Who is the Biggest Landowner in Hawaii? A Comprehensive Guide

Dreaming of owning a property in the beautiful state of Hawaii? With its vast expanse of undulating forested hills, white sandy beaches, and crystal clear waters, it's no wonder why. Out of the four million acres of land in Hawaii, only a few people, corporations, and government entities own the majority. For those looking to buy property in the state, their options are limited. If you're looking to purchase land in Hawaii, it's important to understand who owns the majority of the land and what they do with it.

In this article, we'll explore the 10 largest landowners in Hawaii and what they do with their land.

The State of Hawaii

Unsurprisingly, the largest landlord is the state of Hawaii itself, which owns land on all of the islands. Most of this land is public and benefits Hawaiian residents. Nearly 200,000 acres are allocated to the Hawaiian Department of Hawaiian Territories, a housing construction program for natives.

The Parker Family

The Parker family has a long history with Hawaii.

They established a relationship with King Kamehameha I in the early 19th century and were given permission to sell wild cattle that roamed the islands. Over time, they acquired more land and raised cattle and horses, employing cowboys called paniolo. Today, a trust owns the ranch and continues to serve and build relationships with the Hawaiian people.

Larry Ellison

Larry Ellison, president and co-founder of Oracle, owns nearly 90,000 acres of land in Hawaii. He even owns 98% of the island of Lanai, home to 3000 residents.

Ellison uses his land primarily for conservation, alternative energy research, a resort and restaurants.

Alexander and Baldwin

Alexander and Baldwin is a multi-million dollar commercial real estate company based in Hawaii. It was founded by two young people with vision and pure zeal. They started with 12 acres where they grew sugar cane and eventually became plantation agents and bought a large sugar company. As one of the largest private landowners in the state, they now operate in real estate, construction, and land use.

Stephen Case

In 2000, Stephen Case, co-founder of AOL, bought Grove Farms and its more than 30,000 acres.

Located in Kauai, it was acquired in 1850 during Grand Mahele. The Wilcox family eventually bought it and acquired nearby plantations where they continued their sugar cane operations and produced livestock. Grove Farms still has some agricultural operations but also develops land for residential and commercial use. Across all the islands, the state owns large amounts of property including more than 1 million acres on the Big Island and 121,000 acres in Niihau.

This includes nearly 200,000 acres associated with The Dept. Of Hawaiian Homelands which was created by Prince Kuhio to provide housing opportunities for native Hawaiians. So if you're looking to purchase property in Hawaii you have limited options due to these large landowners. However understanding who owns what can help you make an informed decision when looking for your dream home.

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