105,000-Square-Foot Bel-Air Home Sells for $126M

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105,000-Square-Foot Bel-Air Home Sells for $126M
Article Excerpt

One of the biggest, most expensive houses in history just sold for $126 million. Learn more about this house and why it was so expensive.

Are you in the market for a home with square footage that’ll dwarf your local public library? You’re out of luck, because a mansion in Los Angeles’ Bel-Air neighborhood, known informally as “The One,” recently sold at auction for $126 million.

Bel-Air Home

Photo by Zztfrd from Wikimedia Commons [Creative Commons]

What is “The One”?

The One is a 105,000 square-foot mansion built in Bel Air. This neighborhood on the Westside of Los Angeles is part of a group of upscale communities known as the “three Bs,” along with the Brentwood neighborhood and the City of Beverly Hills.

The main house measures 74,000 square feet. Its features include:

  • 21 bedrooms

  • 42 bathrooms

  • A 30-car garage with 2 car-display turntables

  • A 4-lane bowling alley

  • A nightclub

  • A hair and beauty salon

  • 5 swimming pools

  • A movie theater with seating for 30 people

  • A tennis court and putting green

  • A 4,000 square-foot guest house

  • A “philanthropy wing” that can host events of up to 200 people

The 5,500 square-foot master suite is more than twice as big as the average American home and includes a kitchenette and office space. Features in the original plans that did not make the final cut included a jellyfish aquarium and a “Monaco-style” casino.

Red room

Photo by Douglas Friedman from Architectural Digest

The architect reportedly designed the house for energy efficiency (which is a bit ironic considering its size as residential property). It uses artificial turf in many areas to reduce water use, and it recycles much of the water that the property does use. It also features a stormwater collection system, although Los Angeles is not known for its frequent rainfall.

When was the house built?

The One went through eight rather rocky years of development. The project drew negative attention from other Bel Air residents almost as soon as it started. In 2014, the New York Times described the conflict as “a nimby battle [that] pits millionaires vs. billionaires.” Construction was finally completed in 2021.

Modern home

Photo by Douglas Friedman from Architectural Digest

How long did it take to sell the house?

The media reported on the developer’s original asking price — $500 million — long before the house was finished. Selling the house presented problems beyond the enormous price tag. The owner defaulted on over $165 million in loans before construction was completed. The house went into receivership, and the receiver oversaw the final stages of construction. A Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing prevented a foreclosure sale in late 2021.

In January 2022, the house went on the market with a reduced listing price of $295 million. An auction was scheduled for February in case no one bought it for that price. The auction took place on Saturday, March 4.

Home modern art

Photo by Douglas Friedman from Architectural Digest

How much was the final sale amount?

Five bidders participated in the auction. The CEO of an online fashion retailer made the winning bid of $126 million. The entire proceeds of the sale will almost certainly go towards paying down the seller’s debt.

Home with a view

Photo by Marc Angeles from Business Insider

Is this the biggest, most expensive home in the world?

This is, at most, the third-most-expensive home sale in U.S. history. A New York City penthouse sold for $238 million in 2019, followed by a Malibu property that sold for $177 million in 2021. Internationally, an estate atop a mountain in Hong Kong sold for over $361 million in 2017.

The One is, however, the largest home in the country that serves as a residence, assuming the buyer intends to live there. Two properties are larger, but are no longer used as residences:

  • The 179,000 square-foot Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina has served as a museum and tourist attraction since the 1950s.

  • The 109,000 square-foot Oheka Castle in West Hills, New York has served numerous functions since its original owner died in 1934. It is currently a hotel and event venue.

Worldwide, the One cannot begin to compete with Istana Nurul Iman Palace, the home of the Sultan of Brunei. At 2.15 million square feet, it is more than twenty times larger than the One.

Buy your dream home!

Your dream home is waiting for you somewhere. It might not be as big or lavish as “THE ONE” in Bel Air, but perhaps it could be yours with the help of an experienced home mortgage professional. First, you need to see what you qualify for.

The Wood Group of Fairway can answer your questions and discuss your options. Get started on your free pre-approval today!