Zuckerberg/Chan purchase more Pila‘a land

PILA‘A — Nearly 600 acres of land on Kaua‘i’s North Shore has been added to Mark Zuckerberg and Dr. Priscilla Chan’s portfolio.

The land, three parcels bought for $53 million, was purchased from the Waioli Corporation, a nonprofit, the corporation confirmed. The deal closed March 19.

The newly acquired property fronts Lepeuli Beach, also known as Larsen’s Beach, down the street from Zuckerberg’s Pila‘a International, LLC complex.

“We are grateful that Waioli Corporation has entrusted us with the continued preservation of Lepeuli,” Zuckerberg and Chan said in a statement. “Waioli does essential work promoting conservation and cultural preservation, and we are mindful of their legacy with regard to this land.”

The property runs along a county-owned road and parking area, as well as surrounds the easement that leads to the beach.

County Planning Director Ka‘aina Hull said the county had no involvement in the transaction, and beach access will continue. “Ultimately, the existing public access remains in place, and restricting it is not permissible,” Hull said.

Much of the land is already leased to Paradise Ranch. Zuckerberg and Chan have committed to continuing that lease to remain a working cattle ranch.

“We have been working closely with a number of community partners to promote conservation, produce sustainable agriculture and protect native wildlife at our ranch and in the surrounding areas, and look forward to extending that effort to Lepeuli in the months ahead,” Zuckerberg and Chan said in the statement.

President of Waioli Corporation Sam Pratt said the decision was made “after much consideration and careful deliberation.”

“The decision provides Waioli with the financial ability to be able to continue our critical conservation and historical work and ensure that Kaua‘i’s cultural history continues to be shared in the community for years to come,” Pratt said in a statement.

Waioli operates federal and state historic places, including Waioli Mission House Museum and the Mahamoku Beach Residence in Hanalei and Grove Farm Museum in Lihu‘e, as well as plantation-era steam locomotives in its collection.

”Keeping the well-being of the land and community top of mind, Waioli Corporation has chosen to sell Lepeuli to Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan,” Pratt said. “We have seen Mark and Priscilla’s dedication over the years to land-conservation, protecting native species and working to preserve the natural beauty of Kaua‘i. 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.”

This story was updated at 6:43 a.m., Friday, April 30 to clarify Waioli Corporation’s affiliations.


Sabrina Bodon, public safety and government reporter, can be reached at 245-0441 or sbodon@thegardenisland.com.

  1. randy kansas April 30, 2021 2:34 am Reply

    good for the long term, as it takes money to own and operate land for conservation;

  2. RGLadder37 April 30, 2021 5:24 am Reply

    That’s impossible. Why would Mark Zuckerberg buy a piece of land on Kaua’i? The return of investment from the land is not a lot. It’s like Donald Trump’s real estate business, he does things for a profit. I don’t see any business in this venture. But to waste money and maybe time for getting capital from this investment to flourish. It’s not a venture that is worth while doing. Too long to wait for a return and too much money spent on it.

    1. Doug April 30, 2021 9:35 am Reply

      As you grow older your priorities change, after all you can only make so much money, and he has and will continue to get a boatload of money from Facebook. I don’t see this as a monetary investment for him. Look at Bette Midler and the land she has preserved on Kauai for all these years. Will greedy relatives get it when she dies? Maybe, but right now there is no development on her land and I for one like it that way versus the housing developments proposed in Kapaa and Koloa.

    2. Susan April 30, 2021 11:34 am Reply

      You are not the sharpest tool in the shed, are you @RGLadder37? Zuck has been slowing buying up Kauai land, parcel by parcel, for the past many years. Pretty soon he will own the entire North Shore of this island – an island that has become the #1 go-to destination for wealthy remote workers. An island that, if there’s ever a global apocalypse, will be the safest place in the world to live due to its isolation and self-sustainability (endless supply of water and food). Now tell me again how this isn’t a smart investment for Zuck and his family?

    3. joebiddin April 30, 2021 9:04 pm Reply

      That’s how the wealthy spend their money. Shift cash into hard assets like real estate, arts, etc., it does not depreciate. We the 47 percenters however, we buy cars and carry large monthly payments and interest payments. We buy iPhones and buy nice things because we are brainwashed to buy, buy, buy. Consume, consume, consume to support the economy.

      This Pandemic was very telling. After about 3 weeks after the lockdown when people were out of work and no paychecks coming in they were already talking of no money to pay rent/mortgage, money for food, utilities, etc. That’s how we the 47 percenters live. If Americans start saving say 5% of what they earn a month we will have a recession because the economy will tank.

    4. Khsgrad May 1, 2021 4:54 am Reply

      It’s called a tax write off!!! He can operation conservation lands at a loss and get a tax break- it’s the same reason why so many billionaires own wineries!!! Kauai has been shafted once again- yes Zuckerberg will conserve the land by KEEPING PROPLE OUT

    5. AW May 1, 2021 7:36 am Reply

      There are many reasons why Zuckerberg would want to buy this land even if there was not an immediate return on his investment.

      * Most likely he bought it so that he could guarantee that it won’t be built upon and that he will ensure the privacy he has now.

      * Zuckerberg has a net worth of about $ 120 billion. $57 million is less than .005% of his net worth. This is the equivalent of $45 for someone with a net worth of $1 million. He can afford to never see this money again.

      * One day the land use may change and he could sell it to a company to build a resort. This would be a huge return and make the investment well worth it.

      * Zuckerberg has to diversify his money somewhere – it would be dumb to leave it in FB stock or even the stock market. Long term land is a great investment.

    6. taichock May 2, 2021 3:42 am Reply

      Mark Zuckerberg and his wife are buying up properties in Hawaii and other places on the west coast to offset their tax obligations. Their looking for tax shelters via Land conservation and Land easement.

      Bill Gates did the same thing!

  3. LTEreader April 30, 2021 10:28 am Reply


    Fortunately, not everyone who’s wealthy has the mindset of Trump – invest merely for a bigger return.

  4. Kawika Anahola May 1, 2021 12:01 am Reply

    They will make better stewards of the land than County, State or Federal oversight. DNR lands, County park & the Homelands in Anahola get turned into dumpsters & trashed by disrespectful people who vandalize them. They won’t allow the land to be turned into drug supercenters, or fetid homeless camps. They give to the community. Good for them!

  5. wake up May 1, 2021 12:01 pm Reply

    His company is poisoning our society and he refuses to take accountability for it or really do what is necessary to mitigate the detrimental impacts on our democracy, international human rights, or mental health. The notion that this person has the moral integrity or ethics to steward something so precious with responsibility and respect over the long term is shortsighted and naive.
    If we don’t learn from history we are condemned to repeat it.

  6. Norm Smith May 1, 2021 5:03 pm Reply

    The elders know no soul owns anything on this island we call earth

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