May 6, 2021

Billionaires transforming Hawaii

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Billionaires are transforming Hawaii into a tropical paradise for the tech elite

By Melia Robinson From Business Insider

IMAGE: mark zuckerberg hawaii kauai 2×1
Justin Sullivan/Getty; Shutterstock; Melia Robinson/Business Insider

More than eight million visitors come to the Hawaiian Islands every year for the state’s pristine parks, beaches, native cuisine, and rich cultural traditions.

It’s no wonder that when Silicon Valley billionaires are plotting their next vacation home, they often look to Hawaii. Over the years, tech icons from Marc Benioff to Larry Ellison (who owns an entire island) have purchased a slice of paradise.

The trend isn’t without its conflicts. Mark Zuckerberg brought a lawsuit against hundreds of Hawaiians in December in an effort to buy the islanders out of their parcels on his 700-acre oceanfront estate. He dropped the lawsuit after threats of protest outside his gates.

Take a look at the multimillion-dollar estates where the tech elite take vacation.

Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg reportedly shelled out over $100 million for a sprawling estate on the North Shore of Kauai in 2014. It includes a pristine white sand beach.
REUTERS/Albert Gea
Source: Business Insider

The property sits on a former sugarcane plantation, and is now used by local farmers to produce turmeric and other spices and fruits, according to Facebook post from Zuckerberg.

Zuckerberg and wife Priscilla’s 1-year old daughter, Max, reportedly gets a kick out of the property’s chickens, sheep, baby pig named Porkchop, and endangered albatross.

Paul Allen, the cofounder of Microsoft, used to own an entire private island, but that didn’t stop the billionaire from also picking up property on the Big Island of Hawaii.
Steve Dykes/Getty Images

Though the public property records have been wiped, Variety reported Allen dropped $7.5 million on a 10-acre farm in Kailua-Kona called the Thurston Estate.
Google Earth
Source: Variety

The property came move-in ready, complete with a 12,000-square-foot main house, living quarters for employees, a private harbor, and a bridge that connects to a small island.
Google Earth

Marc Benioff, CEO of Salesforce, has admitted to spending about a third of his time on his Big Island compound, which he scooped up for $12.5 million in 2000.
Photo by Kimberly White/Getty Images for Fortune
Source: Forbes

The property contains about a dozen structures overlooking piles of black lava rock and the Pacific Ocean. Rock walls forming a perimeter around the compound.
Bing Maps

Peter Thiel may flee to New Zealand, where he is a citizen, in the event of an apocalypse. But he also has a home in Hawaii.
Tristan Fewings/Getty Images

The PayPal cofounder spent a whopping $27 million on a 1.7-acre property in Maui in 2011. It’s made up of a four interconnected pavilions curled around a courtyard.
Bing Maps
Source: Wall Street Journal and Variety

Carol Bartz, the ousted CEO of Yahoo, can escape the daily grind in the gated community of Kukio, named the most exclusive neighborhood in Hawaii by Forbes.
Paul Sakuma/AP
Source: Forbes

Her five-bedroom home sits on a 1,700-square-foot lot surrounded by black lava and a luxury golf course. Only homeowners and guests are allowed past the area’s gates.
Google Maps
Source: Honolulu Magazine

Michael Dell, CEO of Dell Technologies, owns the reported “crown jewel” of the Kukio development where Bartz vacations. It’s known as the “Raptor Residence.”
Tony Avelar/AP Images for Dell Inc.
Source: Forbes

Dell’s tropical getaway comprises three lots atop the longest stretch of waterfront in Kukio. The seven-bedroom property is rumored to be worth as much as $64 million.
Google Maps
Source: Forbes

Even Silicon Valley’s richest residents will have a hard time topping Oracle’s Larry Ellison, who purchased the island of Lanai for between $300 million and $600 million in 2012.
Kimberly White/Getty

Ellison, whose net worth tops $49 billion, reportedly bought 98% of the island (population: 3,200) because he wanted to experiment with “environmentally sound ways to live.”
Four Seasons Resorts Lana’i

Ellison’s purchase included two Four Seasons hotels, which the Oracle founder spent years renovating. The royal suite starts at $21,000 a night.
Source: Business Insider

It’s unclear how much time Ellison spends on his 141-square-mile slice of paradise.
Four Seasons Resorts Lana’i

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