Though there's still no “official” confirmation, due to a strict non-disclosure agreement, both Pacific Business News and Forbes are reporting that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg did indeed buy both the Kahuaina and Pilaa parcels for some $112 million.
The Kahuaina Plantation, sold by Falko Partners, is a 360-acre parcel on Kooolau Road that stretches along the coastline above Waipake and Lepeuli beaches. It reportedly sold for $66 million. It's unclear just how much land Zuckerberg may have bought at Pilaa, which lies just to the north of Waipake.
The Star-Advertiser initially reported that Jimmy Pfluegger, trying to beat a state foreclosure action, sold 380 acres to Koa Kea International LLC, which in turn was to convey a portion of it to Pilaa International LLC and West Beach Kauai LLC. Pacific Business News, meanwhile, has all 380 acres going to Pilaa International — Zuckerberg's holding company — for $50 to $56 million, with Koa Kea acquiring additional land at Pilaa from Pfluegger. And Forbes reported that Koa Kea — owned by Colorado gas and oil executive Gary Stewart — bought 10.8 percent interest for $6.04 million.
But then, Forbes also reported Zuckerberg is offering $1 million each to “two dozen families who own 'kuleanas' on tiny plots of landlocked land. Kuleanas are basic, even ramshackle huts, many without electricity, which have been passed down through families over generations. They are generally used as rustic weekend or vacation spots.”
Now don't be thinking 24 Kauai families are suddenly millionaires. Some of those kuleana parcels were included in the original parcel.
Though Zuckerberg is not the first billionaire to buy land on Kauai, he may be the first who doesn't want to develop it. Though the Kahuaina parcel was fully entitled with an 80-lot agricultural subdivision, the new owner withdrew it and may build just one house, or perhaps nothing at all.
When he relinquished the entitlements, the beach access required as a condition of the subdivision was also lost. As I previously reported, the county blew the access because Councilmen Gary Hooser and Tim Bynum repeatedly delayed its acceptance. They were trying to squeeze more out of Falko Properties when it had already offered a very desirable access that was endorsed by kanaka fishermen and suitable for the wilderness beach. When Falko sold and the new owner nixed the subdivision, the public was left with nothing.
Though I've seen a lot of spin in my day, Andy Parx proved he is totally spun with his blogged version of events:
Previously after a "full court press" by the administration and the county attorney's office, the council was poised to approve that access for months but rather deferred action over and over due to objections from the public, especially from Kanaka Maoli (native Hawaiians).
Councilmembers Tim Bynum and Gary Hooser were instrumental in delaying the action until the property was eventually sold, despite having been told there was nothing they could do to stop it by Deputy County Attorney Maunakea Trask.
Odd. At the Council's Sept. 10 meeting, Rayne Regush of the Sierra Club, Kauai Chapter, blamed the failure to secure the access on Falko, claiming they had requested numerous delays as a "stall tactic."
As I noted, the truth lies with neither Rayne nor Andy. Why can't people just be honest, instead of trying to put lipstick on what is so obviously a pig?
Speaking of which, it seems our former first deputy Prosecutor Jake Delaplane is up to his old tricks. As I previously reported, after he crashed and burned with Shaylene Iseri, he applied for a job at KPD, which he thankfully didn't get, and went to work for the Honolulu Prosecutor's Career Criminal Unit. Ahem....
As KHON reports, Jake was the deputy prosecutor who botched the case against nine Oahu residents who were arrested following police raids of “game rooms” across the island. He allegedly presented false, perjured information to a grand jury, requiring him to later drop hundreds of gambling and money laundry charges against the defendants and seek a new indictment.
Attorneys for the defendants will be in court on Tuesday, asking the judge to find “prosecutorial misconduct.”
Defense attorney Myles Breiner wants federal authorities to step in. As KHON reported:
“Frankly, this case should be referred to the U.S. Attorney’s office and the Department of Justice for investigation of systematic prosecutorial misconduct. We don’t believe there is a single agency in this city, or in this state, that is qualified to investigate the investigator, to investigate the prosecution.”
Gee, if only they would've read this blog before they hired Jake. We tried to warn them….