Nile Niami Set to Break World Record for Worlds Most Expensive Home

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Nile Niami 500 Million Mega Mansion

Who is Nile Niami?  He was raised by a single mom who was a special education teacher.
Niami started his career as a film producer. He produced 15 films, many of them B movies, before he went into real estate and started building small condominiums and renovating homes to sell.

As a real estate developer in Los Angeles, Niami built a mansion in Holmby Hills, which he sold for $44 million to a Saudi buyer. He built another house in Holmby Hills, which was purchased by musician Sean Combs for $39 million in 2014. He also hired architect Paul McClean to build a house for the Winklevoss twins in the Bird Streets (north of Sunset Boulevard).

Additionally, he built a house in Trousdale Estates, a neighborhood in the city of Beverly Hills, with “a spinning car turntable, similar to those in auto showrooms, that’s visible from the living room.”

Niami is building a megamansion in Bel Air, also designed by Paul McClean, which will be listed on the real estate market for US$500 million. After five years of development, it was to be finished in the Spring of 2018 but it has yet to go on the market. The construction attracted unease from the Bel-Air Homeowners Alliance. It is the most expensive private residence in the United States, and at 100,000 square feet will be one of the largest private homes in the US. Its chairman, Fred Rosen, suggested the house was so big it should have been “considered a commercial project”, subject to more restrictive housing regulations.

Nile Niami has delivered another mega-mansion to the Los Angeles market, and once again it’s in Bel Air.

The prolific developer has listed a $65 million behemoth that overlooks the Bel Air Country Club, according to real estate blogger Yolanda’s Little Black Book.

It is not the $500 million Bel Air spec manse Niami has dubbed “The One,” which was expected to hit the market before the end of the year. But it’s still way over the top.

The 27,000-square-foot mansion was designed by Niami’s frequent collaborator, Paul McLean, who also designed The One.

Inside, there are eight bedrooms and expansive spaces decorated with a black and white theme, including highly polished black French Oak floors. There’s a ballroom, wine cellar, a wet bar made of black marble, and a gym. Outside there is a pool, rooftop terrace, large driveway, and landscaped lawns overlooking the golf course.

Niami is known for listing his spec projects with ambitious prices, so who knows how much this latest creation will eventually fetch. Niami’s “Opus” mansion hit the market last year for $100 million, and even it’s seriously racy promotional video couldn’t attract a buyer. He chopped $15 million off the price tag in September 2017.

When the house’s asking price was announced last May, some people figured it was an absurd marketing ploy, since if the property fetches anything close to $500 million, it will obliterate the current world-record price of $221 million, for a London penthouse. But absurdity is all relative in today’s gigamansion market—particularly in L.A., where previous milestones such as the $85 million sale of the 123-room Spelling manor in 2011 are beginning to look quaint. (That property is about half the size of Niami’s, and its current owner, the British-born heiress Petra Stunt, reportedly put it on sale last year for $150 million.) Right now, speculative developers in particular share one prevailing mantra: If you overbuild it, they will come.

The main thing to understand about L.A.’s growing crop of no-expense-spared spec homes is that they are not actually homes, in the usual sense of the word. Most buyers live on other continents and visit these properties for only a week or two each year, using them mainly as places to park their wealth. After all, in an era when a Cézanne painting can fetch $250 million, a massive trophy estate in Bel Air might seem like a perfectly sensible investment to a billionaire sheik or oligarch who’s looking to keep his money safe from a grabby despot back home. And sure enough, for these clients, “bigger” and “better” are generally synonymous. Last year, when Niami was selling a 32,000-square-foot manse in the Holmby Hills section of L.A., he discovered that, despite its four-lane bowling alley and indoor pool, many potential buyers wanted more parking and bigger staff quarters. “It only had a five-car garage, and everybody complained,” he says.

No one can accuse Niami of ignoring the “go big or go home” ethos with the Bel Air property. As Drew Fenton, the real-estate broker who has the listing, says, “It is by far the most important estate project in Los Angeles over the last 25 years and will raise the bar for all other estates built in the city.” (It will also raise the bar for Fenton’s future commissions, since even a 2 percent cut on this sale could earn him $10 million.) One entire temperature-controlled room will be dedicated to storing fresh flowers. Marketing materials refer to the property simply as “The One,” and in lieu of a standard virtual tour, Fenton has put together a slickly produced film, with dozens of real-life, green-screened models populating a lifelike digital rendering. It shows the urbane man of the manse pulling up to the front door in his red Ferrari LaFerrari and moving through expanses of marble and glass, from cigar lounge to billiards room to spa, while yoga-toned babes swim in clear-walled pools, cavort on the indoor-outdoor dance floor, and share laughs against a backdrop of neon-blue jellyfish. Part of the goal is to present L.A. as a seductive alternative to more typical billionaire havens like Monaco and Dubai and London, a city whose appeal Niami simply can’t fathom. “I mean, what’s in London?” he says. “The weather is horrible. I don’t get it.”

If Niami wasn’t busy enough, he also launched Wolfpack, a mobile app for single men looking for friends.

Yvonne Niami, the wife of mega-mansion builder Nile Niami of Skyline Development Inc., filed for divorce in January 2017.

The couple was married for more than 18 years before separating two years ago, according to the divorce filing, which cited irreconcilable differences as the reason for the split.

While it’s unclear exactly what the impact of the divorce might have on Niami’s real estate portfolio, sources speculated that it could throw the ownership of the infamous $500 million mansion he is developing in Bel Air into question.

How the couple’s assets will be divided — particularly Niami’s real estate —  will depend on the existence of a prenuptial agreement, said Daniel Jaffe of the Beverly Hills family law firm Jaffe and Clemens, who has represented celebrities such as Marc Anthony in his divorce from Jennifer Lopez.

“I’d be surprised if there wasn’t a prenuptial agreement,” he said. “That completely changes things.”

It’s possible Niami could claim the spec mansion is off-limits if the project was developed while the two were separated, Jaffe said. However, even the planning stages of a project could make it an asset that could be divided in a divorce, Jaffe said.

“I’m sure this project took a long time to put together,” he said.

Niami Sets to Break World Record with 500 Million Mansion in Bel Air

News reports of Niami’s mega-project at 944 Airole Way first appeared in 2013, but at the time the planned development was a mere 85,000 square feet.

Nile is hoping to more than double the world-record for the most expensive home ever sold with a $500million ‘palace’ in Bel Air.

The 100,000 sq ft hilltop residence, which is being built in the affluent Los Angeles neighborhood, will feature a 5,000 sq ft master bedroom, 30-car garage and 45-seat IMAX cinema.

It will have three smaller homes, four swimming pools including a 180ft long infinity pool and a 20,000 sq ft artificial lawn to comply with California’s drought-induced water restrictions.

Nile told Bloomberg his latest project would have ‘almost every amenity available in the world. The asking price will be $500 million.’ The architect said it would be ‘very similar to a palace’. 

Former residents in the wealthy neighborhood have included Ronald Reagan and Sir Alfred Hitchcock.  

With spectacular 360-degree views of the LA basin, Beverly Hills and the Pacific Ocean, the property – which boasts neighbors including Jennifer Aniston and Elon Musk – will house a nightclub and casino, and even a ‘jelly fish room’ with water-filled tanks on three walls.

The now 104,000-square-foot property – almost twice the size of the White House – is slated to have five swimming pools, a casino, a nightclub with a VIP area, a lounge with walls made of jellyfish tanks and a cigar room.

Drew Fenton of Hilton and Hyland is the listing agent for the mansion. Niami reportedly aims to sell it for $500 million, though the property has not officially hit the market.

If it does  list at that price, it will beat Bruce Makowsky’s $250 million Bel Air development for the title of most expensive home listed in the U.S.

Anything owned before marriage typically cannot be divided after marriage, in accordance with the definitions of a “separate property” in California’s marital property laws, said Scott Altman, professor of property and family law at USC Gould School of Law.

“It’s possible that she gained an interest [in Niami’s business] during the course of marriage,” Altman said. “But the main way she would gain that interest is if he didn’t pay himself an adequate salary. I’d guess he probably did and they lived well.”

Yvonne Niami is the founder of the charitable clothing label n:Philanthropy.

She launched the business in 2014 after leaving her post as an interior designer at Skyline, according to an interview with Hamptons magazine. It is unknown, however, whether she had a stake in the company.

She also owns a tequila company called VIVA XXXII, which gives a percentage of its proceeds to animal abuse prevention.

In November, she purchased an  eight-bedroom,11,500-square foot home in Bel Air for $16.2 million.

She does not have an attorney and is representing herself, according to filings.

Yvonne and Nile Niami did not return requests for comment.