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Oracle founder Larry Ellison lands on another lily pad, this time an $80m Florida mansion

The Register - Mon Apr 12 18:03

After Oracle announced plans to relocate its headquarters from California to Texas, CTO and founder Larry Ellison said he would not be coming along.

But he has picked a spot to be a little closer at hand, buying a place in Florida.

Yes, if reports are anything to go by, the man of many v-neck sweaters has added to his sizeable property portfolio with the purchase of an $80m Palm Beach mansion overlooking the ocean in the gated Seminole Landing neighbourhood.

The mansion – built in the Tuscan style named as being more loathed by architects than even mock-Tudor – was purchased from Gabe Hoffman, founder of Accipiter Capital Management, who reportedly paid just over $17m for it in 2012.

The 15,514-square-feet, seven-bedroom property has 158m (520 feet) of ocean frontage and apparently is one of the few homes in Florida that allow for private helicopter landing.

Viewers of the marketing photos may be reminded that wealth does not necessarily buy taste as the property boasts nausea-inducing floral painted kitchen walls, a sweeping marble staircase complete with overhanging tapestries and more high-end chintz than a haughty haberdashery.

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Despite the obvious luxury of Ellison's new pad, it comes at a snip compared with his other home: the $300m private Hawaiian island of Lanai, where the Big Red overlord is making his permanent base to act out his Bond villain wellness project fantasies.

No doubt Larry can afford it. Although he famously takes a measly salary from the world-domineering software company's coffers, his personal wealth made him, briefly, the world's sixth $100bn-person, according to Forbes.

But perhaps he should exercise some caution before jetting between his various lily pads. Any unnecessary carbon emissions might help his newly acquired home get precariously close to the sea.

Rising sea levels caused by global warming are a particular problem for Florida. Some estimates suggest sea levels could rise up to 31 inches by 2060. In the state, around 120,000 properties on or near the water are at risk.

It is not rising seas alone that threaten Florida developments. The region's porous limestone bedrock means that higher sea levels put pressure on the groundwater and sewage system, causing effluent to back up into the street.

Locals wouldn't be far wrong if they concluded that something stinks. ®