Thursday, September 28, 2023

America’s most expensive home — The One — heads to auction Monday

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The 105,000-square-foot mega-mansion is set for auction after a decade of struggles, including a failed attempt to turn the property into a crypto currency.

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Time is running out for anyone in the market for a 21-bedroom, 49-bathroom home with a view — not to mention space for 10,000 bottles of wine.

The One — a Bel Air mega-mansion built on a hill overlooking Los Angeles — is set to hit the auction block on Monday. It is being marketed as America’s biggest and most expensive home.

A possible sale would mark the end of a decade of hype, construction struggles, $180 million in debt and a last-minute attempt to turn the property into a crypto currency asset before it was listed at a fraction of its claimed value.

“The auction is on,” said Aaron Kirman, the luxury agent enlisted to help find a buyer for the 105,000-square-foot property.

A court-ordered auction was originally set for Feb. 7, but a judge agreed to delay it until Feb. 28 to try to attract more buyers. The strategy may have paid off, Kirman said.

“We’ve had a ton of showings on the house [with] upwards of 35 qualified billionaires,” Kirman said. “Auctions are always sort of wait and see. So we still have quite a lot of showings and quite a lot of movement still.” 

Chania

Photo by Marc Angeles

Chania

Photo by Marc Angeles

Chania

Photo by Marc Angeles

Chania

Photo by Marc Angeles

Chania

Photo by Marc Angeles

Chania

Photo by Marc Angeles

Chania

Photo by Marc Angeles

Chania

Photo by Marc Angeles

Chania

Photo by Marc Angeles

Chania

Photo by Marc Angeles

Chania

Photo by Marc Angeles

Chania

Photo by Marc Angeles

At $295 million, the home’s list price is valued at 41 percent less than what developer Nile Niami claimed it was worth over the years as he struggled to finish and market the property.

One purported billionaire filed a motion to buy the property this week in a process that doesn’t follow bankruptcy law.

“Whoever filed it has no connection to the bankruptcy,” said David B. Golubchik, an attorney for Niami. “We haven’t received any offers.” 

As the property was headed toward a court-ordered sale, Niami released a plea to investors who might be interested in joining the crypto-currency movement with the home as its primary asset.

In a video posted online in December, Niami suggested using the 3.8-acre property to host lavish events on the property, from weddings to boxing matches supported by a new pay-per-view package, as a way to make money from the asset. His allusion to the “stratosphere” may have been a reference to memes related to crypto investments in currencies including Dogecoin. When a currency or stock quickly rises in value, investors say it’s rising “to the moon.”

“I’m sure once you see this, you will understand and you will be aligned with my thinking,” Niami said. “This house will be sold to the highest bidder. No doubt about that. Unless someone comes in and walks into the stratosphere with me.”

Among the other hype surrounding the property is its status as the self-proclaimed biggest and most expensive residence in America. That may be the case for now. But the home would have to fetch $361,004,001 to become the most expensive ever sold, according to Christie’s International Real Estate.

The auction is slated to close March 3.

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