Mark Zuckerberg is again expanding his empire in Hawaii.
The billionaire Facebook founder and wife Priscilla Chan bought 600 more acres of land in Hawaii, according to local business journal Pacific Business News.
The pair purchased the land, which includes Larsen’s Beach, for $53 million from the nonprofit Waioli Corp. The couple now owns more than 1,300 acres on the island of Kauai.
Zuckerberg began assemblying his fief on the in Hawaii in 2014 with the 357-acre Kahuaina Plantation.
Building permits totaling more than $83 million include an application for a 57,059 square-foot single-family home.
The Waioli traces its roots back to the Wilcox family, descended from missionaries to Hawaii.
The couple said they are “mindful” of the nonprofit organization’s perseveration work in a statement to the business journal. Waioli “authentically [preserves] numerous historic sites and collections around the island,” according to its website.
Waioli president Sam Pratt said the nonprofit decided to sell the land “after much consideration,” according to sfgate.com. “The decision provides Waioli with the financial ability to be able to continue our critical conservation and historical work and ensure that Kauai’s cultural history continues to be shared in the community for years to come,” he said in a statement.
“We know that this land will remain in their trusted hands and that Mark and Priscilla will act as responsible stewards of Lepeuli today and in the future,” Pratt said, referring to an area also known as Larsen’s Beach. Public beach access will not be restricted, County Planning Director Ka’aina Hull told The Garden Island newspaper. At least part of Zuckerberg’s assemblage is owned through Pila’a International, LLC, according to that outlet.
An online petition that Zuckerberg stop “colonizing” Kauai had 1,014,188 signatures as of Saturday afternoon. “Mark Zuckerberg is the sixth richest man in the world… and he is suing Native Hawaiians in Kauai for their land so he can build a mansion,” the petition reads. “He’s building a mansion to what? Live in Kauai for two months out of the year? This is inhuman.”
In 2017, Zuckerberg filed suit against native Hawaiians owning tiny parcels surrounded by his land to force them to sell their land at auction so he could “enhance” his privacy.
So-called “kuleana land” is ancestral land of native Hawaiians. The state of Hawaii provides a property-tax exemption in order to help native Hawaiians keep their land. “On Kauaʻi, kuleana land owners may be eligible for a flat $150 tax,” according to the Office of Hawaiian Affairs.
“This is the face of neocolonialism,” University of Hawaii law professor Kapua Sproat told the Guardian at the time. “Even though a forced sale may not physically displace people, it’s the last nail in the coffin of separating us from the land.”
The tech CEO dropped the lawsuits but was accused in 2019 of pressing ahead through a local resident, Carlos Andrade, to sue on his behalf.
The petition’s listed organizer, Mia Brier, couldn’t be reached.
Zuckerberg caught heat in 2016 for building a six-foot-high fence around the perimeter of his then-just-700 acre property.