Hawaii: Zuckerberg’s Underground Bunker

Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Meta (formerly known as Facebook), is building a massive compound on the Hawaiian island of Kauai, featuring an escape hatch and a massive doomsday underground bunker. The details of the secretive project have emerged following an investigation by WIRED, citing sources and documents obtained through public records requests: Off the two-lane highway that winds along the northeast side of the Hawaiian island of Kauai, on a quiet stretch of ranchland between the tourist hubs of Kapaa and Hanalei, an enormous, secret construction project is underway.”

”A 6-foot wall blocks the view from a nearby road fronting the project, security guards stand watch at an entrance gate and patrol the surrounding beaches on ATVs. Pickup trucks roll in and out, hauling building materials and transporting hundreds of workers. Nobody working on this project is allowed to talk about what they’re building. Almost anyone who passes compound security—from carpenters to electricians to painters to security guards—is bound by a strict nondisclosure agreement, according to several workers involved in the project. Multiple workers claim they saw or heard about colleagues removed from the project for posting about it on social media.”

”Different construction crews within the site are assigned to separate projects and workers are forbidden from speaking with other crews about their work. Mark Zuckerberg bought the land in a series of deals beginning in August 2014. The property, known as Koolau Ranch, will, according to planning documents, include a 5,000-square-foot underground shelter, have its own energy and food supplies, and, when coupled with land purchase prices, will cost more than $270 million. According to evidence reviewed by WIRED, the project has relied on legal maneuvering and political networking, and at times, sources believe, it has shown disregard for the local public.”

”The oldest and the smallest of the four main Hawaiian Islands, Kauai is a tight-knit community of about 73,000 people. Its residents are the descendants of Native Hawaiians, along with Chinese, Japanese, Filipino, and Puerto Rican migrants who came to work the sugarcane plantations in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Some of the more recent arrivals come from the US mainland and other Pacific islands. When plantation owners moved their operations overseas in search of cheaper labor, the island’s sugarcane economy was replaced by tourism. Workers on the Zuckerberg site are part of a growing construction industry focused on luxury home builds for mainlanders looking to move to paradise.”

”Though tourist-centric development has transformed much of the island in recent decades, Kauai maintains a small-town feel. Older residents still remember a time when there was only one traffic light—the second was installed in 1973. Wild chickens and feral cats are everywhere. Locals surf and fish off the beaches, or hunt pigs in the mountains. People know their neighbors. With NDAs forbidding workers from discussing the project, the secluded North Shore compound has gained a mythic status on Kauai. One local architect unaffiliated with the Zuckerberg project jokes that it reminds him of medieval rulers who, according to legend, killed the architects of their most ambitious projects so the secrets of their designs would die with them.”

Complete with an underground shelter and what appears to be a blast-resistant door, the partially completed compound consists of more than a dozen buildings with at least 30 bedrooms and 30 bathrooms. It is centered around two mansions with a total floor area comparable to a professional football field (57,000 square feet), which contains multiple elevators, offices, conference rooms, and an industrial-sized kitchen. In a nearby wooded area, a web of 11 disk-shaped treehouses will be connected by intricate rope bridges, allowing visitors to cross from one building to the next while staying among the treetops. A building on the other side of the main mansions will include a full-size gym, pools, sauna, hot tub, cold plunge, and tennis court.”

”The property is dotted with other guest houses and operations buildings. The scale of the project suggests that it will be more than a personal vacation home — Zuckerberg has already hosted two corporate events at the compound. The plans show that the two central mansions will be joined by a tunnel that branches off into a 5,000-square-foot underground shelter, featuring living space, a mechanical room, and an escape hatch that can be accessed via a ladder. There are cameras everywhere, and many of the compound’s doors are planned to be keypad-operated or soundproofed. Building permits put the price tag for the main construction at around $100 million, in addition to $170 million in land purchases, but this is likely an underestimate.”

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