What Jeff Bezos' Massive Hawaiian Purchase Could Mean For Locals

Jeff Bezos is one of the richest people in the world, according to Forbes, which obviously means that he has a lot of money to spend on things like pricey property and amazing homes. Business Insider explains that in the United States alone, his wildly impressive real estate portfolio includes estates in both Washington state and Beverly Hills, multiple apartments in New York, and a ranch in Texas, just to name a few.

In fact, in 2020, The Land Report noted that when it comes to the people who own the most land in the United States, Bezos was in the 25th spot. However, he may soon be making his way up that list thanks to the fact that he's been getting into the Hawaiian real estate market and is apparently aiming for a few new homes. Apparently, Bezos has been checking out ranches on Maui while also keeping an eye (and his wallet?) open for a penthouse in Montage Kapalua Bay, according to the New York Post. The second home is meant to be for his parents but has supposedly been hard to find because he wants a difficult-to-nab four-bedroom residence. While that would have been impressive enough, he's now the owner of another massive property in Hawaii, which has left the locals unsure of the news.

Real estate buys like Jeff Bezos' mean some locals are struggling

Jeff Bezos is now the owner of more than 14 acres of property in Hawaii which he bought for himself and his partner Lauren Sánchez, and it only cost him (gulp) $78 million, according to the New York Post. Pacific Business News adds that the property on Maui is found on the south shore of the Valley Isle and is located not too far away from lava fields. It also has its own bay and is very private. Granted, that doesn't mean Bezos is keeping his distance from the Hawaiian community.

Indeed, to perhaps win over his new neighbors, Bezos has apparently been donating to local organizations like Habitat for Humanity Maui, the Friends of the Children's Justice Center of Maui, and Ka Hale A Ke Ola Homeless Resource Centers. An insider opened up to PBN about the charitable contributions, saying, "Jeff and Lauren love Maui, have a home on the island, visit frequently, and want to be a part of supporting the local community."

However, Bezos' donations might not be winning everyone over. Another source told the Post, "It is tough being born and raised here, seeing these real estate transactions and how it can drive up prices." They added that the "average home [on the island] now costs 1 million — way above what most blue-collar workers can afford, so I always struggle with that." Let's hope Bezos moving into the area doesn't do more harm than good.