America's most expensive home, in Bel Air, goes into receivership

America’s most expensive home – a 105,000 sq ft Bel Air estate known as ‘The One’ – is set to have its $500 million asking price slashed after developer defaults on $165M debt

  • ‘The One’ Bel Air estate, once priced at $500 million, fell into receivership as investors wish to recoup costs after developer defaulted on $165 million debt
  • Nile Niami promised to finish building the grand estate after nine years and flip it for a profit, only to find zero buyers since it went on sale in January
  • The estate, which is partially-finished, features nine bedrooms, a bowling alley, a night club, multiple pools and a private 50-seat indoor theater
  • The Los Angeles County Superior Court place the home in the hands of Lanes Management, which is set to put up the home for sale for much less

A Los Angeles mansion that was poised to be the most expensive home sold in America, with a $500 million price tag, has gone into receivership and will be sold for a lower price after its owner defaulted on more than $165 million in debt, according to court filings. 

The 105,000-square-foot Bel Air estate, knowns as ‘The One, was placed into receivership by the Los Angeles County Superior Court as the mansion’s owner, Nile Niami, held millions in debt and loans.  

Niami, a property developer, bought ‘The One’ in 2012 and has spent the last nine years promising to build the grandest home in the U.S. and flip it for a profit, but he could not finish the construction nor find a buyer since it went on sale in January.

The One is largely-finished, although it is unclear how much it will end up selling for.  

‘The One’ mansion in Bel Air, California, would have been the most expensive mansion sold in America, but it will now be sold for much less after its developer fell into $165 million of debt 

The mansion was set to have 20 bedrooms and spaces for charity galas

Niami borrowed $82.5 million to pay for the construction cost. The debt has doubled

Nile Niami could not find a buyer for the house he’s worked on for nine years  

The court named Ted Lanes, of Lanes Management, as the receiver to prepare the 8-acre property for sale once all the permits are granted. Lanes said he has yet to determine when he will put the home on the market or for how much. 

‘What I would love to see happen is that the house gets completed, the certificate of occupancy is awarded and we have an orderly sale that maximizes the value,’ Lanes told NBC. ‘Hopefully, there will be sufficient proceeds from the sale to fund the secured and unsecured creditors and for the equity to realize some value.’  

The project for the nine-bedroom estate was originally slated to be finished in 2017, but the construction has been set back by a series of financing and building problems, including scrapped plans for a jellyfish tank.

The estate includes a bowling alley, private theater, a night club, multiple pools, a jacuzzi, a salon, a gym and an underground garage with two auto turntables. 

The mansion was planned to have at least 20 bedrooms. 

Niami even had plans to turn the home into a film studio and commercial venture, using it to host new Netflix shows, events and start-up companies. 

The home was originally to include a room with jellyfish in glass tanks on the walls 

Among The One’s extravagant features is a bowling alley

A 50-seat theater is also included in the mansion’s expensive layout

In 2018, Niami borrowed $82.5million from Hankey Investment Co. to finance the extravagant project and the repayment deadline for it was in October 2020.

Hankey chairman Don Hankey advocated for the home to enter receivership to pay back the loans. He had also claimed that Niami had grown too distracted to sell the home during the pandemic. 

Between April and August of last year, Niami was cited five times by the City of Los Angeles for having illegal COVID parties at various houses.

The complaints accounted for a third of all of the complaints in the city over that period.

Neighbors told it was like living ‘in a nightclub’ and that maskless ‘punks’ were ferried to the homes on buses.

Niami, at the time, denied holding the parties and said he was cooperating with the city.

The Wall Street Journal previously reported that Niami had five unsold mega mansion in his portfolio.  

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