Meta’s Zuckerberg goes even bigger on real-world Hawaii property

Forbes’ eighth-richest person in the world and wife, Priscilla Chan, now own more than 1,400 acres of land on the island of Kauai

Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan with the Ka Loko Reservoir (Getty, Wikimedia)
Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan with the Ka Loko Reservoir (Getty, Wikimedia)

For all of Mark Zuckerberg’s talk about the metaverse, he’s got a thing about real-world property too.

Zuckerberg and wife, Priscilla Chan, paid $17 million last month for 110 acres of agricultural land on Kauai, bringing their total Hawaii property holdings to more than 1,400 acres, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported. It includes most of the 131-year-old Ka Loko Reservoir, which unleashed a deadly flood after bursting in 2006, the Star-Advertiser said.

The purchase gives the couple a contiguous collection of agricultural and conservation land. It includes turmeric and ginger farms, nursery and cattle ranching and a residence called Ko’olau Ranch that they completed in 2017. They plan to protect and conserve wildlife and “fulfill legal requirements and promote safety” for the reservoir, which hasn’t been repaired since the flood and is on the state’s list of high-risk dams, according to Ben LaBolt, a spokesman for the couple, and the Star-Advertiser.

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The couple previously said they wouldn’t redevelop their property aside from building another home. It would be valued at about $35 million and would have almost 36,000 square feet of living area, the Star-Advertiser reported. Building permits for that project haven’t yet been approved, the publication says.

Zuckerberg and Chan bought the land with the reservoir from a company owned by the Pflueger family, whose late patriarch, James Pflueger, was jailed for seven months in 2014 after the flood, which killed seven people who were swept downstream. He was released in mid-2015 and died at 91 in 2017.

His family, the state, and Kauai County, among other parties, paid $25 million in 2009 to settle civil lawsuits brought by families of the seven flood victims and landowners who suffered property damage, the Star-Advertiser reported.

[Honolulu Star-Advertiser] — Matthew Niksa