by Bianca Barragan at
The biggest house in Los Angeles has swollen even larger in size and is getting a pretty big ego now too. Bloomberg reports that the finished project will measure more than 100,000 square feet, making it bigger than the infamously unfinished Versailles estate in Florida. The spread is being developed on spec, naturally, and will feature a 74,000-square-foot main residence with a 5,000-square-foot master bedroom, a 30-car garage, a “Monaco-style casino,” and three smaller houses spread across four acres. “The house will have almost every amenity available in the world,” prolific spec house developer Nile Niami says about his latest project. How much will every amenity available in the world cost? $500 million.
If all that doesn’t seem ridiculous enough, don’t worry: there will also be tons of wasted water. One pool is so chintzy; everyone who’s anyone with $500 million has to have four pools these days, and so this place will of course, including one in the basement and another on the second level of the mansion, according to construction permits. As it stands, the landscaping will require “about 20,000 square feet of grass” in the middle of a devastating statewide drought that has provoked mandatory water cutbacks. The mansion’s designer, Paul McClean, says “There a lot of things in the house that will help to preserve water. But those are things that correspond with luxury houses, and I can’t tell you that it’s a green and energy-efficient house.” Originally, plans called for five pools, so maybe that’s what passes for high-end conservation—one less pool than you actually want.
Does the $500-million asking price seem unreal? It is. The LA Business Journal estimated last year that this project would ask “in the $150 million-plus range.” Jonathan Miller, president of appraiser Miller Samuel Inc. (and Curbed contributor), tells Bloomberg “I’m skeptical. My first reaction is laughter. But we’re in this perpetual state of surprise as new thresholds are broken.” If it sells for even half of that, though, it will still be the most expensive sale in the US: the current record holder, an East Hampton estate owned by a hedge fund guy, sold last year for $147 million. (Not too far away from Bel Air, in Beverly Hills, the tacky Palazzo di Amore is waiting patiently for someone to pay $195 million.)
Niami, also a movie producer, is a seasoned spec builder. Last year he sold a humble 30,000-square-foot estate with a dental office in the basement and a 17,000-square-foot mansion in Holmby Hills with an underwater tunnel (Diddy bought that one). Niami is currently “pouring concrete” on his Bel Air record-setter, and expects to be working for about 20 more months on the enormous compound.