Jeff Bezos is buying up Maui, as locals hope for his best intentions
Jeff Bezos just shelled out $78 million for a massive Hawaiian estate spanning over 14 acres on Maui's Southside.
But the Amazon founder has only hit the tip of the iceberg when it comes to investing in the Aloha State and the Valley Isle — which has locals worried.
Jeff Bezos, 57, is scouting off-the-market ranches in Maui after buying property on Valley Isle’s south shore, known as La Perouse Bay.
Bezos had also been hoping to find a four-bedroom penthouse in Montage Kapalua Bay, a rarity at the luxury resort where he often stays . This unit would be for his parents, located on the other side of Maui island from the estate he purchased in June.
The entrepreneur-turned-astronaut purchased three different structures on his own private bay, with additional acreage under the Lochland Holdings LLC, property records reveal.
Bezos purchased the LLC from the Schatz family, the previous owners of the estate. Doug Schatz, a Colorado-based energy businessman, bought the property in 1996 for $4.2 million, and in the following years, he spent a few million more to buy the neighboring land.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who owns more than 1,300 acres of land on the island of Kauai, has reportedly spent over $100 million for his real estate transactions on the island.
Locals have mixed feelings about tech moguls taking over the island.
But on the other hand, the source mused that some of these “big-money” investors have really helped Hawaii, including Larry Ellison, who purchased 98% of Lanai in 2012 and moved to the island full-time in December.
“On the other side of the coin you have Ellison — he improved so much of the infrastructure, like the Pineapple Plantation,” the insider said. “You had parks deteriorating, infrastructure was in decay and he brought it back to life, essentially.
“It’s hard to know what Bezos’ intentions are this early on,” the source added.
According to Pacific Business News, Bezos and his partner, Lauren Sanchez, “want to be a part of supporting the local community” and have donated to several charities in Maui, including Friends of the Children’s Justice Center of Maui, Malama Family Recovery Center, the Maui Farm, Ka Hale A Ke Ola Homeless Resource Centers and Habitat for Humanity Maui.
Even by Hawaii standards, this oceanfront estate is isolated and remote and is made up of three separate structures.
The main structure holds three bedrooms and three bathrooms and spans 4,450 square feet. The second property is a two-bedroom, two-and-a-half-bathroom guesthouse with 1,839 square feet. The third structure has three bedrooms and one bathroom and comes with 1,815 square feet of space.
While $78 million may seem overpriced for the secluded abode, a smaller estate nearby sold for $45 million last summer. At the time, it was known as the second-most expensive real estate transaction in the state.
Bezos is considered the second-richest person in the world, with an estimated net worth of $191.4 billion, according to Forbes.
In addition to the $78 million Hawaiian property, he has a $500 million real estate portfolio, with properties in California, Texas, Washington and New York.