Latest Rich/Famous Hawaii Land Grabs

Oprah vs. Howard Stern: Latest Rich/Famous Hawaii Land Grabs

When Oprah does something, people notice, including Howard Stern. And so, after nearly two decades of part-time living in upstate Maui, the TV mogul made headlines for buying another 870 acres of land. She reportedly paid $6.6 million for this agricultural land purchase. She’s also made two other small land purchases in the past year, bringing her total Maui holdings to about 1,000 acres.

Today, another spectacular property of nearly 3,000 acres is being traded in Hawaii, independently of Oprah. More on that below.

The debate over whether it’s a good thing or a bad thing? It depends who you ask.

Residents, officials and others are all wondering if Oprah’s acquisition of more valuable Maui land is beneficial or if it is displacing residents, including native Hawaiians. And we welcome your thoughts in the comments.

For one, Maui City Councilman Yuki Lei Sugimura said that Oprah should be commended for keeping the majority of her land holdings on Maui vacant and hiring residents to work. On the other hand, the councilor pointed out that there are too many invasive wild boar and axis deer on the property for Oprah to address.

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Another official, Hawaii Sen. Lynn DeCoite, said, “I wish we had more people like her.” This comment was in reference to the fact that Maui has been inundated with overdevelopment and tourism.

However, another talk show host, Howard Stern, openly criticized Oprah and accused her of being boastful:

I make good money and have trouble seeing Oprah. i’m going wow Look what’s going on over there. Your wealth is incredible. When she goes shopping, she goes shopping in her backyard because everything grows back there. – Howard Stern.

Oprah Maui

Is a much bigger Oprah land grab in the works?

A huge lot, the most significant property currently for sale in Hawaii, is adjacent to Oprah’s current land holdings in Maui. It’s priced at $75 million, which is expensive for us but probably nothing for Oprah. We wonder why Oprah hasn’t picked up on this yet. Could it be political correctness and timing, or is she just disinterested?

The 3,600-acre Hana Ranch (pictured) came on the market last year and appears to still be for sale. It’s adjacent to Oprah’s property.

Currently a working ranch with more than 1,000 cattle, it’s owned by a Denver corporation that bought it eight years ago for a paltry $9 million before investing another $17 million in modernization. According to the owner, the land will be used for regenerative engineering experiments in Maui’s tropical climate.

According to the current status, up to 37 apartments could theoretically be built on the developable part of this property. On the other hand, the current buildings are minimal with a 1,800 square foot house, offices and stables. It features private hiking trails that appear to be right off Oprah’s avenue of hiking passion and orchards.

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The seller said that for each sale, approximately 125 acres would be donated to Maui County for affordable housing developments.

Zuckerberg, Ellison and Bezos are other landowning stars in Hawaii.

Among other notable Hawaii real estate acquisitions, these three stand out for their prominence, scale, and cost. They include:

1. Zuckerberg’s 1,500 acres on Kauai earned the Facebook founder around $170 million.

2. Larry Ellison’s ownership of most of the island of Lanai. Almost three years ago, Castle & Cook’s Oracle Kingpin bought it for about half a billion dollars. This included two premier Hawaiian resorts with 30 miles of paved roads and 141 square miles of land. Ellison is in the process of transforming Lanai into an eco-friendly farming island.

3. Jeff Bezos’ small but gorgeous estate is one of the prettiest spots on Maui. The Amazon founder bought his estate in La Perouse Bay near Wailea two years ago to make Maui his part-time home. It cost Bezos around $78 million.

Today’s news includes a $36.5 million land sale in Hawaii.

It is reported today that North Shore Oahu’s 2,740-acre Dillingham Ranch has just been sold after being on the market for some time. We do not yet know who the buyer is. This piece, which has been used for film and television shoots, also features 19 acres of oceanfront property, of which more than 1,100 feet are oceanfront. It is huge and extends to the crest of the Waianae Mountains.

Do you have any idea about the recent real estate purchases of the rich and famous in Hawaii?


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