Good choice, Larry Ellison, good choice.
Word spread earlier tonight that Oracle CEO and twice-spurned NBA franchise-bidder Larry Ellison secured a deal to buy 98% of the Hawaiian island of Lanai. Initially the reports did not list a price for Lanai. Newer reports had the asking price at $500-600 million.
Ellison greatest love is yachting, so it stands to reason that the billionaire 36 times over would eventually seek out a dominion of his own to practice his sport. Lanai is one of the best yachting venues in the world. It’s secluded and secure enough for Ellison’s BMW Oracle team to develop and sail without much interference, and it’s “halfway” to New Zealand just in case the Kiwis win again.
Lanai has either over 3,000 residents or less than 2,000 depending on who you ask. It has two Four Seasons resorts – the same number as the Bay Area. Security can be remarkably tight since a private company runs the entire island (which is public).
In celebration of Ellison’s crazy-like-a-fox purchase, I’ve put together the following table comparing Ellison’s Lanai purchase to a typical NBA franchise.
I’m sure that Ellison has had this in the works for months, just as he did with the America’s Cup San Francisco development. Since that part had to be curtailed due the cost of developing Piers 30/32, it could be that he was motivated to pull the trigger on Lanai. It probably didn’t help the man’s legendary ego that some mere near-billionaire half Ellison’s age negotiated a deal to buy the Memphis Grizzlies.
On a related note, SF’s Pier 29 suffered significant damage from a four-alarm blaze that destroyed much of the pier’s warehouse structure. The structure was meant to house concessions and sponsor exhibits for the 2013 America’s Cup. Officials from the City and developers said that the fire wouldn’t impact the development.