- Construction appears to be well underway on Barack Obama’s Hawaii beachfront compound
- Obama was pictured speaking to builders and architects from a local island-based building firm
- The former President did not look happy in photos snapped of him as he spoke with the construction crew
- Obama could be seen with his arms folder and making pointed gestures before turning around to walk inside
- 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
Far from being in beach mode, Obama appeared to be deep in conversation as he spoke with workers from local building firm Armstrong Builders, who are currently constructing his beachfront compound on the island of Oahu.
Dressed in beige pants and a grey polo shirt, Obama looked tense as he was pictured speaking with builders and architects.
OBAMA: PUT YOUR MASK ON AROUND ME. I DON’T CARE IF WE’RE OUTSIDE.(not sure but WTF)
Former President Barack Obama was pictured for the first time at his Hawaii beachfront compound on Saturday
Obama appeared to be deep in conversation as he stood with his arms crossed while speaking with local builders
Obama was pictured speaking to builders and architects from a local island-based building firm
The former President did not look happy in photos snapped of him as he spoke with the construction crew
The property is wedged between the Koʻolau mountains that jut 1,300 feet into the sky and a stunning turquoise ocean
Some of the architects and construction workers present appeared to be carrying plans of the intricate design, but it seems the building, nestled in the Native Hawaiian community of Waimanalo, still has some way to go before it reaches presidential standards.
The building of the enormous beachfront property where Obama plans to retire someday was purchased for $8.7 million by his close friend Marty Nesbitt in 2015.
The developers are currently building three homes on the site including two swimming pools and a security fence on the three-acre parcel of beachfront land.
Obama could be seen with his arms folder and making pointed gestures before turning around to walk inside
Obama turned back around to walk inside. One of the architects could be seen with plans of the compound in his right hand
Obama continues to walk around the property with his arms folded as he assessed the progress of building work
The former president appeared to be making some important points about his new home in a series of photographs
The home appears set in lush surroundings with palm trees seen on all sides of the property
A controversial sea wall can be seen just a few feet from the shoreline. Environmentalists say it encourages beach erosion
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.
The new home occupies three acre parcel of beachfront real estate on the island of Oahu
The sea wall is said to be more than a century old but while the concrete structure had long protected the estate from the sea, it now stands at odds with modern laws designed to preserve Hawaii’s natural coastlines
Scientists and environmental experts say sea walls are the primary cause of beach loss throughout the state
The developers of Obama’s property have been hoping to expand the sea wall, angering neighbors who note that the existing beach along the property has almost completely disappeared.
Nesbitt, a wealthy Chicago businessman who supported Obama’s 2004 Senate campaign and served as his 2008 presidential campaign chairman, currently serves as chairman of the Barack Obama Foundation. He is said to be one of Obama’s closest friends and confidantes.
Nesbitt has never commented on the issue of the sea wall, only to confirm that he and his wife bought the land and were ‘the developers’ of the estate.
In written responses to questions posed in 2020, Nesbitt said the steps he’s taken to redevelop the property and expand the sea wall are ‘consistent with and informed by the analysis of our consultants, and the laws, regulations and perspectives of the State of Hawaii.’
The sellers of the property obtained an easement on the sea wall (above) for a one-time payment of $61,400 before it was sold
Part of the controversial sea wall is seen bottom left. An easement granted by the state allowed it to remain, pictured in 2018
Developers are building three homes, two pools and a security perimeter on the three-acre beachfront parcel, permits show, pictured in 2018
The beach has almost completely disappeared along the property, due to erosion along the sea wall. In the water, the outline of an ancient turtle pond is seen. The parcel of land is seen in drone footage shot in 2018
Looking the other direction, when complete, the home will enjoy stunning views over Waimanalo Bay
Any damage the structure caused to the Waimanalo beach, occurred decades ago ‘and is no longer relevant.’
In addition to its fame as the former site of the Magnum PI house, the Waimanalo compound sits next to a historic turtle pond that used to feed Hawaiian chiefs.
Nesbitt had earlier sparked controversy in 2018, when plans leaked showing his intent to demolish the home from Magnum PI.
The 8,900-square-foot mansion, built in 1933, was one of the most famous homes on the islands, but had fallen into disrepair.
It had not been listed on the registry for historic landmarks. The only nearby fixture with any sort of historical protection is the ancient turtle pond next to the property.
Obama talks with his friend Marty Nesbitt at an NBA game in 2009. Nesbitt currently serves as Chairman of the Barack Obama Foundation
Tom Selleck is seen left and right from Magnum PI. The mansion featured in the show was torn down to make way for the Obamas
The property was formerly the site of one of Hawaii’s most famous homes, the mansion from Magnum PI (above) which was torn down in 2018 to make way for construction. Obamas New House SHTF