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In lawsuit, Hawaii contractor says Mark Zuckerberg stiffed him $133,726

SF Gate 9/22/2022 Christine Hitt
The Zuckerbergs spent millions of dollars to amass more than a thousand acres of land on Kauai’s North Shore. © Matthew Micah Wright/Getty Images

The Zuckerbergs spent millions of dollars to amass more than a thousand acres of land on Kauai’s North Shore.

Two years ago, Hawaii construction company Williams Construction was hired to build a jungle paradise on Mark Zuckerberg’s Kauai property, including custom tree houses with rope bridges. But after completing the work, Williams Construction says that Zuckerberg still owes $133,726.47.

According to the lawsuit the company has filed against the tech billionaire, the construction projects took place on a 383-acre parcel of Zuckerberg’s vast compound, which encompasses more than 1,400 acres of the island’s North Shore, including ocean and beachfront land around Pilaa Beach. Most recently, in 2021, the family added 110 acres at Ka Loko Reservoir.

Williams Construction, known for its work in high-end residential construction and luxury renovation projects, agreed to the project with ORBT LLC, a San Francisco company affiliated with Zuckerberg’s land holdings.

According to court documents, the construction company tried reaching out to ORBT about the unpaid invoices, but it “has failed and/or refused to make payment in accordance with Williams’s requests.” 

The contractor claims it has “not been paid for all of its labor, materials, and equipment as agreed.” If a person provides labor on a home improvement or renovation project, the state of Hawaii allows them to file a lien in court, so that’s where it’s headed next.

In the initial contract, Williams Construction agreed to build a jungle house, cabin and tree houses. The “Jungle House (Main)” was estimated at $2.9 million and would require building a temporary bridge to access the location and creating custom rope bridges, according to an email filed in the lawsuit. The “Jungle House (Cabin)” was estimated to cost $500,000 to complete tearing down and constructing a new cabin in its place. The tree houses were estimated at $1,000 to $1,500 per square foot and would be time consuming due to “building scaffolding around the treehouse, intricate rope bridges,” the email said.

Though not part of the lawsuit, the email also had an estimate for a proposed $1.2 million “Waterfall House, excluding the swimming pool and fire pit for now.”

Zuckerberg’s representatives feel Williams Construction has been rightfully compensated.

“To our knowledge, we have paid all invoices submitted by Williams Construction in full,” a spokesperson for the Chan Zuckerberg family told KITV4.

The issue goes to Kauai court on Wednesday, Sept 28.

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