One of the world’s largest homes is set to hit the auction block in early February, amid bankruptcy proceedings, asking $295 million. Known since its inception by colorful and controversial developer Nile Niami simply as “The One,” the monstrous and still-incomplete Los Angeles structure is 10 years in the making. Originally, the place had been expected to list for around $500 million, so you could be scoring a sweet deal, depending on how one looks at it. Ahem.
Should the place get anywhere near the discounted ask, it will easily rank as the most expensive home ever sold at auction, well ahead of the storied Hearst Estate (now known as the Beverly House), which was auctioned off in September for $63.1 million.
Per Aaron Kirman of Compass, who is co-listing the property with Branden Williams and Rayni Williams of The Beverly Hills Estates, The One was created for today’s billionaire seeking a one-of-a-kind asset. “When it sells, it will be the most significant purchase in the world,” Kirman said in a statement. “While in 2021, digital properties like NFTs grabbed headlines for monumental one-of-kind-sales, 2022 brings us back to the physical world with The One — a real estate property unmatched in size, scale, safety and triumphant design.”
Niami first purchased the 8-acre promontory where “The One” now stands in 2012 for $28 million from Rita Kogan, the late video game heiress and daughter of “Space Invaders” creator Michael Kogan. He went on to raze the existing midcentury modern mansion and then spend many tens of millions more to bring his extravagant contemporary spec house to fruition over the next eight years in collaboration with architect Paul McClean. As of today, it’s still unfinished. In addition to the hefty sale price, the buyer will also need to cough up millions more — and likely spend months mired in construction — just to make the shopping mall-sized compound livable.
Over the years, Niami borrowed many tens of millions to finance the grandiose project. With more than $165 million in defaulted loans and debts now racked up, The One has finally been placed into receivership by the Los Angeles County Superior Court — in an attempt to get Niami’s creditors paid. (For his part, Niami has hatched a unique crypto plan to save the colossal house from auction.)
Lording high above a quiet Bel Air cul-de-sac known as Ariole Way, and surrounded on three sides by a water-filled moat, the main residence features 21 bedrooms and an unfathomable total of 49 bathrooms (42 of them full baths, the remainder powder rooms) sprawled across a whopping 105,000 square feet of Kathryn Rotondi-designed living space. Walls of glass throughout offer panoramic views of the ocean, city skyline and San Gabriel Mountains; there’s also a three-bedroom guesthouse and seven-bedroom staff quarters.
Though there’s no jellyfish tank or ice bar, as initially promised by Niami, the estate does feature a massive nightclub, full-service beauty salon, wellness center, four-lane bowling alley and 10,000-bottle wine cellar, plus a sky deck with a putting green, glass-encased jogging track, 40-seat Dolby Digital theater, five pools and a 30-car garage with two display turntables.
Other highlights include a 5,000-square-foot master retreat with its own pool, and a two-story library/office boasting a balcony, LED and black hand-lacquered built-ins from Italy, and water features. There’s also plenty of stunning custom artwork on display, including a rotating statue by Mike Fields gracing the foyer, lower-level butterfly installation by Stephen Wilson and an outdoor sculpture by Italian Murano glass master Simone Cenedese.
Bidding in the no-reserve auction is scheduled to take place Feb. 7-10 via Concierge Auctions’ online marketplace.