Oprah Winfrey has snapped up 870 acres of picturesque land on the Hawaiian island of Maui – adding to her burgeoning portfolio of real estate in the Aloha state.
The TV host and entertainment mogul, 69, splashed out $6.6million on the land in the Kula region, close to the stunning ranch she already owns on the island.
Oprah’s recent purchase, revealed in sales deeds, means she now owns around 1,000 acres of land on Maui.
She reportedly snapped up the new plots in several purchases: a 520 acre parcel for $3.89 million, a 330 acre parcel for $2.47 million, and two 10 acre parcels for $100,000 each.
Oprah, whose net worth is estimated at between $2.5 billion and $3 billion, is one of several billionaires to buy up swathes of land in Hawaii – to the frustration of some locals who say it’s pricing them out of the market.
Oprah Winfrey has snapped up 870 acres of picturesque land on the Hawaiian island of Maui – adding to her burgeoning portfolio of real estate in the Aloha state
The land purchased by Oprah is close to two adjacent properties she bought in Maui in 2003 for about $5.3 million, which contained a main house and a guest house on 23.7 acres of land
Oprah’s purchase means she now owns around 1,000 acres of land on the paradise island of Maui
Meta boss Mark Zuckerberg, the Facebook founder worth nearly $70 billion, has been accused of trying to ‘colonize’ the paradise island of Kauai, where he’s thought to own at least 1,400 acres of land – more than the local government.
Oprah bought her latest plots of land from Ulupalakua Ranch, which is owned by the prominent Erdman family. The land is agriculturally-zoned. Oprah’s intentions for the plot aren’t clear but she’s previously purchased land to protect it from development, according to her website.
About 11,000 acres of Ulupalakua land is protected for conservation – and cannot be developed – but the chunks bought by Oprah aren’t included within that, according to SFGate.
Oprah’s land on Maui is also believed to include about 100 acres in Hana
Oprah’s links to Hawaii go back more than a decade and she showed her love for the state in January with snaps of her hiking in Kauai with fellow TV star Gayle King.
She joked she was showing off her ‘new knees’ during the hike.
Oprah’s website states that it was her friend Bob who first convinced her to purchase a home in the Aloha State.
‘Besotted with the weather, the mountains, and the ocean, Bob has been visiting Hawaii for 15 years,’ it explains, adding that he spent years looking for the ‘perfect spot’ for her.
‘He found it in a remote up-country region, where the houses that dot the moss-covered rock hillside face the ocean.
‘Bob convinced Oprah to look at a nearby property for sale. He was worried that some developer might swoop up the land and build condos. Instead, Oprah bought the land and has no plan to build any condos.’
Her ranch on Maui includes two adjacent properties purchased in 2003 for about $5.3 million, which contained a main house and a guest house, and sat on 23.7 acres of land.
Oprah already owned land on Maui, including a luxury ranch which includes a guest house
Designer Ellie Cullman to help build her the ‘ultimate Hawaii homestead,’ who stripped the main house of its basic structure, raised the ceilings, installed French doors, and wrapped the entire thing with a ‘wonderfully wide’ porch
Oprah’s links to Hawaii go back nearly two decades and in January 2023 she shared a video of herself hiking on Kauai with fellow TV star Gayle King
Oprah’s website states that it was her friend Bob who first convinced her to purchase a home in the Aloha State
She then enlisted designer Ellie Cullman to help build her the ‘ultimate Hawaii homestead.’
Cullman, along with architect Jeff Wooley, stripped the main house of its basic structure, raised the ceilings, installed French doors throughout, and wrapped the entire thing with a ‘wonderfully wide’ porch, which Oprah described as a ‘great place to sit and soak up the sweeping view.’
The ‘open and airy’ mansion is filled with ‘extraordinary’ antiques that are part of the American heritage, including custom curtains embroidered in India.
The swathes of land owned by Oprah on Hawaii are just a small fraction of her sizeable real estate portfolio.
Her main base is a 23,000-square-foot mansion in Montecito. She first bought the luxurious home in 2001 for $52 million, and over the years, she has continued to expand the property by buying neighboring estates.
The controversy of millionaires buying up land in Hawaii was also highlighted in December 2021 when Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla, bought 110 acres of a former sugar plantation on the Hawaiian island of Kauai.
The purchase of swathes of land in Hawaii by the megarich has not been without controversy. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla, have been accused of attempting to ‘colonize’ the island of Kauai, where they own about 1,500 acres of land
The Facebook founder has vowed to preserve the pristine island landscape
The now 1,400 estate owned by Zuckerberg on the Hawaiian island
The agricultural land includes most of the earthen Ka Loko Reservoir, which unleashed hundreds of gallons of water in 2006 after its wall collapsed, killing seven people including a pregnant woman.
The land added to the couple’s 1,300 acre $100million luxury estate, which has made them the target of critics slamming them for trying to ‘colonize’ the island.
Zuckerberg spent $116 million in 2014 on 707 acres of land, which included most of Pila’a beach and Kahu’aina Plantation, as well as nearly 600 acres in April this year for $53 million.
The couple were first scrutinized after they built a wall around his first Hawaiian real estate purchase in 2014 that blocked access to Pila’a beach.
Zuckerberg was also accused by some of trying to force the tenant farmers from their historic plots, and in 2017 he apologized in the local newspaper, explaining that he was abandoning his quiet title actions and would ‘work together with the community on a new approach’.
A petition was launched to ‘stop Mark Zuckerberg from colonizing Kauai’, and gained more than a million signatures – thirteen times the population of the island.