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Curbed's Biggest Real Estate Spender of 2012: Larry Ellison

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Of all the record-setting personal real estate deals that came across the wires this year, none was larger than billionaire Larry Ellison's purchase of 98% of the Hawaiian island of Lanai, at an estimated cost of more than $500M. The Oracle founder purchased the 88,000-acre tract—which includes two full-service resorts, two 18-hole golf courses, a stable, commercial buildings, and an unknown number of houses—from Dole Fruit billionaire David H. Murdock. Ellison, who already owned a house on Lanai, was apparently bidding against fellow software titan Bill Gates for the property. Gates, who was married on the island in 1994, is currently America's richest person, but even he didn't want to spend as much on the island as the property-mad Ellison.

? The island was just the largest of Ellison's 2012 land grabs. In Malibu, the billionaire spent nearly $37M to acquire the 10,000-square-foot, Michael Graves-designed mansion of former Yahoo CEO Terry Semel. That's quite a bit less than the $50M Semel originally wanted for the unique nine-bedroom house and 0.73-acre plot on Carbon Beach, known colloquially as "Billionaire's Beach," thanks to all the residents with ten-figure wealth. This was not Ellison's first trip down this stretch of sand, however, as he owns no fewer than eight other properties on this exceedingly expensive neighborhood. That number means he owns nearly 15% of all the houses on Carbon Beach.

? As if he didn't already own enough Carbon Beach property, Ellison dropped an undetermined amount on the beach house of legendary Hollywood producer Jerry Bruckheimer, just months after closing on Semel's post-modern pad. The property was never listed publicly, so details (and photos) are few, but chances are Ellison paid over $20M for the tile-roofed manse above, bringing his total number of Carbon Beach properties to a nice, round 10.
These three properties were only additions to a stable that includes, but is by no means limited to: a $100M+ Japanese-style estate in Silicon Valley; a massive mansion on San Francisco's "Billionaire's Row"; an $86M formal garden and house in Kyoto, Japan; a Newport, R.I. mansion once owned by the Astor family; and a $46M, 246-acre plot in the deserts of Rancho Mirage, Calif. Of course, even with all these seemingly extravagant purchases, Ellison has plenty of cash left for his property boondoggles. To put his outlandish wealth in perspective, Forbes calculated that, for Ellison, the Lanai island transaction "would be the equivalent of a family with net worth of $1 million buying a used Chevy Impala."

· Larry Ellison Scoops Up 98 Percent of a Hawaiian Island [Curbed National]
· Ex-Yahoo! CEO Sells Malibu Home to Larry Ellison for $37M [Curbed National]
· Oracle Boss Buys Bruckheimer's Malibu Pad, Will Bev Hills Bail Out Its Schools? [Curbed LA]
· At Estimated 16 Cents PSF, Larry Ellison's Hawaiian Island Purchase Is A Steal [Forbes]
· All Year in Curbed 2012 posts [Curbed National]