LARRY ELLISON BUYS 98 PERCENT OF HAWAIIAN ISLAND LANAI
Lodge at Kōʻele
LANAI CITY, HAWAII — Oracle’s co-founder and CEO Larry Ellison has purchased 98 percent of Lanai, the sixth largest Hawaiian island and 42nd largest island in the United States. Known as Pineapple Island, Lanai contains 141 square miles and only one town, Lanai City. The island’s two resorts, the Four Seasons Resort Lanai and the Lodge at Kōʻele, both of which contain golf courses and are managed by Four Seasons Hotels, were included in the transaction.
The land was purchased from David Murdock, the American billionaire who is behind the success of Dole Food Co. and Castle & Cooke. Murdock purchased the floundering Hawaiian firm Castle & Cooke, which owned Lanai, in 1985. Though the island’s new purchase price was not disclosed, The Maui News reports it was somewhere between $500 million and $600 million. Murdock will retain his house on the island and the rights to develop a wind farm there.
“It is my understanding that Mr. Ellison has had a long-standing interest in Lanai,” says Hawaiian Gov. Neil Abercrombie. “His passion for nature, particularly the ocean, is well-known, specifically in the realm of America’s Cup sailing. He is also a businessman whose record of community involvement in medical research and education causes is equally notable. We look forward to welcoming Mr. Ellison in the near future.”
NYC Frank Lloyd Wright Building to be Emptied
The Mercedes showroom in 430 Park Avenue is one of the few commercial spaces in Manhattan designed by the famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright. Now, with Mercedes set to leave the location at the end of the year, 430 Park Avenue’s landlord, Midwood Properties, is said to be in the market shopping for new tenants.
Mr. Wright designed the space in the early 1950s for the European car importer Max Hoffman and for years was known as the Hoffman Showroom.
The space is a miniature prelude to Mr. Wright’s architectural triumph the Guggenheim Museum, featuring a small circular ramp that allows cars to be displayed and also to exit the showroom onto the street outside via a sidedoor.
The floor features a circular track that at one point allowed cars to be parked on a rotating display, but an attendant at the Mercedes dealership who gave The CO a tour on Tuesday said that motor powering revolving track has long been broken.
For all the space’s charms, it would appear to present a leasing challenge.
First, it’s landmarked, which could make adapting it for use by another type of tenant difficult. Mercedes has occupied the showroom since the late 1950s and is leaving to consolidate on 11th Avenue where it has a larger showroom.
Brokers familiar with the space say that finding a replacement auto dealership is likely the easiest replacement and Mr. Wright’s timeless architecture would likely be a selling point in that approach.
John Usdan, chief executive of Midwood stubbornly refused to field The Commercial Observer’s calls inquiring about the space.
The CO will post a slideshow with pictures of the space on Wednesday.
Daniel Geiger is reachable at email@example.com