UPDATE 3/20/2015: The White House has denied that President Barack Obama was involved the purchase of the Oahu estate where "Magnum P.I." was filmed. Asked at a press briefing Friday if the Obamas were buying the house, a spokesperson said, "They are not."
Marty Nesbitt, a longtime friend of Obama's whose assistant's signature appears on the deed and mortgage to the house, also denied he was buying the property on behalf of the president.
“I am the sole purchaser and did not have any partners or co-investors in the transaction,” he told Fox affiliate KHON.
Original story follows below.
There’s a rumour going around the Honolulu suburb of Waimanalo that President Barack Obama — or at the very least someone closely linked to him — has bought the house where “Magnum P.I.” was filmed.
The three-acre waterfront estate with an 11,000-square-foot mansion — known as “Pahonu” in real life and “Robin’s Nest” in the hit 1980s detective show — went on sale last year, TMZ reported, though unfortunately sans the red Ferrari in which Magnum was seen zooming around the property’s driveways.
According to Fox affiliate KHON, the property was purchased on Monday by Waimanalo Paradise LLC, a company set up last month by Chicago lawyer Seth Madorsky, a major Obama donor. The property was then sold again to another LLC, this one based in Colorado, ABC affiliate KITV reports.
The deed and mortgage were signed by an executive assistant at a Chicago-based private equity firm run by longtime Obama friend and Hawaii golf partner Marty Nesbitt, KHON reported.
That’s about all the hard evidence there is linking Obama to the property, but in the beachfront community where the house is located, many are taking it as a given Obama is moving in. And some aren’t happy about it.
"He's going to be protected by the Secret Service all the time, there will be all kinds of traffic woes," local resident Uncle Nawai told KITV.
"People are wondering what the security situation will be like, and will they be stopped every time they come home,” resident Lee Siegel said, though he added: “I'm thrilled about it. I'm a fan. I think it is great, not just for Waimanalo and me, but for the state.”
A satellite view of the "Magnum P.I." estate. The offshore breakers mark the estate's location.
Obama, who was born and raised in Hawaii, still vacations there with his family and rents swanky places while there. The Obamas spent several consecutive winter holidays at a five-bedroom estate called Paradise Point, which is now being billed as “the Obama winter White House.”
According to Zillow, the “Magnum P.I.” house features five bedrooms and seven bathrooms, and has an attached four-car garage that alone is 1,800 square feet.
Its best feature may be the incredible beachfront, which also featured in the CBS TV show that aired from 1980 to 1988.
Parts of the estate may have fallen into disrepair. KHON notes that the mortgage on the property — US$9.5 million — is $800,000 more than the US$8.7-million selling price, suggesting the new owner is planning major renovations.
The Sotheby’s listing for the house offers few views of the building itself, but the back yard is unbelievable: