Spec developer Nile Niami is expected to conduct a tour of The One today in hopes of enticing would-be investors to fund a last-ditch bid to halt its $126 million sale out of bankruptcy.
This high-marquee project, its bankruptcy and the drama of its auction have raised eyebrows among residential real estate veterans.
“It’s beyond a Hail Mary–it’s a wish and prayer,” said Stephen Shapiro, co-founder of Westside Estate Agency, a leading luxury real estate agency that has not been involved in The One. “But you got to give him credit for not giving up.”
Representatives of Niami said the tour of the Bel Air megamansion was set for today at 5 p.m., as of this writing.
The developer at one point put a $500 million price tag on the 3.8-acre hilltop spread, which features amenities that include a 64-foot indoor pool, night club, 10,000-square-foot sky deck and wellness center, among others.
The goal of the tour, according to a representative of Niami, is to raise $250 million in minimum increments of $100,000. Niami is offering a return of 50 percent to investors, with a plan to hold events at the property part of the pitch. Commitments are due at 2 p.m. today, and “all qualified investors” and members of the press” have been invited to the tour three hours after the deadline.
The 11th-hour attempt to retain control of The One follows several others by Niami, including one that would have issued cryptocurrency backed by the project.
The latest scheme comes amid various claims by debtors and other interested parties that the recent auction won by fashion mogul Richard Saghian came in too low and should have been delayed due to the war in Ukraine and its effects on the global pool of billionaires likely to pursue such properties.
Today’s comes about 48 hours ahead of a March 18 hearing, where a bankruptcy judge is expected to sort through various claims and consider Saghian’s request to have the sale declared final.
Westside Estate Agency’s Shapiro noted that Niami would have to get court approval to buy back The One. Then he’d also have to work with debtors who have control over the megamansion’s fate. There’s also the matter of wealthy neighbors who might not want to live in the same neighborhood as an estate with a nightclub.
“I’d be surprised if he can raise $250 million so quickly,” Shapiro said. “People with a lot of money like to do their due diligence.”
A call and an email to Niami’s lawyer requesting comment were not returned.