Wednesday, October 6, 2021

What a waste of resources

Last spring I put up a post examining some of the financial woes of the rich'n'famous.

Specifically the post addressed the difficulty a developer is having in trying to sell a mega-mansion in Los Angeles called "The One" he built on spec. It features such amenities as a four-lane bowling alley, 50-seat movie theater, sundeck with putting green, and 10,000 bottle wine cellar. At 105,000 square feet, in essence it's a private mall.

Just recently I saw an update on "The One" to the effect it still hasn't sold: "'The One' LA megamansion with 42 bathrooms once listed for $500 million is still empty."

The article begins: The largest house in the country is for sale. And its asking price has dropped by over half. Meet "The One Bel Air" – a Los Angeles megamansion that is believed to be the largest modern home in the United States. According to Architectural Digest, the record-breaking estate has 105,000 square feet of living space, including 42 bathrooms, 21 bedrooms and a 5,500-square-foot master suite. The property is also adorned with jaw-dropping features and amenities — from a surrounding moat and 400-foot-long jogging track, to a 30-car garage gallery and its own private nightclub. Nile Niami, the project's developer, originally put The One on the market for $500 million. But the Los Angeles Times reported Monday that that number has dropped significantly — most recently to a still enormous $225 million — following delays and complications, including unfinished construction, multiple lawsuits and a court-ordered sale to pay debts.

Meanwhile, the maintenance costs for this megamansion continue, even though it has no buyer. The home and property must still be maintained, no doubt by a staff of silent and invisible groundskeepers and housekeepers. Taxes must be paid. Utilities must be paid. Holy cow, just imagine the monthly costs.

As one commenter put it, "Of the possible 10 people [in the world] who could afford this house, how many want it as is?"

Why do I have the impression that at some point this house will be knocked down? White elephant, folks. White elephant.

What a colossal waste of resources.


  1. No barns or chicken coops? I’ll pass.

  2. I think someone will see the potential for a huge B&B or private hotel. It's going to sell to someone who will make $ on their idea, or maybe Chinese, or cartel. Someone has been waiting for the price drop. Of course, California has been through so much in recent years, I can't imagine a sane person wanting to move there.

    1. The first thing I thought of was luxury hotel with all the amenities. But, first someone has to have the resources to maintain and complete before money starts coming in.

      Who is dumb enough to build something that monstrous without a buyer? As an aside, I guess my vocabulary is not what it should be. I though "on spec" meant it was already sold before being started.

      kathy in MS

  3. That's one way to look at it...

    The way I see it is that the rich are spending their quid - and it gives working slobs like me an opportunity to ply our trade. Could they spend it more wisely? No doubt. But couldn't we all?
    The price will come down to make it more in line with the what the market will tolerate. I'd rather it be this way than having Uncle Sugar telling anybody what they should do with their resources.

  4. IF you were wealthy enough to buy it, would you want to knowing how close it is to LA and how conspicuous it is and will be when the organic waste impacts the rotating airfoil?

    Subotai Bahadur

  5. I've lived in towns smaller than this.