Makena's Newest Resident Finds Ways to Give Back
Several news outlets on Maui have recently reported on several significant donations to local nonprofits from Amazon founder Jeff Bezos. The list of known organizations benefitting from these donations include the Hawaii Land Trust, Grow Some Good, and Habitat for Humanity.
The timing of these reports follows other whispers that he recently purchased a home in Makena after having spent some time with Oprah at her property during the pandemic last year. While Bezos had drawn some criticism before the last few years for his lack of philanthropic contributions relative to his peers such as Bill Gates, it seems that since stepping down as the CEO of Amazon he’s been looking for ways to contribute at portions of his enormous wealth towards more local initiatives in areas where he owns the property and around the world.
Jeff Bezos Philanthropy
In 2020, Bezos started the Bezos Earth Fund with 10 billion dollars. He also donated 100 million to Feeding America, which supplies more than 200 food banks around the nation. We can see from his previous philanthropic initiatives that he is focused on climate change and hunger issues. His contributions to Maui align with both of those priorities.
The Maui Organizations That Benefitted
One of Bezos's first contributions was to the Hawaii Land Trust. The Hawaii Land Trust’s mission is "protecting and stewarding the lands that sustain Hawaii" and Bezos’ donation will benefit four specific areas of Maui. The funds will directly improve the ancient Kapoho fishpond in Waihee, protect a 2-mile strip of coastline in Hana, support the protection of the Nuu wetland endangered bird habitat in Kaupo, and fund a community farm in Central Maui.
The Hawaii Land Trust is an important organization that helps protect our fragile ecosystem here in Hawaii. It’s easy to forget that Maui is the most geographically isolated place on the planet sometimes and organizations like the land trust help ensure that we preserve paradise for future generations. The trust protects over 21,000 acres in perpetuity and does everything from protecting agriculture, fishing, and cultural sites. One of its most important sites on Maui is the Waihe’e Coastal Dunes and Wetlands Refuge.
Grow Some Good is an educational non-profit that seeks to educate children about food independence and the connection between the earth and sustainable agriculture. Bezos also donated an undisclosed amount to the Maui Food Bank which is an organization that has been doing good on Maui for quite some time. Many on Maui genuinely appreciate the support he is providing to these local initiatives and are impressed that he sought to do so as quickly as he did after purchasing his home.
A Private Off-Market Deal
While the news of Bezos’ off-market home purchase has gone around the real estate community on Maui for weeks, reports of the home purchase have also been confirmed by a source at Pacific Business News. According to Pacific Business News, the purchase also included his new partner Lauren Sanchez.
The home is magnificent of course, and with respect to Mr. Bezos’ privacy, I won’t disclose the address or an image here. I can tell you that it is in Makena past Big Beach towards La Perouse Bay. There are only so many properties down there on that stretch and they are all amazing. This property is more of a compound with more than one guest home and accessory buildings.
Maui Continues to Allure The Ultra-Wealthy
Jeff Bezos joins a long line of tech entrepreneurs to purchase exquisite homes in Maui and in Hawaii. Since the development of the Makena and Makena Golf and Beach Club, we have seen the Makena area become the most exclusive and sought-after area on Maui for the ultra-wealthy. Earlier this year 4508 Makena Rd sold for 24,600,000, the biggest sale of the year for Makena. Only the Keawakapu Beach has homes that can compete on price, 3200 S Kihei Road on Keawakapu sold in July for a staggering $45,000,000.
So, in conclusion, we all say ‘Mahalo’ to Jeff Bezos and his recent contributions to these Maui non-profit organizations and ‘E Komo Mai’ (Welcome) to the Makena community. If you’re interested in learning more about any of these organizations there are links provided above and you can also reach out to me at any time for more information.
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Posted by Evan Harlow R(S) 82003 on