Nile Niami’s company Crestlloyd has filed for bankruptcy protection in an attempt to stop the auction of the Bel Air mega-mansion dubbed “The One.”
Lawrence Perkins, who was recently appointed manager of Crestlloyd, told the Los Angeles Times that the bankruptcy stops a trustee’s sale that had been set for today, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Whether the auction is to be delayed or allowed to proceed is ultimately the decision of the Bankruptcy Court.
The 105,000-square-foot mansion — the biggest home in the country — entered receivership in early September after Niami’s company defaulted on at least $106 million he borrowed from Don Hankey of Hankey Capital to build “The One.”
An auction has been delayed twice, the second time over a dispute between its creditors. Lender Joseph Englanoff, who lent Niami around $30 million for the project, accused Hankey of trying to wrest control of the property for himself.
The property remains incomplete and has no certificate of occupancy. Obtaining one could boost the value of the home. Either way, the property would likely sell for more on the market than it would at auction.
A court-appointed receiver, Ted Lanes of Lanes Management, said last month that he would like to see the property completed and have an “orderly sale that maximizes the value.”
Perkins recently echoed that sentiment, saying the company’s goal was to “maximize the value of the house through a thoughtful sales process…”
Early on in the property’s construction, Niami said he wanted to ask $500 million for the project upon completion, although that may have been a marketing play. Delays, shifts in the spec mansion market, and Niami’s liquidity problems seem to have taken their toll however.
The expected listing price came down to around $350 million in January. Englanoff recently said that Hankey planned to complete the project and list it for $225 million.
Niami has had problems with other properties too. Late last year, he put a West Hollywood spec project in bankruptcy after two years on the market without a buyer.
[LAT] — Dennis Lynch