Larry Ellison added two Nobu restaurants to his Hawaiian island but cut affordable housing, leaving locals overpriced: report

After Oracle founder Larry Ellison bought nearly all the land on the Hawaiian island of Lanai for $300 million a decade ago, his first major project was to open a branch of the top Japanese restaurant of the Nobu range, according to a Bloomberg report.

In the years since, a second Nobu has opened on the island, but many local residents whose families have lived on Lanai for generations have left, according to the report.

A 150-unit affordable housing complex promised to residents for years has also been canned by Ellison’s holding company, Pulama.

About 3,200 people live on Lanai, the smallest inhabited Hawaiian island, where tourism is the main industry.

Ellison, who founded software giant Oracle and is worth an estimated $95 billion, according to Forbes, moved to the island full-time in 2020.

He also spent $75 million upgrading the Four Seasons resort on the island, where rooms can cost thousands of dollars a night, Bloomberg reported.

All of the properties available for purchase in Lanai City are billed as vacation homes with seven-figure price tags.

A resident who cannot afford property on the island told Bloomberg: “My biggest worry, worst case scenario, is that the island will become this playground for the rich.”

A news clip of Ellison promising to help the local economy on Lanai is now a running joke among its residents, according to the report.

Pulama plans to build a desalination plant on the island, according to Bloomberg.

However, a seventh-generation resident who represents Lanai on a marine sanctuary advisory board, said his requests to speak to Ellison have repeatedly been ignored.

Ellison did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.

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