Meet the Billionaires Who Almost Bought All of Hawaii

A year earlier, Oprah Winfrey purchased 850 acres of land on Maui for $6.4 million, adding to the 1,280 acres she already owned on the island. Located inland, their (mostly contiguous) estate extends from green hills to protected forest on the slopes of Haleakala Volcano. The cattle graze mostly on the undeveloped land she is working to conserve. “It feels like Scotland, but with really nice weather,” says Bob Green, their fitness trainer turned property manager.

Winfrey, who lives in Hawaii about four months a year, first bought a farm in Maui two decades ago. When wildfires tore through Maui last August, burning 6,625 acres and killing 100 people, their land was unharmed. She later brought pillows, diapers and other items to survivors and, along with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, created the Maui People’s Fund, to which Winfrey personally contributed $10 million.

But the pandemic-era luxury real estate boom, which further pushed up housing prices, has heightened tensions between Hawaiians and wealthy landlords in other states, even leading to a controversial bill introduced last week that would Would bar non-Americans from purchasing land in Hawaii.

Despite trying to help after the fire, Winfrey was criticized for filming her relief efforts and asking for money from the public, saying the reaction was distracting from Maui. Others questioned what happened to the $100 million that Jeff Bezos, who owns a 14-acre estate 12 miles south of the fire, and his partner Lauren Sanchez had promised to help. Bezos has donated $15.5 million to nine charities so far, a spokesperson told Forbes.

America’s wealthiest people have been shopping in Hawaii for years, but no one knew how extensive their wealth was. To find out, Forbes spent months researching thousands of property records on Hawaii’s six largest islands. The results were surprising: Only 37 billionaires own at least 218,000 acres of land. This represents 5.3% of the state’s total land and 11.1% of all non-government owned land, although it is probably even higher given the lengths these billionaires go to hide their ownership. Put another way: Those 37 people, equivalent to just 0.003% of Hawaii’s total population of 1.4 million, own 11% of its private land.

Some billionaires have long-term ties to the community. Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff, who first visited Hawaii in 1974, has donated $100 million across the state over two decades and in December, along with his wife Lynn, donated 282 acres of land for affordable housing Is. “I feel a strong spiritual connection to Hawaii,” says Benioff, who has tried to incorporate the Hawaiian concept of ohana, or family, into the Salesforce culture. “I have a deep understanding of the Hawaiian people and spirit, what we call the ‘Aloha Spirit.’

These are the billionaires who bought almost everything in Hawaii

Others, like Meta co-founder Mark Zuckerberg, who is reportedly building a bunker in his partially walled compound, seem more concerned about their privacy. Real estate broker Rob Kildow, who says he bikes with Citadel billionaire Ken Griffin, recalls a billionaire who lives at the private Hualalai resort told him: ‘Half the people here don’t know who I am. I am, and I don’t care. Give a damn about the other half.

Wayne Tanaka, director of the nonprofit environmental organization Sierra Club of Hawaii, tries to be optimistic: “If high net worth residents can overcome their desire for isolation and start talking to the people around them , so this could open doors.” And the windows to really contribute back to this place.” Meanwhile, he admits, “Hawaii is increasingly becoming a playground for the rich.”

10 biggest multi-millionaire landowners

Larry Ellison has said he plans to turn Lanai into a model of sustainability and power his resorts with renewable energy. Jamel Toppin for Forbes

larry ellison

87,810 acres
Net worth: $140.2 billion | Source of funding: Oracle

The Oracle co-founder, Hawaii’s largest billionaire landowner, bought about 97% of Lanai for $300 million in 2012, instantly making him the owner of nearly all of its 3,000 residents, many of whom are his employees. Since then, they have honored the lanai with the Sensei Luxury Resort, a Four Seasons-branded wellness retreat; Great restaurants; and a collection of sculptures, but, as locals have complained, there is a lack of affordable housing.

Steve Case’s 174-year-old Grove Farm was known for its sugar plantations. Hawaii’s sugar industry has virtually disappeared. Timothy Archibald for Forbes

steve case

57,400 acres
Net worth: $1.5 billion Source of funding: AOL

The AOL co-founder was born and raised in Hawaii, where he attended the same high school as Barack Obama. Case is now the state’s second-largest billionaire landowner with 57,400 acres, including his 35,170-acre Grove Farm on Kauai, which leases land for sustainable development projects.

The Kwek Leng Chan Group has barely touched its Molokai land and farmland since 2008. Goh Seng Chong/Bloomberg

kwek leng chan

55,490 acres
Net worth: 9.9 billion | Source of Wealth: Banking, Property

The Malaysian tycoon, through his Hong Leong Group conglomerate, owns a third of the island of Molokai, once famous for its leprosy colony. Until 2008, Quek operated a large farm there, which also included a golf course and a hotel, but he ended his operations after the state rejected his development proposals. Now the residents of the island are trying to buy it back.

Frank VanderSloot says, “There is nothing in the world more beautiful than the island of Kauai.” Tim Pannell for Forbes

frank vander sloot

6,550 acres
Net worth: $3.3 billion | Source of wealth: Health products

The billionaire founder of health and wellness company Melaleuca owns the historic 105-acre Valley House estate on Kauai, where parts of Pirates of the Caribbean and Jurassic Park were filmed. An advocate for the localization of Hawaii’s meat industry, he operates two of the state’s largest meat processing plants and is suing a former farm manager for allegedly stealing 200 cows. “The pineapple is gone. The sugarcane has run out. In fact, now only cattle are left.”

Neil Bluhm began expanding his real estate empire in Maui more than two decades ago. Patrick McMullan/Getty Images

neil bluhm

3,900 acres
Net worth: 6.3 billion | Source of Wealth: Real Estate

Bluhm owns more than 3,000 acres of land through its approximately 30% stake in publicly traded land management company Kaanapali Land. The property includes coffee lots, mixed-use residential real estate, a golf course, and areas for conservation.

brad kelly

2,750 acres
Net worth: $2.7 billion | Source of wealth: Tobacco

With more than 1 million acres of land across the United States, Kelly is one of the nation’s largest landowners. The former cigarette entrepreneur expanded his holdings in Hawaii in 2013 when he purchased 2,750 acres of Steve Case’s Grove Farm. It now leases some of them to cell tower company American Tower.

Michelle Obama will reportedly celebrate her 50th birthday at Oprah Winfrey’s Hawaiian home, seen here in 2006. Oprah Winfrey purchased her Maui mansion two decades ago. celebrityhomephoto/newscom
Oprah Winfrey has no plans to develop her land on Maui. “She wanted to preserve it forever,” says property manager Bob Green. Michael Tran/AFP/Getty Images

Oprah Winfrey

2,130 acres

Net worth: $2.8 billion | Source of wealth: TV shows

Winfrey’s mountain pastures in Hawaii feature ancient stone walls, grazing cattle, a bed and breakfast for entertaining friends, and an organic farm (not profitable). Intending to preserve the land, they have committed to keeping it undisturbed and planting native species to help restore lost wetlands.

Mark Zuckerberg added several hundred acres to his Kauai estate in 2021. Guerin Blask for Forbes

Mark Zuckerberg

1,450 acres
Net worth: $166 billion Source of funding: Facebook

The Meta co-founder spent at least $145 million on the land, which he is converting into a sprawling, partially walled-in 1,450-acre retreat on Kauai. He’s raising beer-drinking Wagyu and Angus cattle on the land and involving his daughters in the process, according to a January Instagram post, in which he shared a photo of a giant steak and joked that “my Of all the projects, this is the most delicious.”

Tadashi Yanai owns beautiful plantations and the Kapalua Bay Golf Course on the west coast of Maui. Kiyoshi Ota/Bloomberg

Tadashi Yanai

500 acres
Net worth: $40.1 billion Source of wealth: Fashion retail

Japan’s richest man (and founder of clothing retailer Uniqlo) is also an avid golfer. More than a decade ago, he purchased two golf courses for $75 million from Maui Land & Pineapple, which was majority-owned by Hawaii-born Steve Case (see above).

Marc Benioff has visited the state at least once a year for the past half century: “I’ve always been attracted to Hawaii.” Robert Gallagher for Forbes

marc benioff

300 acres
Net worth: $10.2 billion Source of funding: Enterprise software

Most of Benioff’s land in Hawaii is a 160-acre mostly vacant lot that he and his wife Lynn purchased in 2022. The couple intend to put it to charitable use; One possibility is to donate it to the Hawaiian Islands Community Development Corporation, in addition to the 282 acres already given to the group. Additionally, Benioff has owned a residence in Hawaii for two decades and also owns a few other homes where members of his family live, he told Forbes.

Complete list

This article was originally published by Forbes US.

You may also be interested in: What is the future of Bitcoin futures?

(TagstoTranslate)Real Estate(T)Hawaii(T)Billionaire(T)Properties in Hawaii

Source link

About Admin

Check Also

14 richest men in the world according to forbes

The club of billionaires worth more than $100 billion is seeing its ranks swell, testament ... Read more

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *