- His close friend and confidant Marty Nesbitt purchased property for $8.7 million in 2015
- Previously, the site was home to the famous mansion from Magnum PI TV series which was torn down
- In 2020 it was revealed how the buyer of the three-acre plot of land used a planning loophole to preserve a century-old sea wall on the beachfront, much to the annoyance of neighbors and environmentalists
- Experts say such sea walls contribute to beach erosion and can damage the coastal environment
But a century-old sea wall on the property is set to remain, despite state policies being introduced in recent years that were designed to preserve Hawaii’s natural coastlines.
Environmental experts say structures such as beach walls actually cause coastal damage and beach erosion.
Although the state of Hawaii has laws meant to preserve disappearing shorelines, beachfront property owners area able to bypass them.
A loophole allowed the sellers of the property to obtain an easement on the sea wall for a one-time payment of $61,400 before it was sold in 2015, according to ProPublica .
The easement is essentially a 55-year lease on the public land that sits under the sea wall, giving the private property owner the ability to keep it.
Such easements have come under criticism in Hawaii, although they are relatively common with 120 being awarded over the past 20 years.
Although the concrete structure protected the coastal estate from the sea in the past, it now contradicts modern laws that are specifically designed to preserve Hawaii’s natural coastlines.
Scientists and environmental say that while sea walls protect what is behind them, they do nothing to protect what lies in front and, in fact, are the main cause of beach loss throughout the state.
Sea walls such as the ones at Obama’s estate essentially interrupt the natural flow of the ocean and prevent beaches from migrating inland.