Mohamed Hadid says he can’t tear down his controversial Bel Air spec mansion as the city insists.
Why? Because the luxury developer now claims he doesn’t have the millions it would cost, according to the Daily Mail of London.
That’s the latest legal argument Hadid made through an attorney, in the years-long civil lawsuit against his 30,000-square-foot home that the city of Los Angeles says is illegal.
Hadid’s lawyer, Bruce Rudman told an L.A. County Superior Court judge that his client doesn’t have the estimated $5 million needed for demolition of the unfinished home on Strada Vecchia Road. City Attorney Mike Feuer’s office earlier this month said Hadid should tear down the building because its foundation does not meet minimum reinforcing requirements.
Hadid, father to supermodels Gigi and Bella, also says he doesn’t have the coin to pay an expected $500,000 fee to place the property in city receivership, according to the report.
Neighbors suing Hadid over the house say they aren’t buying his argument.
“We don’t accept his word for anything,” said Ariel Neuman, an attorney for the group suing, according to the Daily Mail report.
Hadid’s big real estate plays over the years have included the Le Belvedere mansion in Bel Air, which he sold for $50 million in 2010.
Hadid and the city have been battling it out in court over the spec mansion for over five years. In 2017, Hadid pleaded no contest to charges that he built the home in violation of city codes and has since torn down parts of the mansion to bring it up to code. But the city Department of Buildings and Safety told Hadid that his proposed renovations weren’t satisfactory. The developer maintains he did nothing wrong and only pleaded no contest to move forward.