exactly like it,” he says. “It's stunning and a big focal point of the home.” In addition to the stairs, there is also an elevator that can transport you to the home’s multiple levels.
There's a beautiful lower level with a full kitchen and many living spaces for entertaining and family gatherings. “The grand suite on the second floor has remarkable panoramic views of Lake St. Clair and Lake Shore Road,” says Waref. “Its front balcony has a panoramic view from Lake St. Clair and Lake Shore Road to the Yacht Club. These views add a beautiful visual impact and allow you to enjoy the sunrises and ultimately feel Grosse Pointe's charm.”
The millwork in the home and the detail of the carpentry are very impressive as well and took a full year to complete. The home is also fully insulated, so when you're sitting inside, it’s very peaceful and quiet. “The levels of landscape act as a sound barrier too, so you don't feel like you're on Lake Shore, but instead like you’re in your own little sanctuary,” he says.
Adds Waref, “There are so many things to say about this home, but I think the property is what sets it off the most. It’s over an acre on Lake Shore, which is very hard to find. It’s situated on a corner, and its landscape is very thoughtfully and meticulously done with the hardscape.”
In the backyard, you’ll find a beautiful PebbleTec pool with limestone coping, great entertainment space with an area for outdoor cooking. The patio and the pavers leading to the outdoor area are also made of limestone, which connects it all seamlessly with the exterior style of the home.
“Our firm has listed and sold over 25 homes on Lake Shore in Grosse Pointe over the last few years, but 707 Lake Shore is far and away the home that people talk about as being the finest home Lucido Real Estate has represented,” says Alex.
Adds Waref, “This is a community that I love dearly and want to continue to add value to it.”