Nobu hotel rumored to open in Malibu

Sushi master Nobu Matsuhisa on a roll at Cal Spirit XX. Photo by Lee Salem, Lee Salem Photography

Larry Ellison, CEO of Oracle and real estate mogul, has plans to open a Nobu Hotel next to the Nobu Malibu property, according to the man who bears the restaurant’s name, Nobu Matsuhisa. 

“Larry wants to try for a Japanese concept hotel,” Matsuhisa said in a July 23 interview with luxury lifestyle magazine Haute Living. “They say it’s going to start construction in September. He already has a design, but it won’t start being built until later this year.” 

Representatives for Ellison and Matsuhisa would not confirm the site of the rumored hotel, but renovations plans are already in the works for the Casa Malibu Inn, which was purchased by Ellison in 2007 for $20 million, and is located directly next to the Nobu Malibu property, City of Malibu planning documents show. 

Matsuhisa successfully opened his first hotel inside of Caesars Palace in Las Vegas with his business partner, actor Robert De Niro, this past April. 

The Malibu Planning Commission approved renovation plans to overhaul the outdated Casa Malibu Inn at the beginning of May. The inn has not been renovated since it was built in 1950. 

“It’s a pretty extensive remodel because they are reconfiguring the rooms, they wanted to make the rooms larger,” said Malibu Planning Director Joyce Parker- Bozylinski. “[The plans were] not represented as a new hotel.” 

The renovation plans for Casa Malibu Inn include reducing the number of rooms, from 22 to 16, and upgrading the existing onsite wastewater system to an alternative onsite wastewater treatment system. 

Parker-Bozylinski said plans for a remodel cannot surpass a 50 percent structural change per building. There are three buildings in the Casa Malibu Inn. Parker-Bozylinski added that the renovations were originally supposed to begin prior to the summer months. However, construction would most likely begin in the fall. 

Severine Tatangelo, co-owner of the Malibu design and development firm Studio PCH, confirmed that her firm was working on the Casa Malibu Inn renovation. However, she would not comment on whether the inn is becoming the first Nobu Hotel in California. 

Tatangelo and Studio PCH have previously worked on Ellison’s Malibu projects, including Nobu restaurant and the newly opened Nikita restaurant. 

Parker-Bozylinski confirmed a hotel could change its name by submitting paperwork with the City of Malibu. 

Ellison, ranked the world’s third-richest person according to Forbes Magazine with a total net worth of $43 billion, has embarked on a recent buying spree of Malibu properties. He is believed to own nearly two-dozen properties in town, including the Malibu Racquet Club. On ultra-exclusive Carbon Beach alone, he is believed to have purchased nine properties with a total worth of between $200 million and $250 million. 

Among his properties are the restaurants Nobu Malibu, which opened in October 2012, and the recently opened Nikita next door. 

The two eateries took years to design and build, located on the sites of the former PierView and Windsail restaurants. 

Ellison bought PierView in 2003 for an undisclosed sum from longtime owner Chuck Spencer. He then purchased the Windsail structure, which was already vacant, from local developer Richard Weintraub the following year.