Let me be The One: Bel Air mega-mansion sells for discounted $126M

The highly publicized property was proposed to sell for $500M

The One in Bel Air. (TheOneBelAir.com)
The One in Bel Air. (TheOneBelAir.com)

A mega-mansion in Bel Air envisioned to have a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $500 million has sold for well under what was proposed to be on the sticker.

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that the heavily hyped property known as “The One” was purchased by an undisclosed buyer for $126 million, plus an auction premium of $15 million.

Originally slated to hit the market in 2017, the 105,000-square-foot home that sits on about 4 acres was set to include such high-end accouterments as a jellyfish aquarium and a “Monaco-Style” casino along with a 180-foot infinity pool. But the project got bogged down by cost overruns and delays, and, after one lender filed a foreclosure action on the property last June, developer Nile Niami put the property into bankruptcy, giving him a chance to find his own buyer.

At the time, the company through which Niami owns the property, Crestlloyd, pinned its fair-market value at about $325 million, with outstanding debts on it sitting at around $190 million, according to the report.

Ultimately, the jellyfish aquarium was nixed and the casino became a “philanthropy wing,” according to the newspaper, but the home still contains 20 bedrooms, has a 30-car garage, five swimming pools, a bowling alley, a beauty salon, and a gym along with a bevy of other amenities.

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Five bidders participated in the auction, and the new owners, who the newspaper reports are local Los Angelenos who intend to use it as an investment, will have to do lots of work to get the property up to code, as it was being sold without a certificate of occupancy.

That means fixing the compliance issues identified during a preliminary inspection by construction consulting firm Vertex late last year, which showed permit and approved architectural plans issues, according to the report.

Even though it sold for much less than expected The One is still one of the most expensive single-family homes ever sold in the United States. That record belongs to an apartment at 220 Central Park South on New York’s Billionaires’ Row, which sold for roughly $238 million in 2019. Last year, a Malibu estate sold for $177 million, putting The One at third place overall.

[Wall Street Journal] — Vince DiMiceli