Too big to fail? Hardly.
The mostly completed marble-and-glass mega-mansion at 944 Airole Way in Beverly Hills known as The One sold for a paltry $126 million at a bankruptcy auction. It was listed at $295 million, according to the L.A. Times.
“The One” stood for the one percent that would eventually occupy it.
The “one” who bought it will be revealed on March 8, when paperwork must be turned in to a bankruptcy judge, who will hold a hearing on whether to approve the sale. Only five bidders from the United States and New Zealand participated in the auction. It’s possible the buyer will stay anonymous—shielded by a LLC, a limited liability company, a device that the rich use to hide their identifies.
The property had seen better, buzzier days, although it has never been occupied and still lacks a certificate of occupancy. The One was the most breathlessly anticipated mansion of Los Angeles luxury real estate in the last decade. Its over-the-top developer, Nile Niami, marketed it before completion at $500,000.
But bigger isn’t always better. A local broker called it “100,000 square feet of drywall,” according to the Times.
“Only someone with terrible taste who wants to scream to the world that they’re rich [would buy it],” another broker told the New York Post.
The mansion’s amenities include a 4,000 foot guesthouse, a sky deck complete with cabanas, a theater, a full-service spa, an actual nightclub, a four-lane bowling alley, multiple swimming pools, and a moat. There are 21 bedrooms and 42 full baths.
And yet, prior to listing there was also a lack of an occupancy permit, rumors of construction flaws, and ongoing code violations, according to the Times.
Many creditors with money in the One will take a loss, as the debt attached to the property has grown to $256 million. The largest single creditor is Los Angeles billionaire Don Hankey, who lent out $106 million to developer Niami and is owed $130 million.
“The guy who bought it just got a great deal,” Hankey told the Times. He seemed to believe that the One was never really built to be a home after all. “He’s got people willing to pay $50,000 a day just to do commercials and films,” Hankey said.
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