This just in: Billionaire yacht cheater and proud Hawaiian island owner Larry Ellison just paid $71.6 million to buy a huge-ass Palo Alto hotel. The Business Times reports that Ellison is basically shelling out $832,500 per room, a price far above any of a past hotel sold in Silicon Valley. But when you have a lot of money, you put it in hotels, as you and I only know from playing board games.
Ellison paid an estimated $500 million for most of the Hawaiian island of Lanai in 2012 and has properties (among them a hotel) in Malibu, pads in SF, and some pied-à-terre action in Woodside and Lake Tahoe. “It’s hard to beat Palo Alto, Malibu and Lanai," a hospitality consultant told the Business Times. “There’s no question he loves trophy properties in great locations.”
As for this latest spot: “It’s pure and simple location,” Dharmesh Patel, executive managing director for Colliers International’s hotel practice, told the publication.“It’s ground zero for core Silicon Valley, being right in Palo Alto.”
Plus, of course, “It’s a safe haven for capital,” Patel said. “You have a lot of billionaire entrepreneurs tied up into their companies. As they diversify and sell out," he remarked, which is exactly what Ellison did when he stepped down as Oracle CEO last year, "they are looking to diversify their asset portfolio. They’re going to start looking at real estate.”
Oh, and as the Business Times writes of the property itself:
In Palo Alto, Ellison is acquiring a unique asset. The Epiphany made a huge splash in the local hospitality world when it opened in 2014. It’s the former Casa Olga — an aging eight-story 1970s apartment tower that had seen better days when hotel operator Joie de Vivre Hotels took it on as a renovation project.
JDV and architecture firm Steinberg gave it a hip, tech-inspired update with perforated metal wood-toned panels, but retained the original façade’s six-story mosaic portrait of a thousand-year-old coastal redwood that gave the city its name. The cheapest rate for a Monday stay in late September was $749, according to a check of its website.
At that price, I'd go bankrupt and flip the board.COURTESY OF JDV