Let's just say my economics thesis at Georgetown took less time to research than today's article.
Why? Well, because today we're covering the residential real estate empire of Oracle Founder and billionaire Larry Ellison ... and "empire" may be a gross understatement.
It all started with the reader who tipped us off the to fact that Malibu's new Nobu restaurant is opening next week and suggested we cover it for the site. Those of us who spend time at the beach have been watching as the oceanside restaurant, which is part of Larry's vast beachfront Malibu acquisition, underwent construction. It looks to be phenomenal.
Which brings us to that not-so-little issue of Larry Ellison's real estate empire. Here's a cheat sheet:
San Francisco: Larry owns a modern mansion in the swank and beautiful Pacific Heights neighborhood. The otherwise quiet 'hood was abuzz when Larry sued his neighbors because he felt their trees were obstructing his view of the Bay. When the neighbors didn't respond, it was rumored he did what anyone would: He sent his own workers up to trim the trees themselves. The lawsuit was eventually settled.
Woodside, California: Larry owned two estates in the tony Silicon Valley 'hood. He unloaded his moderate, smaller Woodside estate last year which had been on the market for $19 million. Don't worry, Larry still has his more substantial Woodside trophy property. The Japanese-styled 23 acre compound includes a two-acre manmade lake and is estimated to be worth about $110 million.
Lana'i, Hawaii: As in, all of Lana'i, Hawaii. Why go to the Four Seasons Maui when you can have an island instead? It's believed Larry purchased the small island for between $500 and $600 million.
Malibu: Larry spent $65 million on five beachfront properties in Carbon Beach, Malibu. The intent is to build one giant compound. In fact, one of the lots will hold only the pool. The new Nobu and and an adjoining restaurant are also going up on commercial beachfront property Larry owns.
Kyoto, Japan: Larry's REAL Japanese hideaway - not to be confused with his Woodside Japanese hideaway - features a home, pavilion, and gardens fed by Lake Biwa. The property was on the market for $86 million and purchased by Larry within the last several years.
Newport, Rhode Island: Larry's East Coast summer house (not that we're sure he ever uses it) is an Italianate-style mansion previously owned by the Astor family. Larry purchased the house, sight-unseen (even for private jet owners Newport's a nightmare to get to), in January 2010 for $10.5 million. The word is he plans to turn the house into a museum.
Rancho Mirage, California: The desert retreat is a $42.9 million 249 acre estate in Rancho Mirage, Calif. known as Porcupine Creek. The estate includes a private 19 hole golf course. Yes, I said 19. Billionaires need that extra hole. A huge tennis fan known to take as many as five lessons a week, Larry's vast desert holdings also consist of the Indian Wells Tennis Garden and Tournament. Considered one of the top tournaments behind the four majors, the BNP Paribas Tournament at Indian Wells has flourished under Larry's reign (and pocketbook) and is one of the premier tennis events in the world.
Lake Tahoe: According to the Wall Street Journal, Larry created three noncontiguous lakefront parcels in eight separate deals. He assembled a Glenbrook "property" in three separate deals in 2006, 2007 and 2009 for $29 million. He put together the Snug Harbor property—a 2.1-acre parcel which has a sandy beach and, at the time of purchase, a 10,000-square-foot home, a beach house, a guest house and other buildings—in 2006 and 2009 for a total of $15 million.
Rising Sun: Larry reportedly spent more than $200 million to build Rising Sun, a 452-foot-long, five story yacht. It has jacuzzi bathrooms, a gym, a spa and salon, a wine cellar, a private cinema and a basketball court on the main deck that doubles as a helicopter pad.
In addition to his real estate and yacht, Larry has a penchant for cars and private planes ... not surprising since he needs transport to get from house to house. After all, all work and no play isn't good for anyone, particularly not one of the richest men in the world.