A Bel Air mega-mansion touted as America’s most expensive home worth $500million could soon be in foreclosure as the investors who funded it demand property developer Nile Niami either repay them within three months or hand the house over to them.
Niami bought the lot for The One in 2012, razed it and has spent the last nine years promising to build the most spectacular house Los Angeles has ever seen.
The construction has been set back by as series of financing and building problems, including scrapped plans for a jellyfish tank.
In 2018, he borrowed $82.5million from Hankey Investment Co. in 2018 to finance the extravagant project and the repayment deadline for it was in October 2020.
The house was not completed until January and it remains unsold. There is no official listing price for it. While Niami said it was a $500million mansion, other industry experts put its value at $350million. He has also set up a public Google Forms application where anyone can put in an offer.
It has 20 bedrooms, sprawls 100,00 sq ft and sits on a strip of hilltop Bel Air land considered to be the best in the city.
But two months after it was finally unveiled, it is still yet to be sold and the investors have grown so impatient that they have served Niami with a notice of default. The project was originally due to be finished in 2017 but a series of mishaps set it back.
Now, he has 90 days to repay the $110million or the property will be turned over to them for a fast sale.
Nile Niami borrowed $82.5million from Hankey Investment Co. to finance the extravagant project in 2018. Marketed as ‘The One’, the gargantuan property is set on more than 100,000 square ft, has 20 bedrooms, a movie theater, nightclub, spa and a champagne cellar.
Nile Niami (left) has 90 days to repay the $110million or the property will be turned over to them for a fast sale. Don Hankey, chairman of Hankey Investment Co., said he has become ‘distracted’
In the notice that was obtained by The Los Angeles Times this week, Hankey chairman Don Hankey says he has become ‘distracted’.
‘We felt the owner of The One was distracted from the job at hand, which is to bring the biggest and best house in the United States to market for sale.
‘We hope our actions will kick off the official listing,’ he wrote.
In a later interview with Bloomberg, he said there were other investors in the project who are eager to see a return soon.
‘Not only myself, but other people he owes money are trying to force him to list the property,’ he said.
Hankey did not immediately respond to inquiries about the project or may other investors who may be involved on Thursday morning and Niami has not commented on the looming foreclosure.
Between April and August, the property developer was cited five times by the City of Los Angeles for having illegal COVID-19 parties at various houses.
The complaints accounted for a third of all of the complaints in the city over that period.
Neighbors told DailyMail.com 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 One is being marketed by Niami as the most expensive in America. Among its extravagant features is a bowling alley
Photos show the property in stages of development last year. It has now been completed and was featured in Architectural Digest but has not been sold
The home was originally to include a room with jellyfish in glass tanks on the walls
Niami promotes most of his properties on Instagram. Above, he is shown on the balcony of another house
He has also spent much of the pandemic jetting around to Miami and Tulum, according to his Instagram.
Niami, shown on a private jet, has not yet commented on the looming foreclosure
He owns multiple properties in L.A. and this is the third default notice he’s been given this year after receiving others for 1369 Londonderry Place in the Hollywood Hills, and one for a debt of $23.4 million on a mansion at 10701 Bellagio Road.
He is currently trying to sell the latter for just under $60million.
In an Instagram video promoting The One, he said: ‘Seven years ago, I had an idea to create the biggest, most expensive house in the urban world.
‘And I did it.’
Niami is well known in L.A. as a bombastic, party-loving developer. He is regarded as the mega-mansion king, but has run into trouble with The One.
He has offered $1million to the social media influencer who can sell the property for him.
In a July 2020 interview with The Wall Street Journal, he said: ‘There were a lot of times in this process where I had to stop because I never had financing,’ adding: ‘I didn’t think it was going to be $1 million to buy jellyfish.’
According to that report, Niami was in financial trouble, with five unsold mega-mansions in his portfolio.