Nile Niami’s Bel Air behemoth enters receivership

Spec developer defaulted on $165M he borrowed to build 100K sf “The One”

Nile Niami and "The One" (Getty, The Society Group)
Nile Niami and "The One" (Getty, The Society Group)

Nile Niami’s “The One” is in court-appointed receivership after the spec developer defaulted on more than $165 million in debt he borrowed to build the Bel Air behemoth.

Niami borrowed most of the money from Don Hankey’s Hankey Capital to develop the 105,000-square-foot property; he also used three other lenders. CNBC first reported the property entered receivership, citing Los Angeles County Superior Court documents.

The court named Ted Lanes of Lanes Management as receiver. He is tasked with preparing The One for sale and selling it to recoup debts owed to lenders.

The One is expected to hit the market in the coming months, after Lanes can secure a certificate of occupancy, which has been lingering. He said he “would love to see” the house completed and an “orderly sale that maximizes the value,” of the property.

“Hopefully, there will be sufficient proceeds from the sale to fund the secured and unsecured creditors and for the equity to realize some value,” Lanes said, according to the report.

Hankey Capital, which provided Niami with around $115 million in 2018 to build the palace, served a notice of default in March. Joseph Englanoff’s Yogi Securities Holdings provided another $36 million, while Inferno Realty and Maybach Corporation Holdings each provided around $7 million for construction, according to CNBC.

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The massive home sits on an eight-acre promontory overlooking L.A., and includes five swimming pools, a 50-seat home theater, beauty salon, four-lane bowling alley and 20 bedrooms. The main suite is more than 4,000 square feet. The planned jellyfish tank and frozen room with ice bar were nixed, however.

Work was already about a year behind schedule in 2018 when Niami said the mansion would list for $500 million.

A spokesperson for the developer claimed in November that workers were putting the “finishing touches” on the interior. A month later, Niami tapped Rayni and Branden Willians of Beverly Hills Estates and Compass’ Aaron Kirman to market the monster mansion.

Rayni Williams at the time said that The One could list by the end of last year, but a listing never surfaced.

Niami has had his hands full with other developments as well. In December, he threw a West Hollywood spec mansion into bankruptcy and sold his own home in the Hollywood Hills.

A few months later, he sold two Bel Air spec homes for $36 million each. Niami also unloaded a 14,000-square-foot project in the Hollywood Hills last month for $26 million.

[CNB] — Dennis Lynch