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 firstname.lastname@example.org.