Monday, October 24, 2011

Oracle's Multi-Bazillionaire Larry Ellison Lists Bay Area Horse Property

SELLER: Larry Ellison
LOCATION: Woodside, CA
PRICE: $19,000,000
SIZE: 5,850 square feet, 4 bedrooms, 3.5 bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Listen kittens, Your Mama may not be the sharpest knife in the drawer but we are neither a dumb bell with our fat head stuck in the sand. Like all of the rest of y'all, Your Mama is well aware of the heavy, wet blanket of weltschmerz that's settled over many and angrily gripped others of the world's citizenry.

At the risk of appearing far more flip than we actually are, we all have a cross to bear through both the best and ugliest of times. Our beast of burden, for better or worse, is the reportage–as it were–of the admittedly unimportant milieu of celebrity real estate. We confess our rather frivolous and superficially focused obsessions sometimes cause us a rash from extreme envy, soaring moments of financial aspiration, a bit of schadenfreude now and then and, yes, sometimes even a brutally paralyzing futility of purpose. Even so, and keeping in mind that one need not dwell 24-7 in the darkness and deficiencies of modern life to maintain a strong engagement with their moral compass, forward we march, our gold sneaker-shod feet following in our well-worn if shallow

Last week from the always jaw-dropping world of billionaire real estate came the news–or the "news" iffin you're so inclined to see it that way– that high-tech über-tycoon and residential real estate baller extraordinaire Larry Ellison has over the last few years dropped upwards of $100,000,000 on a trio of non-contiguous multi-parcel properties that ring the sensationally high-priced shoreline of Lake Tahoe. More on that here and later.

Mister Ellison, as real estate watchers the globe over well-know, appears frequently in all the real estate gossip columns for his prolific property purchasing ways and obvious penchant for insanely expensive and extraordinarily high-maintenance properties.

For many years Mister Ellison–now in his later sixties, deeply suntanned, gym-toned and worth an estimated 33 billion dollars–has made his home base in San Francisco and the Silicon Valley near the mother offices of his hyper successful hard/software company. (That would be data base management juggernaut Oracle in case any of y'all are completely ignorant of who Mister Ellison is.)
Down on the peninsula south of San Francisco Mister Ellison owns a couple of super-posh and very pricey estates in Woodside (CA) including a maniacally clipped and manicured 23-ish acre Japanese-style country estate where modern conveniences are all but invisible behind and below the multiple, completely authentic, and painstakingly constructed structures hand-built by artisans and architects well-schooled in 16th century Japanese architecture and building techniques.

Por ejemplo, niños, the main house is built entirely without nails but is none-the-less seismically sound to endure a 7.3 earthquake and a Disneyland-like flip of a switch causes a misty fog to develop–Japan-like, it seems–over the 2.3 acre man-made lake around which the compound is built. The house, a serious work of art, really, is rumored and much reported to have cost Mister Ellison an astonishing and tummy twisting $200,000,000-plus to acquire, design, and build. 'Course that's small potatoes compared to the (alleged) billion dollar-plus construction costs of Mukesh Ambani's 570-foot tower mansion in Mumbai. But we digress.

In classic multi-billionaire real estate baller style, back in November 2005 Mister Ellison shelled out a not inconsequential $23,000,000 to purchase a pair of adjacent equine-friendly properties located just a bit more than one mile from his giant Japanese compound in Woodside. The two properties encompass 6.88 acres and include a stately, four-columned Colonial style mansion with detached 3-car garage, poolside cabana, detached guest house, two barns and–as can be expected of Mister High Maintenance Real Estate–extensive gardens and various equestrian facilities all of which are protected–we should all assume–a state-of-the-art security system capable of closed-circuit surveillance and grave injury.

Unbeknownst to Your Mama until a few days ago, Mister Ellison hoisted his horse farm in Woodside (shown above) on the open market more than three months ago with an asking price of $19,000,000. It does not, children, take a mathematics savant to see that even with a (probably unlikely) full-price sale Mister Ellison faces a financial loss of $4,000,000 not counting carrying costs, renovation and maintenance expenses and real estate fees.

Your Mama does not know a trivet from a cheese doodle but we can't help but ponder if a man of Mister Ellison's almost unimaginably vast wealth sweats much or at all when faced with the prospect of losing four or five million bucks on a real estate deal. One imagines he would but then again four million dollars is probably not so different for Mister Ellison that four dollars is for Your Mama. This is, after all, a man who until recently owned an five-deck and 82-room boat called the Rising Sun–a god damn ship, really–that according to the Aristocratique cost the high hogger around $13,000,000 per year to staff and maintain. The behemoth boat is now owned by music and media mogul David Geffen, whose estimated $5.5 billion fortune is staggering by any standard but none-the-less a fraction of Mister Ellison's major mound of money. But we digress again.

Current listing information for the Woodside, CA horse farm Mister Ellison has on the market shows the two-story southern Colonial style main mansion, approached via a -shaped gated crushed stone driveway, was built in 1968, measures around 5,850 square feet, and has 4 bedrooms and 3.5 bathrooms.

esque staircase with carved wood newel post and intricate iron railing. The formal living room has wood floors with parquetry border and fireplace with cast stone mantelpiece while the banquet hall-sized formal dining room has a coffered ceiling, custom-laid wood floors.

Other downstairs spaces, as per marketing materials, include an intimately-scaled library with basket weave patterned marble floor, wood-burning fireplace, paneled walls and built-in cabinetry. French doors open to the flag stone poolside terrace. A fully-equipped butler's pantry joins the dining room with the center island eat-in kitchen, all perfectly maintained and top-quality but a little dated seeming. The breakfast area opens into a family room with limestone tile floor, unusually coved ceiling, bulky stone fireplace with raised hearth, built-in booze bar with sink and fridge, and French doors that open the broad backyard terrace.

Upstairs there are two bedrooms that open to a shared balcony and share one bathroom, a separate guest suite with built-in desk and shelves plus private facility and an expansive master suite that sprawls across one entire wing of the upper floor. A vestibule provides a privacy buffer from the upper hallway to the bowling alley-like bedroom with fireplace, sitting area, and two sets of French doors that open to one of the balconies set into the double-height portico at the front of the mansion. The master suite comes complete with ample closet space that includes a bedroom-sized dressing room and a  Carrara marble-clad bathroom.

Out back a flag stone terrace meanders around and partially surrounds a pond-like swimming pool set into a hillside with stacked stone walls and water falls. A path leads up the hillside above the pool to a privately situated spa and an adjacent pool cabana with entertainment/media room is convenient for boozy drink mixing, snack grabbing, suit changing, and terlit sitting.

Not surprisingly given his thing for lavishly landscaped estates, well-conceived, executed and maintained gardens surround the house with various ponds with stepping stones and an arched bridge or two, rock waterfalls, specimen trees, and crushed stone pathways shaded by beautifully gnarled shade trees.

The second parcel, located across a narrow but not private lane from the main house, offers a fully-equipped ranch-style guest house with living/dining room, kitchen, bedroom and bathroom. A substantial tile-roofed barn behind an electronic gate offers five stalls each with turnout and lush gardens border a riding ring and sandy beach volleyball court.

Of course, Your Mama make no claims whatsoever to comprehension of the capricious and unreservedly capacious real estate ways of men (and women) like Mister Ellison. However, it's not so difficult to imagine that this horse farm, the one he wants to sell, might be somewhat unnecessary given that his sprawling Japanese-themed compound just around the corner about a mile away also contains significant equestrian facilities.

In addition to his impressive residential real estate holdings in Woodside, CA, property records reveal Mister Ellison owns many additional properties around the Bay Area including at least six non-contiguous suburban residences in Redwood City–presumably these are for investment or business purposes–plus a 10,742 square foot bay view contemporary mansion atop Pacific Heights in San Francisco. Mister Ellison was much in the real estate news earlier in the year when it was revealed in the media he had been engaged in a lengthy legal wrangle and tangle with his down slope neighbors who accused him of illegally chopping off the tops of a pair of titanic redwood trees on their property in order to open up the view from his house. The suit was settled "to everyone's satisfaction" in late May or early June (2011).

At about the same time Mister Ellison was wrangling with his neighbors in San Francisco he paid a mouth drying $42,900,000 for Porcupine Creek, a vast Rancho Mirage, CA estate with 18,430 square foot main mansion, 4 guest casitas plus 4 more guest houses, a resort-styled and sized swimming pool complex with palapa, spa facility with massage rooms and hair salon, a private 19-hole golf course, and a club house with locker room, bar, lounge and private pro shop.

The previous year, Mister Ellison spent $10,500,000 to acquire Beechwood, an opulent, 39-room  Italianate mansion in natty and nabobish Newport, RI built in 1851 for wealthy dry goods pooh bah Daniel Parish and later owned by Caroline and William Backhouse Astor Jr.

Beginning in the early Noughts Mister Ellison began to acquire significant amounts of property in Malibu, CA. His holdings in the star-studded and hideously expensive ocean side enclave include a secluded multi-residence equestrian compound inside the guard-gated Serra Retreat that features a funicular that connects the main house to the athletic and entertainment complex below complex tennis court and swimming pool.

Mister Ellison famously paid around $65,000,000 for five contiguous property on Malibu's colossally costly Carbon Beach–one of which was rented for quite some time by sitcom and romcom queen Jennifer Aniston after her marriage with Brad Pitt famously and very publicly swirled down The Tinseltown Terlit of Love way back in late 2005–where other billionaires and near billionaires with houses on the sand include the likes Jerry Perenchio, Haim Saban, David Geffen, Jeffrey Katzenberg, Terry Semel and the dueling divorcées Frank and Jamie McCourt.

Back in Lake Tahoe, where we began today's lengthy real estate tale, our research into the public property records indicates Mister Ellison spent $14,000,000 in March 2006 for a 2.02 acre lakeside spread on Lake Tahoe's north shore in Incline Village. Property records also reveal that in December 2007 Mister Ellison dropped another $28,000,000 on two adjacent parcels that together come to 7.38. A few quick flicks of the hard-working beads on our bejeweled abacus calculates based on property records that Mister Ellison's Incline Village estate spans nearly 9.5 acres is said to have than 400 feet of very desirable lake frontage. The compound loving billionaire is reported to be near completion on the construction of an 8-structure private residence with a total of about 18,000 square feet of interior space. The stone and log-sided structures–tucked discreetly behind a well-secured wall and gate, natch–include a main house, beach house, tennis pavilion, guest quarters, guard house, caretaker's cottage and writer's cabin.

Mister Ellison's daughter Megan has clearly caught The Compound Bug from her property mad father. Over the last several years the budding and increasingly busy 20-something year old movie producer (Catch .44, True Grit, Passion Play) has spent a truly bone-chilling $32,850,000 on three contiguous properties high above Los Angeles' Sunset Strip, each with a sizable cutting edge contemporary residence and each with unobstructed multi-million dollar views over the twinkling lights of Tinseltown from downtown to, on a clear day, the Pacific Ocean.

listing photos (Woodside): Alain Pinel Realtors


Langtry said...

Rather typical (if tasteful) California Mansion.

The house of his that I want is the Japanese one, in Saratoga, California, IIRC.

Anonymous said...

If I were worth $33 billion, I would never sell anything.
I would not have the time to, I would be too busy trying to buy countries.

Larry Ellison is a miserable ahole and a dick. He is the Letterman to Bill Gates. I personally can't stand the guy and after watching 60 Minutes last night, it seems that Steve Jobs might have not been too far off in the level of dick that Ellison is.

Ellison does have great taste in real estate though, I will give him that.

Anonymous said...

The common thread seems to be aging billionairs who may or may not be coming to terms with their own mortality or the mortality of the world economy. You cant take it with you boys...

Anonymous said...

How is this a typical California mansion? Homes in Northern California aren't typical to what you see in Southern California.

Anonymous said...

This old coot needs to die gracefully and cool it with all the buying/selling and "investments".

Does a man of his age really visit all of these homes? Or need more "investing" when he's already worth ($33B!) and very close to death age?

Classic narcissist.

Anonymous said...

Classic Jelouscist!

Anonymous said...

While Mr. Ellison may be "a miserable ahole and a dick", I don't know the man so I can't say, regarding the current political and economic situation, I begrudge far less the great wealth accumulated by the likes of him, Bill Gates or the late Steve Jobs than I do the massive wealth accumulated by those in the banking/finance industry and executives that take home salaries several hundred times what their average workers make, because at least these guys are entreprenuers whose intelligence and creativity actually created something of value and cumulatively employ tens of thousands of people (even if, in Mr. Jobs' case, many of those people are in China, though at least he only paid himself $1 a year in salary)...its a lot harder to say a guy hasn't earned his fortune and the right to spend it any way he wants when he's done it by building an actual business and advancing the technology of the world than it is it say a guy hasn't earned his fortune when all he does is gamble other people's money and take handouts from the government when he loses or sits in an office all day making short-sighted decisions and not really doing much of anything that requires much effort or creativity at all to earn their millions per year in salary (which, having worked with many high-level executives at a major Philadelphia-based Fortune 500 company for many years, I can personally attest is the truth when it comes to what most high-level corporate executives actually do...)

hippie canyon said...

Mama, you made my day. Your opening paragraphs echoed some of my own thoughts, and were worthy of praise from your countless fans. Thank you! (Now, can you spare some of them little yella pills? I can't get a "refill" until tomorrow).

Anonymous said...

Loves the Mix of Colonial meets Modernism.. well done...especially for the Northern Cali Granola type of homes we normally see!

This article is divine but missing one other key fact. Beside Megan Ellison's 3 house compound in the Birds is the other sibling David's crib also on Carbon Beach in Malibu. He is a smouldering boy of 26 who is recently married married at the Desert Abode which Tom Cruise was in attendance. I believe his house was around 20 million in Malibu.

Anonymous said...

Megan Ellison is not a producer, she simply writes checks from her daddy's bank account to movie makers. There is a difference.

He also recently sold his house in Atherton (another Japanese style manse).

Anonymous said...

Langtry, I've never seen reports of an Ellison house in Saratoga. The mega Japanese compound is in Woodside, next door to Peter Haas' estate.

Anonymous said...

Mama, You're hysterical!!!

Anonymous said...

3:04 my comment had nothing to do with Ellison's money, you chose to make it that. I simply stated that he is an ahole and a dick as a person.

Jeannified said...

Gorgeous place!

midTN said...


LOL mama....great opening, as usual.



Anonymous said...

Steve Jobs' $1.00 salary was taxed as ordinary income. His real, multi-million dollar compensation package, like many of his colleague's packages, was in the form of capital gains, which are taxed at a lower rate. That is, when ever he chose to realize the gains, effectively lowering his marginal tax rate.

Anonymous said...

jealous of this 80 year old crypt

jealous of his kids. YES. Him? hahahahaaha.

Teyona said...

Such a magnificent property! I love the whole thing in it and it looks very cosy inside.

Anonymous said...

I just don't know what to say about this greedy man. His ego has to be the size of the Grand Canyon. Seems to me he chases happiness buying and selling real estate. I wonder if he is truly happy living in any of his houses. I bet not. I'm convinced Ellison really wanted the SF house down from his with the big trees and lovely hummingbird garden for himself only the owners would never sell it to him.

Anonymous said...

This property is adjacent to the Jackling property owned by Steve Jobs, and leveled in February 2011. Ellison's Japanese styled compound in Woodside is located 3/4 of a mile away.

Anonymous said...

Dear Mama,

Do you hear the clock ticking?
Do you see the sands slowly trickling through the hourglass?
Do you feel the cold wind at your
Do you smell the smoke on the horizon?
Do you taste the ash whole on your tongue?

Anonymous said...

And as the shiny blade fell over the exposed and rather porcine neck, there was a most curious reaction from the crowd. What only moments before was a bloodthirsty raging mob screaming for vengeance now suddenly fell quiet and clapped with great dignity, almost like the crowd at a if to say "job well done"......and as they dispersed, they seemed to imply "who's next?"

Anonymous said...

True, the occasional priest or spiritual mystic wandered by to sob at the sight of the beheaded, or offered psalms of mercy or compassion or bromides of "he was as you once were" or "we are all equal before the eyes of God" to minimize the beastly nature of the execution, but it was, alas, to no avail. The crowd could not or would not listen. They had trusted too long, they had forgiven too long, they had starved too long. There was no room left, at this juncture, for the balm of philosophy.

lil' gay boy said...

Anyone familiar with Charlotte Corday?

Anonymous said...

From the little I know of him (no personal contact of course) I would agree he fits the "dick" description very well. One might note that while Gates has a lavish home and an extra, apparently in Montana somewhere, he is not a real estate addict. Furthermore, richer even than Ellison, he has created a very big charity that gives millions away every year to help the unfortunate. I have never heard the word "charity" mentioned in connection with Ellison. Rather the words related to him are "greedy", "lavish spending", "yachts" and that sort of thing. And of course "dick" which more or less sums him up very well. Too bad it was Jobs who got the cancer. It should have gone knocking on a different door.

Anonymous said...

Mama, as long as you are letting into the abodes of the super super super rich, you might tell us about the Warren Buffett house in Emerald Bay that is for sale. I think you know about it, do you not? It is remarkable for its modesty.

Anonymous said...

Terrible. That is just terrible.

I'm not defending or denouncing Ellison or his free spending ways but, you up there at 11:14, what sort of person wishes cancer on another person?

Cancer? Really? Maybe I'm a lightweight but that's a kind of vicious I'm unable to understand.

Anonymous said...

to that vociferous poster wishing cancer on anyone -- and their other constant (and useless) diatribes on what is after all, 1 Blogger's real estate critique/sass :0 website,,,

just stop.

the same fight/ flight/ freeze neuro-hormones that are flooding your brain allowing you to think all your posts on this blog are a good or positive or useful endeavor... are the same catabolic neuro-hormones that unbalance the Immune system and allow cancers their growth. read up on the HPA Axis and the CNS.

in the mean time :
go "fight *Your fight" some place more ~point-Full.

I also wanted to write and show my support to Your Mama!
Thanks to Your Mama for giving us a fun and funny and often beautiful place(s) to visit :)

= A longtime Reader :)

Anonymous said...

To Little Gay Boy and To All And Sundry: Five or six hundred heads would have guaranteed your freedom and happiness but a false humanity has restrained your arms and stopped your blows. If you don’t strike now, millions of your brothers will die, your enemies will triumph and your blood will flood the streets. They'll slit your throats without mercy and disembowel your wives. And their bloody hands will rip out your children’s entrails to erase your love of liberty forever. So there, did not kill me after all, signed your biggest fan, Marat

Anonymous said...

The guy enjoys life and he also takes good care of his kids. Thanks Larry for helping to keep the economy going in California.

Jumpin Jejosephat said...

Mamma, you just go on with yer bad self. Your witty (and yes, occasionally snarky, but leagues below bitter or cruel) posts have brought smiles & laughs to exponentially more followers than the few bad apples that think everyone should feel the pain of the nails that pierce their wrists & hold them to that wooden cross they so love to drag around, never noticing the potential of said wood to be used as a fabulous veneer for custom kitchen cabinetry.

Jumpin Jejosephat said...

A wise lady of a certain age (may God rest her soul) once gave some sage advice which I'd like to impart: "Jealousy is an ugly thing, Anon 1:34, and so are you in anything strapless".

Anonymous said...

11:31 of course it could have been plague instead of cancer. Would "a plague on your houses" have passed your "too terrible" test? Of course both plague and cancer are quite treatable and curable. Jobs died, according to experts, simply because he didn't get operated on when he should have.

Anonymous said...

An atheist always insists on
formica, dear.

midTN said...


HEY ANON:....yeah, you....the one practicing your typing......take your meds!!

Thank you

Anonymous said...

Finally - a bunch of comments on someone other than Mitt Romney!

Anonymous said...

Rumor is all the Silicon Valley guys like Ellison, Google, start-up wizards, venture capital guys on Sand Hill Rd who are single try to squeeze an invite to Linx Dating. Apparently this is invite-only, highly confidential, and working with the "creme de the creme" elite. I wouldn't be surprised if a lot of them end up with someone from the buzz I have heard.