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Behold the ‘$500M’ Bel Air mansion: heading to foreclosure auction

California's largest spec mansion, once asking $500 million, is drowning in $180 million of debt and will be auctioned next month.
Marc Angeles

California’s largest spec mansion, once asking $500 million, is drowning in $180 million of debt and will be auctioned next month.
Marc Angeles

A blown-up Bel Air, Calif., mansion that started life as a $500 million whisper listing in 2017 is now drilling a $180 million mountain of debt. It formally hits the market for $295 million on Jan. 10 and will be on the auction block a month later — the most recent example of a hyped Los Angeles mega mansion that stop working.

The 105,000-square-foot residence, from developer Nile Niami, is called “the One” and is larger than nearly all office buildings. Rayni and Branden Williams of Beverly Hills Estates, and Aaron Kirman of Compass, the listing brokers, say it’s a once-in-a-lifetime lucky chance.

“This house can never be done again,”

said Williams.

Neighbors hope so! shocked by a slew of mega mansions — this being the biggest by far — that they changed the building code.

(“I never called the house ‘the One.’ I called it ‘the Eleven,’ ”

Bel Air resident Fred Rosen, erstwhile CEO of Ticketmaster who led the fight to curb hillside building, told the LA Times, alluding to Chapter 11 bankruptcy.)

“It’s one of the ugliest homes I’ve ever seen,”

a broker who toured the property said.

“Only someone with terrible taste who wants to scream to the world that they’re rich [would buy it], and even then, I’m not so sure.”

The megamansion is 105,000 square feet.
Tamara Beckwith

The property sits on 3.8 acres and comes with

“views from every room,”

multiple kitchens, a 10,000-bottle wine cellar, gym, spa, salon, bowling alley, movie theater, nightclub, five pools and a moat, the listing brokers say.

“Somebody is going to get a great buy,”

added Williams.

“This is the Mona Lisa of modern mansions. It’s built on one of the premiere sites in the world.”

Still at the same time the house was once marketed as the nation’s largest, it’s literally not. That difference goes to the Biltmore Estate in North Carolina, which is 178,926 square feet, followed by New York’s own Oheka Castle, which is 109,000 square feet.

Marketing materials as well say that the house is

“poised to make history as the most expensive home in the world ever to sell at auction.”

That’s not true additionally: though the spread sold at its indigenous $500 million ask, a New Yorker realtor-cum-Italian princess is selling-off a Roman palace this month that is probably to achieve its $534 million ask.

Furthermore, even though the One finds a buyer, they can’t live there — still. There’s nevertheless no certificate of occupancy, despite the fact that construction has been going on for so long there is so far cracked marble that needs repair by one of the pools, as stated by reports.

(“They’re very close to getting the certificate of occupancy. There are a few discussions left between the city and the Bel Air homeowners association. It’s concerning money at the end of the day,” said a source.)

“Only someone with terrible taste who wants to scream to the world that they’re rich [would buy it], and even then, I’m not so sure.”

Nile Niami, third from right, is the developer of the One.
Getty Images for Victorino Noval

Niami (inset), the mega mansion’s developer (he owns the spec house with his ex-wife via an LLC) assisted put the structure into Chapter 11 bankruptcy last fall. The attempt for the time being paused a organized expropriation sale. Back then, Niami told reporters that he was working on a deal. It includes living in the house and hosting boxing matches and charity galas where performers like Michael Jackson and Whitney Houston would come back from the dead to perform via hologram. notwithstanding that never happened.

At the moment, Niami has released a video, where he lays out a complicated plan to tokenize the house and sell it as a digital currency, dubbed

“The One Coin.” Good luck with that!

“I get what he is thinking,”

said one broker who travel round the property.

“Some homes have sold for up to $3,000 a square foot in Los Angeles or Malibu. Niami is probably thinking he can get that for 105,000 square feet. But it doesn’t compare.”

The One isn’t the only aroused West Coast palazzo to flop.

The One overlooks 901 Strada Vecchia Road in Bel Air, another ill-fated mansion developed by Gigi and Bella Hadid’s dad, Mohamed (inset), which is being razed.
Steve Granitz/WireImage; BACKGRID

expectorating distance from the One, Gigi and Bella Hadid’s dad, Mohamed, commenced building a mansion at 901 Strada Vecchia Road in Bel Air that a court has ordered him to tear down due to faulty construction.
In August, the celebrated Beverly Hills Hearst Estate, previously listed for $195 million, sold for just $47 million following 14 years on the market. Developer Bruce Makowsky sold another mega mansion at 924 Bel Air Road — which comprise of a helipad, five bars, a bowling alley, a 40-seat movie theater, an 85-foot infinity pool and a huge candy wall, as per reports — that was asking $250 million in 2019 for only $94 million. A 120-acre undeveloped estate owned by late Microsoft Corp. co-founder Paul Allen — on top of a ridge in Beverly Crest — just sold for $65 million.

That’s less than half of its $150 million selling price.

Niami did not reply to discussion requests, nor did his largest lender, Don Hankey, of Hankey Capital, who made an abundance in car loans.

This is not the first time a Niami mega mansion is in difficulty either. He started off OK — selling a $40 million Holmby Hills home with an underwater tunnel to P. Diddy, followed by a $38 million home to billionaire private equity investor Brian Sheth, and a $25 million modernize Beverly Hills home to boxer Floyd Mayweather, as stated by the LA Times.

In the good ol’ megamansion days, Niami sold to both Diddy and Floyd Mayweather.
Paras Griffin/Getty Images; Johnny Nunez/WireImage

However, as Niami’s homes and dreams got huger, so did his losses. One home he marketed for $100 million, nicknamed “Opus,” winded-up valued at $38 million and sold for an undisclosed price.

“LA was a cheeseball place and then it got sophistication like New York, and cheeseball finishes no longer fly off the shelves,”

a broker said.

“[Niami’s] stuff looks like Las Vegas casinos back in the day.”

Been counter: The ex-deputy mayor (inset) sold her West Village townhouse for nearly $19 million.
Helayne Seidman; Angel Chevrestt

Elon Musk has been spending at least part of his time in the lavish waterfront estate owned by his fellow PayPal alum Ken Howery.
Zillow

The second priciest home listing in Miami is 41 Arvida Parkway, whose whopping $54.9 million price tag includes an infinity pool, a boat dock and 574 feet of water frontage.
Lifestyle Production Group

Max Scherzer shelled out $9.75 million for Florida mansion near the Mets training camp.
Realtor.com; Getty Images

FILED UNDER

AUCTIONS,     BEL AIR,       CALIFORNIA

LOS ANGELES,     MANSIONS           1/6/22

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