“The One” and done: Niami faces foreclosure on Bel Air spec mansion

Hankey Capital provided $83M construction loan, which has since grown to $110M

Nile Niami and Don Hankey with The One (Getty, Society Group PR)
Nile Niami and Don Hankey with The One (Getty, Society Group PR)

Nile Niami is done with “The One” but his financial troubles are mounting.

Saddled with debt, the spec mansion developer is facing foreclosure on the recently-completed 100,000-square-foot Bel Air property, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Niami borrowed $82.5 million from Hankey Capital in 2018 to build the sprawling mansion, and that debt has since grown to around $110 million, the paper reported.

Hankey just served a notice of default on The One, giving Niami 90 days to repay or renegotiate the terms of the debt. Otherwise, Hankey could force a sale, according to the report. Founder and chairman Don Hankey said the notice of default is meant to motivate a listing.

“We feel the owners of ‘The One’ was distracted from the job at hand, which is to bring the biggest and best house in the United States to market for sale,” Hankey said. “We hope our actions will kick off the official listing.” In late November, a Niami spokesperson said “finishing touches” were being put on the interior and the property would hit the market shortly, perhaps before year end.

Niami once hoped to sell the mansion for $500 million, but there are reports that it could list for $350 million.

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Construction wrapped on the property in December. For listing agents, Niami tapped Rayni and Branden Williams with Beverly Hills Estates and Aaron Kirman with Compass.

The mansion sits on an eight-acre promontory overlooking the city and is packed with amenities, including five swimming pools, a 50-seat home theater, beauty salon, four-lane bowling alley, and 20 bedrooms. The main suite alone is more than 4,000 square feet. A jellyfish tank and frozen room with ice bar were nixed.

Niami threw his own West Hollywood home into bankruptcy in December and not long after sold a Hollywood Hills mansion.

Another Niami spec mansion, dubbed “Opus,” that he once wanted to list for $100 million, sold late last year, and was valued at $38 million.

[LAT] — Dennis Lynch