Fashion Nova CEO Richard Saghian has snatched up LA megamansion The One Bel Air for $141 million, including the 12% auction fee. The troubled property has caused a stir in the press, especially after developer Nile Niami claimed it would reach the $500 million (AU$688 million) mark, making it one of the most expensive homes in the World. However, a string of issues during its construction led to a bankruptcy auction, resulting in a significantly lower price tag.
Co-listing agent Aaron Kirman of Aaron Kirman Group at Compass told Forbes over 40 billionaires from around the globe visited the home. Yet, only five bidders showed up to enter the auction.
“Our goal was to secure over $200 million,” Kirman says. “The marketing campaign we did was tremendous and felt around the World from Africa to Oceania and beyond. The main challenge was the lack of a certificate of occupancy. Most wealthy people at this level, all they want to bring is their toothbrush. Usually, they even buy these homes with art, furniture and cars. Everyone loved the idea and opportunity of the house, but I think the majority of people didn’t want to go through the process of getting the certificate of occupancy.”
More than ten years (and a big pile of debt) in the making, The One comes from film producer-turned-real-estate Nile Niami. His development company Crestlloyd, which owns the property, faced considerable cost and delay issues and was eventually forced to put the property into bankruptcy last year. Unfortunately, foreclosure proceedings and the lack of a certificate of occupancy made it difficult to find a buyer. To this day, the home still needs years’ worth of work, at minimum, before Saghian can move in.
If it did sell for auction at $295 million, it would’ve set the record for the most expensive estate ever sold in the U.S., eclipsing hedge fund tycoon Ken Griffin’s $238 million New York penthouse. However, at 105,000 square feet, the fashion CEO can claim to hold Los Angeles’s larges home, as well as the fourth largest sale in California’s history.
Built by Paul McClean – who coincidentally built Saghian’s Hollywood Hills home – the hilltop house has 21 bedrooms and 42 bathrooms. As you’d expect The One houses a laundry list of swanky amenities including a putting green; 10,000-bottle wine cellar, casino, hair salon, spa, multiple pools, bowling alley and more. According to WSJ, there was also a nightclub, but after complaints from the community, it was transformed into a philanthropy room.
“It’s one of the finest homes in the world,” Kirman says. “I do think he intends to live there, but it’s also an amazing home to live, work, make money and do everything else. It is a world of endless possibilities.”
Saghian told the Los Angeles Times: “‘The One’ Bel-Air is a once-in-a-lifetime property that can never be duplicated. There is nothing else like it. As a lifelong Angeleno and avid collector of real estate, I recognized this as a rare opportunity that also lets me own a unique property that is destined to be a part of Los Angeles history.”