Inside The Most Expensive House In America


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Welcome to the dazzling world of “The One,” a 105,000-square-foot megamansion perched high in the Bel Air neighborhood of Los Angeles. We’re talking about a property so opulent it’s listed for a jaw-dropping $295 million! If you think that’s a lot, just wait until you hear the backstory.

This magnificent creation is the brainchild of Nile Niami, a Hollywood producer turned property developer. Nile once boldly proclaimed it as the “biggest and most expensive modern home in America,” setting his sights on an eventual asking price of a staggering $500 million. Talk about ambition!

The rear of the home opens to a massive lawn framed by a moat-like water feature and a 400 ft. running track just below it. By Marc Angeles

Now, you might wonder what’s so special about “The One.” Well, aside from its record-setting price tag, this megamansion sits on a four-acre mountaintop in Bel Air, offering views that will leave you breathless. It’s not your ordinary home; it’s a modern masterpiece that can never be replicated.

But here’s where things get spicy. The story of “The One” is filled with drama, lawsuits, and heaps of debt. As the costs skyrocketed, Niami found himself in a financial whirlpool, with debts piling up to over $180 million! Last year, the megamansion had to be put under receivership. It was on the brink of heading to auction in February as part of a bankruptcy agreement.

“The One” is situated on 3.8 acres with much of the residence surrounded by a moat-like water feature.
Marc Angeles

Now, here’s the twist. Insiders say that “The One” needs to fetch around $200 million just to cover its debts, including those pesky auction fees and other expenses. If it goes for less, the lenders might take a hit, or it could end up tangled in more foreclosure legal battles. Yikes!

But hey, don’t let the drama get you down because the luxury real estate market in Los Angeles is hotter than ever. In 2021, sales of properties priced at $10 million or more doubled compared to 2019, pre-pandemic times. People like Marc Andreesen and Brian Armstrong are splashing out big bucks for California properties.

The megamansion is sometimes referred to as “the space station” because of its massive size and unusual shape.
Marc Angeles

Speaking of interest, “The One” has already got tongues wagging. Offers are pouring in, including one from a Saudi royal and another from a wealthy Chinese buyer. And guess what? Crypto enthusiasts are eyeing it too! They see this megamansion as their very own space station.

The megahome’s view of Los Angeles at dusk. Marc Angeles

Now, let’s talk about the property itself. “The One” sprawls across 3.8 acres and boasts 21 bedrooms and a whopping 42 bathrooms. It’s perched on a leveled mountain, offering breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean, downtown Los Angeles, and the San Gabriel Mountains. Oh, and did we mention it has a massive moat, a nightclub, a beauty salon, a home theater for 40 people, a bowling alley, a 10,000-bottle wine cellar, a 30-car garage, and a 400-foot outdoor running track? Phew!

The view from the primary bedroom where retractable glass walls open to a wraparound balcony overlooking LA.
Marc Angeles

There’s also a three-bedroom guest house with its very own infinity pool for when your friends or staff come to visit. But, and it’s a big but, there are some issues. The mansion has cracks in its pools and stonework, mold sightings, pending building permits, and a homeowner’s association that’s not too thrilled about its existence.

Now, you might wonder why “The One” is so unique. Well, it turns out that recent changes in local building laws were prompted by this megamansion and others nearby. These changes aim to prevent more supersized homes from being built in the future, making “The One” even more exclusive.

Developer Nile Niami (left) walks with CNBC’s Robert Frank (right) during a 2017 interview at “The One” while the megahome was under construction. By CNBC

And remember Nile Niami? He recently floated a wild idea about turning “The One” into a crypto investment by selling a new token called “The One Coin” backed by the property. However, it seems like lenders and lawyers aren’t buying into his crypto dreams.

But let’s not dwell on the past. Aaron Kirman, of Aaron Kirman Group at Compass, says that once potential buyers step foot on the property, its controversial history will fade into the background. The opportunity is just too extraordinary to resist.

So, if you’re feeling like a billionaire buyer who wants all-inclusive living in a one-of-a-kind megamansion, you might want to keep an eye on “The One.” The auction is set to run from February 7th to 10th, and if you want to play in this high-stakes game, you’ll need to wire $250,000 and prove you’ve got the funds. Good luck, and may the highest bidder win!