Photo: theonecalifornia/Instagram

Spec developer Nile Niami has been issued a notice of default by bridge loan lender Hankey Capital, which helped finance the construction of his 105,000-square-foot mega-mansion known as The One. 

Seeking $340 million, the Bel Air estate was completed in January following eight years of construction. If The One were to fetch such a price, it would become the most expensive home ever sold in the United States, supplanting the 2019 sale of a $238 million NYC penthouse.

Niami borrowed $82.5 million from Hankey Capital in 2018, and now owes a debt of more than $110 million to the private direct lender. According to a document obtained by The Los Angeles Times, if Niami cannot repay the loan within 90 days, he could be faced with a legal order to force the sale of the eight-acre property. 

To prevent the forced sale, Niami could repay the debt in part or in full or strike a new deal with the lender. Last year, the developer was embroiled in two legal conflicts over default notices, although those were for debts in the tens of millions.

“We felt the owner of ‘The One’ was distracted from the job at hand, which is to bring the biggest and best house in the United States to market for sale,” said Don Hankey, chairman of Hankey Investment Co., in an interview with The Times. “We hope our actions will kick off the official listing.”

Although it was announced that Branden and Rayni Williams of Williams & Williams Estates Group and Aaron Kirman of Compass would share the listing for The One, it hasn’t yet launched publicly. There was a big marketing push earlier this year for The One, including a glossy photo spread in Architectural Digest, but no official listing exists for the property. 

An interest list has formed, however, requesting that applicants submit proof of funds and the user name of the influencer who alerted them to the sale. Niami originally intended to list the quarter-mile-long manse for $500 million, but it received a $160 million price chop before ever hitting the market. 

Designed by Irish-born architect Paul McClean, The One boasts 21 bedrooms, 42 bathrooms, a 30-vehicle showroom and five swimming pools. Among the home’s opulent amenities are a four-lane bowling alley, 50-seat movie theater, hair and beauty salon, cigar lounge, custom tequila bar, nightclub, fresh juice bar, and a 10,000-square-foot sky deck with a putting green. 

The living and sleeping quarters are just as extravagant, with 26-foot-high ceilings in the grand foyer, a 6,000-square-foot principal suite featuring dual dressing rooms and a private pool, and a three-bedroom guest house.

The clock is ticking for Niami to come to an agreement with Hankey Capital, but the notice of default could yield an official listing, giving us a closer look at the country’s priciest home.

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