WAILUKU >> Until recently, the record-setting, nearly $41.8 million sale of a 4.23-acre residential property in Makena has been hush-hush, supposedly shrouded in secrecy and tied up in binding confidentiality agreements.
Realtors Association of Maui Chief Staff Executive Terry Tolman said he "got wind of" the huge sale of the property at 4446 Makena Alanui Road, which was not on the multiple listing service of properties available for sale, reported The Maui News.
It took a while for the sale to surface in public records, he said.
"Nobody could see it, but we knew it was there," Tolman said Thursday.
"I knew a lot of people were sworn to confidentiality," he said, adding but "people have a hard time keeping a secret."
Clearly, he said, those involved in the transaction have sought to keep it quiet. "I think in the really high end . . . with the mega-rich . . . (they) love their privacy. . . . People with quite substantial means guard privacy for personal or business reasons."
Here’s what’s known through state and Maui County public records.
The state Bureau of Conveyances recorded a warranty deed on April 7 that showed Donna Korth of Calgary, Alberta, Canada, trustee of the Korth Family Trust, selling the property to Project 251A. State business registration records show that Project 251A was incorporated on Feb. 20. Its mailing address is 745 Fort St., Suite 800, in Honolulu. It lists as its agent Barry Sullivan.
Sullivan, an attorney with Sullivan Meheula Lee, said via email that he is the legal counsel and agent for Project 251A, but he was unable to comment due to confidentiality.
County Department of Finance records show that the property’s assessed land value is $5,568,600, and its buildings’ value is $8,438,200 — for a total of $14,006,800.
The main 6,737-square-foot home was built in 2011. It has four bedrooms, four full bathrooms and two half baths, county records say. A second 1,004-square-foot residence was built in 2012. It has two bedrooms, one full bathroom and a half bath. Both homes have central air conditioning.
County records report that the sale occurred on April 1 for $41,775,000. Before that, the property sold for $5,250,000 on April 28, 2008. At that time, neither residence had been completed.
Tolman confirmed Thursday that the Makena property’s sale is the most paid since the association began keeping records in 1993.
"It’s an unusual situation," he said. "I have no idea why they paid that much, if it’s worth it or whatever."
However, "it’s got to be one heck of a property to be that high priced," Tolman said.
The previous record for the largest sum exchanged for residential property was $27 million for 7150 Makena Road in July 2011, Tolman said. And, in December 2012, a home at 3039 South Kihei Road sold for $23 million, he said.
Interestingly, the residence at 4446 Makena Alanui Road is not oceanfront property, though still a short walking distance to the ocean, Tolman pointed out. And, not being oceanfront, it has the advantages of not being exposed to high tides, a lesser risk of tsunamis and more privacy.
Beaches are public areas, he said, and people cut across private properties to get to the shoreline.
Realtor Alex Cortez wrote a blog about the Makena home sale on July 24. In it, he said the transaction "has raised many eyebrows."
He wrote that the property is in the Keauhou at Makena luxury estate. "Although we have seen it from a distance being built over the past few years, very little information is factually known about it or its owners," he wrote.
"With Keauhou’s sloping terrain and this home’s high elevation, it is fair to expect that the view corridors will be commanding and unobstructed, while the size of the parcel will provide significant privacy for owners and guests," Cortez wrote.
He noted that the next-door property at 4482 Makena Alanui Road was listed for sale with an asking price of $13.4 million.
Cortez identified the buyer of the previous record-setting sale of 7150 Makena Road as being Peter Thiel, the co-founder of PayPal.