Foreclosure looms for Nile Niami mega-mansion “The One”
For years, spec developer Nile Niami teased “The One” – a 100,000-square-foot mega-mansion in Bel-Air that he hoped to sell for $ 500 million. But his plans are now in jeopardy.
Niami, known for his cheeky personality and hugely ambitious real estate plans, borrowed $ 82.5 million from Hankey Capital in 2018 to build the extravagant home. Over the past three years, that debt has swelled to over $ 110 million, and Hankey wants his money.
According to a document obtained by The Times, the lender has just served Niami with a notice of default on the prized property, which is considered the first step in the foreclosure process. If Niami can’t pay off the loan in 90 days, Hankey could force the house to be sold.
Listing agents Rayni and Branden Williams of Williams & Williams at Beverly Hills Estates and Aaron Kirman of Aaron Kirman at Compass could not be reached for comment.
“We felt the owner of ‘The One’ was distracted from the job at hand of putting America’s biggest and best house on the market for sale,” said Don Hankey, President of Hankey Investment Co. “We hope our actions will kick off the official listing.
There are several solutions for Niami to avoid a forced sale of the property, including paying off all or at least part of the loan or entering into an alternative agreement with the lender. But such sales, even for prized properties, are not without precedent.
In 2019, the owners of the famous mountain in Beverly Hills – a 157-acre piece of land considered the city’s finest undeveloped land – faced a foreclosure sale over $ 200 million in unpaid loans. They tried to delay the sale declaring bankruptcy, but their efforts were unsuccessful and the land was auctioned off in front of a courthouse in Pomona.
Defect notices are nothing new to Niami. He received two in 2020 alone: one for $ 10 million in debt on a property he owns at 1369 Londonderry Place in the Hollywood Hills, and one for $ 23.4 million in debt. on a mansion at 10701 Bellagio Road that he is currently trying to sell for $ 59 million to Bel-Air.
He took out a $ 200,000 loan from Compass for a separate Bel-Air property he was trying to sell in 2019, and the real estate company sued him in October for non-repayment, records show.
Last year he said the wall street journal that there have been several times when it has been forced to stop construction due to lack of funding. He also said he financed the construction with cash from the sale of other properties.
Lately, profitable sales have been hard to come by for Niami. After putting up for sale an exaggerated Beverly Hills home dubbed “Opus” for $ 100 million, he sold it last year for $ 38.3 million. The buyer turned out to be Joseph Englanoff, one of the Niami lenders for the project. Englanoff took control of the property, renamed it, and sold it for $ 47 million later that year.
In 2019, Niami attempted to sell a West Hollywood home with a glass-bottom pool and cryogenic chamber for $ 55 million, but couldn’t find a buyer. At the end of last year he put the property bankrupt.
All of its homes are outfitted with otherworldly amenities – champagne cellars, animal skeletons, for example – but in terms of raw ambition, the One takes the cake. Even among the colossal estates of Bel-Air, the house is at the top.
The estate spans eight acres on a promontory and centers around a 100,000 square foot palace that looks more like a futuristic spaceship or Bond villain’s lair than a house.
Niami ended up removing some of the amenities he teased including a jellyfish tank and a frozen room with an ice bar, but still saved space for a nightclub, four-way bowling alley. tracks, a 50-seat theater, a juice bar, a putting green, golf simulator, beauty salon, yoga platform and five swimming pools. The master suite alone is larger than the average American home at 4,000 square feet.
He originally planned to list it for $ 500 million in 2017, but the house still hasn’t been put on the market – a costly delay as the property’s annual tax bill stands at over $ 1 million. of dollars. Last summer, he posted a cryptic video on his Instagram account stating he was 10 weeks from the end, saying, “Seven years ago I had the idea of creating the most largest and most expensive in the urban world: The One Bel-Air. And I did.
The home has yet to officially go on sale, but Niami recently released a Google Forms application which asks potential buyers to provide their name, email address, phone number and proof of funds as well as the question “Which influencer did you find out from?” “
In addition to outstanding loans, Niami has also been fined five for parties at its properties that violated LA’s social distancing orders against coronaviruses, according to the Daily Mail. The five offenses accounted for one-third of the 15 total fines imposed by the city from April to August last year.
Times writer Roger Vincent contributed to this report.