The One, a massive 105,000-square-foot mansion in Bel Air, has sold for ‘just’ US$126 million at a bankruptcy auction.
$126 million sounds like a lot – and it is – but it’s nearly one fifth of the original asking price of $500 million.
Nicknamed ‘the most expensive house in the world’, the story of The One features all the elements of drama, ambition and failure you’d expect from a Hollywood script.
And the fact that the house overlooks the skyline of LA from a hill in Bel Air is the cherry on top of the proverbial cake.
It was designed and developed by Nile Niami, a former film producer turned real estate superstar with a bombastic, all-over-the-place personality.
He spent every dime he had creating the 21-bedroom, 42-bathroom project.
The house has its own nightclub, a beauty salon, a bowling alley, a sky deck, a private theatre and a guesthouse that’s larger than most people’s homes.
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Unfortunately, that’s where trouble started.
It took him 10 years to build and the house is still not finished.
It lacks a certificate of occupancy along with crucial permits for grading, electrical and other work.
The original asking price of $500 million appeared symbolic and unrealistic from the start mainly because, as real estate experts pointed out, anybody willing to spend half a billion on property would want full control over what they bought, and were unlikely to accept a pre-ready mansion designed by somebody else.
The house has been on the market for a long time and even lowering the price to $295 mln a few years ago didn’t help.
Nile eventually announced his intention to use the mansion as venue for pay-per-view events such as boxing matches but he also admitted that he’d defaulted on his payments and was going bankrupt.
The One was purchased by Richard Saghian, founder and CEO of an apparel company called Fashion Nova.
$126 mln is a lot of cash, but then again this is one of the largest homes in the world (excluding royal mansions) and it almost sounds like a bargain when you know the asking price of $500 million.