This approximately 105,000 square foot Los Angeles mansion is truly that’s why I wrote to you for Fashion Nova Founder and CEO Richard Saghian.
A bankruptcy court judge on Monday approved his $141 million deal for “The One,” a 21-bedroom Bel-Air property — the largest home in the City of Angels — that not only once aspired to fetch 500 million for sale, but ultimately racked up over $250 million in debt over the years.
Bloomberg reports that Deborah Saltzman, the U.S. Bankruptcy Court judge handling the case, ruled that the March 3 unqualified auction should go ahead, despite some objections about the final price not being high enough to compensate creditors.
“It doesn’t look like a good result,” Saltzman said. “It’s a justified result.”
Saghian, who placed the winning bid, was just one of five bidders to participate in the sale.
“I am grateful that Judge Saltzman approved my offer,” Saghian told the Post in an emailed statement. He had argued that the court should approve his offer because he had gone through the process and had enough money in his coffers. “I look forward to working with the City of Los Angeles, the Bel-Air Association, my new neighbors and my design team to complete and perfect this iconic property.”
Saghian’s winning bid at the early March auction, run by Concierge Auctions, was $126 million, but rose to $141 million when adjusted for fees. At the time, before the press unveiled Saghian as the buyer, reports indicated that the winner planned to use the house as an investment.
Developed by Nile Niami over the course of a decade, the mansion certainly comes with some bragging rights. It sits on 4 acres of land with 360-degree views of downtown Los Angeles, the Pacific Ocean, and the San Gabriel Mountains — and it’s well-equipped with over-the-top amenities, such as five pools, a beauty salon and a 30- car garage.
But the problems added up. Niami — who did not respond to the Post’s request for comment — has clashed with his lenders, and one was pressured into filing a foreclosure auction on the property last June. But last October, Niami filed The One for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, halting the foreclosure auction and giving it the chance to find its own buyer. (In addition to being auctioned in March, The One was listed for sale in the luxury residential market, asking for $295 million.)
Niami and his ex-wife, Yvonne, owned The One through the company Crestlloyd, LLC. But finding a buyer on the open market was difficult, and it’s believed to be due in part to alleged construction defects cited in court filings, such as cracks and stains on most of the approximately 30,000 square feet of stone flooring. White marble. The One also still does not have a certificate of occupancy, which means that no one can reside there. Brokers representing the $295 million also said the auction price was ultimately reasonable.
Still, critics of the auction objected to the lack of a required minimum bid and the fact that the war in Ukraine impacted bids from potential overseas buyers. One of the creditors challenging the deal was Joseph Englanoff, a Los Angeles doctor with some $20 million in claims. Bloomberg notes that he argued the auction failed to secure higher bids due to disruptions in global markets following the invasion of Ukraine – adding in a court filing that Deep-pocketed potential buyers from Asia and the Middle East visited The One and expressed interest. No foreign party ultimately made an offer.
Meanwhile, lawyers for Canadian firm Inferno Investment Inc., also with some $20 million in claims, had cited a written offer from a Saudi king willing to shell out $160 million, along with “several potential buyers circling higher numbers,” according to Bloomberg.
Saltzman dismissed those claims, saying no formal or approved bids were submitted after the auction in early March.
Niami, for his part, told Bloomberg that he will now be focusing on something new: a reality TV network he wants to call “The One Truth.”
“I’m not worried about The One,” he told the outlet. “I advance.”