An ironic turn of events has seemingly opened Mark Zuckerberg’s secluded Kauai estate to the public next month.
“Several small land parcels located within the boundaries of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s 700-acre estate on the North Shore will be sold at a public auction,” local newspaper The Garden Island reported on Wednesday.
On March 3, between 9 a.m. and noon, prospective bidders can enter Zuckerberg’s personal domain, where each “shall be accompanied and driven to the property to be viewed in a four-wheel drive vehicle.”
Zuckerberg hasn’t acknowledged the auction, but one can presume he isn’t happy with the thought of strangers on his property. (This is a man who once spent $30 million to eliminate the possibility of having neighbors in Palo Alto, and enlisted a goon squad to guard his trash outside of his San Francisco mansion.)
The notoriously private Zuckerberg has been waging war on Kauai over kuleana lands: small parcels awarded to some Native Hawaiian tenants under the Kuleana Act of 1850, after the Māhele in 1848 when Hawaiian lands were divided and privatized—allowing colonial settlers to claim large tracts, and ultimately granting Native Hawaiians less than 1 percent of Hawaii’s total acreage.
The 13 kuleana parcels on Zuckerberg’s 707 acre, $110 million estate were inherited by descendents of their original owners, giving them access to the property, as well as residential and water rights.
In 2016, Zuckerberg filed eight quiet title lawsuits (since dropped) to force the owners to sell, a move that was called “the face of neocolonialism,” The Guardian reported in 2017. If the owners refused, they would have to outbid Zuckerberg, whose net worth in 2018 was $71 billion, in an auction.
“Upon reflection, I regret that I did not take the time to fully understand the quiet title process and its history before we moved ahead,” Zuckerberg later wrote in The Garden Island in a letter-to-the-editor. “Now that I understand the issues better, it’s clear we made a mistake.”
But as The Guardian reported in January, Zuckerberg hasn’t conceded. Through a constellation of shell corporations and proxies, Zuckerberg has continued his land grab by supporting the case of one kuleana parcel owner against other owners—a strategy that will end at noon on March 22 with an auction for the remaining parcels, perhaps acquiring Zuckerberg the land he initially wanted.
We don’t how the bidding will go. But if you happen to be in Kauai next month, please go and tell us things!