A $500m Los Angeles mega-mansion called The One has gone into foreclosure because no one wanted to cough up the cash for the incomplete 105,000 square foot (9,755 square metres) building.
The most expensive mansion in the US was put on the market in 2020, but after no buyers were identified, the price was lowered to $350m earlier this year.
But even with the decreased price, finding someone to buy the building promoted as the largest urban property in the world remained difficult.
The One has now gone into foreclosure after project developer Nile Niami defaulted on more than $100m of debt and loans to finance the build. In 2018, he reportedly borrowed $82.5m from Hankey Capital to finish the residence. In March 2021, a notice of default was sent, prompting The One to go into a foreclosure sale. Mr Niami was afforded 90 days to pay or renegotiate the debt. Court documents show that the debt had reached around $110m.
No payment was provided before the deadline in July, prompting The One to be placed into court-ordered receivership.
A video tour of the property posted in April suggested that the project was four weeks away from being finished, but the mansion still isn’t ready to be sold, Boss Hunting reported.
Theodore Lanes of Lanes Management Services is the receiver of the property. He told CNN that there’s a “pretty extensive list” of things that need to be fixed.
“Clearly, anything that would fall under safety would have priority,” he said. “As for the other projects, they are all being evaluated based on requirements to achieve the certificate of occupancy. If they are mandatory for certificate of occupancy, they are getting priority.”
“This is a very complicated property with quite a few open issues,” he added. “At present, the focus is to obtain complete insurance and develop a timeline and budget to secure the certificate of occupancy in order to maximize value and to make the property more marketable.”
Mr Lanes has been put in charge of settling the property’s debts. The mansion has around $2m in unpaid taxes and invoices from vendors for scaffolding, air conditioning, and concrete.
“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,” he told CNBC. “Hopefully, there will be sufficient proceeds from the sale to fund the secured and unsecured creditors and for the equity to realize some value.”
Insurance for the property ended earlier this year after social media challenges led to an uptick of people breaking into the mansion. The property covers 1.6 hectares of land in Bel Air west of LA, with views all around the mansion. The property has 21 bedrooms and 42 bathrooms, with the master bedroom being 5,500 square feet (511 square metres).
The mansion also holds a garage for 50 cars with two turntables to display luxury vehicles, a tennis court, a gym, and cinema with 30 seats, a bowling alley with four lanes, a library, a wine cellar capable of holding 10,000 bottles, five swimming pools, a spa, a sky deck with a golf putting green, a so-called “philanthropy wing” for 200 people, and an in-house nightclub.
“I gave them everything here,” Mr Niami said in a video. “We have everything anyone could ever want in this house.”
“There’s a lot of people out there with a lot of money – they want something no one else can have,” he told CNBC in 2017. “This is it.”
The Independent has reached out to Mr Niami for comment.