- Mark Zuckerberg added 110 acres to his estate on the Hawaiian island of Kauai.
- The purchase includes a reservoir whose dam broke in 2006 and led to a deadly flood.
- Zuckerberg’s presence in Hawaii has been controversial since he put down roots there in 2014.
Mark Zuckerberg has added to his massive Hawaii compound once again.
The tech billionaire and CEO of Facebook’s parent company, Meta, purchased 110 more acres of land on the island of Kauai, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser’s Andrew Gomes first reported. With this latest addition, Zuckerberg’s estate, which he nicknamed Ko’olau Ranch, has grown to nearly 1,500 acres on Kauai’s north shore.
According to the Star-Advertiser, the purchase cost Zuckerberg $17 million and includes a century-old reservoir whose dam broke in 2006, which led to a flood that killed seven people. The reservoir has not been repaired and is considered high risk, but Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, are committed to fulfilling the legal requirements surrounding the reservoir, their spokesperson Ben LaBolt told Insider.
This latest purchase is Zuckerberg’s second this year: In March, he paid $53 million for nearly 600 acres of land on Kauai that includes a public beach and a working cattle ranch. That added to the 750 acres he purchased nearby in 2014.
“Mark and Priscilla continue to make their home at Ko’olau Ranch,” LaBolt told Insider on Monday. He added that the couple had “worked closely with a number of community partners to operate a working ranch, promote conservation, produce sustainable agriculture and protect wildlife and look forward to expanding their efforts to include this additional property.”
But the couple’s presence on the island has remained controversial in the seven years since they put down roots there. Tyler Sonnemaker reported for Insider last month that many local residents saw Zuckerberg’s land purchases as a “new monarchy” that failed to respect the island’s history.
Zuckerberg first angered neighbors in 2016 by constructing a 6-foot wall around his property with the intention of reducing highway and road noise. One year later, Zuckerberg filed a lawsuit against the families who had ownership claims to parcels of land within his property, saying at the time that he’d filed the suit to “make sure smaller partial owners get paid for their fair share too.” But residents described the move as “neocolonialism.”
Zuckerberg dropped the suit, saying he and Chan wanted “to make this right, talk with the community, and find a better approach.” The parcels were eventually auctioned off; three out of the four were sold to a bidder whom Zuckerberg said in an op-ed he supported.
While Zuckerberg, Chan, and their two daughters live in Palo Alto, California, it appears they’ve been spending more time at the island estate over the past two years. In March, the couple gave $4.2 million to a jobs program for residents of Kauai who lost their jobs as a result of the pandemic and recently gave $4.85 million in affordable-housing grants.