Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan, co-founder and co-CEO of the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, plan to build a 5,000-square-foot underground shelter on their Hawaii ranch with its own energy and food supplies, according to a Wired investigation published earlier this month.
The plan is that the shelter’s door will be made of metal and filled in with concrete—common in bunkers and bomb shelters, the news outlet reported in its extensive article citing planning documents and interviews.
The bunker-like construction is just one part of the sprawling 1,400-acre compound, named Ko’olau Ranch, on the island of Kauai. Planning documents obtained by Wired show the partially-completed compound is set to include more than a dozen buildings with at least 30 bedrooms and 30 bathrooms, including two stand-alone mansions. There are also plans for 11 treehouses, as well as a fitness center, guest houses and operations buildings.
It was not clear from reports of planning documents what the intent of the underground shelter is. In response to questions from TIME about the project and the purpose of the bunker, Brandi Hoffine Barr, a spokesperson for Zuckerberg and Chan, noted that Kauai County encourages homeowners to build shelters. The county started offering residents a tax break for building hurricane-resistant safe rooms two decades ago.
More From TIME
“Mark and Priscilla value the time their family spends at Ko’olau Ranch and in the local community, and are committed to preserving the ranch’s natural beauty,” Hoffine Barr told TIME via email. They added that 80 luxury homes were slated to be built on the property before the couple bought it, and they’re now developing on less than one percent [of the land], leaving the rest for farming, ranching, conservation, open spaces and wildlife preservation.
Silicon Valley’s elite have been buying up property and trying to build bunkers for years, The Guardian has reported. Venture capitalist Peter Thiel’s much-publicized plans were not approved by a local council in New Zealand in 2022, as authorities cited concerns that the bunker-like home would negatively impact the surrounding landscape. Entrepreneurs are reportedly selling luxury underground apartments in case of a catastrophe, while super-rich doomsday preppers asked Douglas Rushkoff, author of the book Survival of the Richest, how to guard their own food supply, among other end times survival concerns, he has shared.
Whatever the purpose, the cost to build the new Zuckerberg-Chan compound is expensive––along with the land, it is pegged at upwards of $270 million, Wired reported. Construction and other workers on the property were reportedly made to sign strict non-disclosure agreements, according to the news outlet. In an emailed response to TIME, Hoffine Barr did not address a question about NDAs.
More Must-Reads From TIME
- Inside the White House Program to Share America's Secrets
- Meet the 2024 Women of the Year
- East Palestine, One Year After Train Derailment
- The Closers: 18 People Working to End the Racial Wealth Gap
- Long COVID Doesn’t Always Look Like You Think It Does
- Column: The New Antisemitism
- The 13 Best New Books to Read in March
- Want Weekly Recs on What to Watch, Read, and More? Sign Up for Worth Your Time
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org