Fashion Nova Founder & CEO is the winning bidder of $141 million Bel Air mega-mansion ‘The One’
At long last, The One is opening its doors to a new owner. The Bel Air mansion took over 10 years to construct and experienced many logistical and legal problems. Eventually, the mansion was put up at auction and was finally sold on March 3. The original asking price for the home was $295 million, reduced from $340 million, $500 million, and finally sold for a reduced price of $126 million. However, the final purchase price will be over $141 million, which is the sale price plus the 12% buyer’s premium to Concierge Auctions. The real estate market at the One is a disappointment to the developer, who was hoping for more of a profit, and it also falls short of being the most expensive home sale in California. However, it is now the highest home sold at auction. But you’re probably wondering, who’s this person who just bought a house for $141 million?
For today’s blog, exclusive to our TTP members, we will be talking more about the mega mansion and the mystery person who bought it. If you have read the title, then it’s not a secret anymore. The buyer is none other than Richard Saghian. So, just who is this person?
Richard Saghian is well known to everyone who is into fashion as he is the CEO and Founder of Fashion Nova. Fashion Nova, a fast fashion retailer, has experienced massive success due to its use of influencers and rapid preparation for trends. Forbes estimates Saghian’s wealth at $1.4 billion which mainly comes from his 100 percent ownership of the company. But aside from that, what else do we know about this fashion entrepreneur?
Richard Saghian is an Iranian-American who learned about fashion from an early age from his father, who owned women’s retail stores. Fashion Nova was founded in 2006 and started out as a chain of stores selling lower price clubwear and other trendy apparel in Los Angeles malls. Now, Fashion Nova has widened its customer base by catering to different body types. In 2016 they launched their Fashion Nova Curve line for plus-size customers, in 2018 they launched men’s wear and in 2020 they released Maven Beauty – a beauty line.
The Business of Fashion states that more than 1,000 different manufacturers are used by Fashion Nova and 600 to 900 new styles are released per week. They credit themselves as being the world’s leading quick-to-market apparel, and lifestyle brand. Saghian started his own e-commerce website in 2013 and later created an Instagram account, which at the time many viewed as the first authentic fashion influencer who stamped his authority on the industry.
He has also built his empire through Instagram and is now worth $1 billion. 40-year-old Saghian understood Instagram’s power before Fashion Nova even had an e-commerce site. He used his 60,000 followers to turn them into loyal Fashion Nova fans and garner high levels of engagement and brand trustworthiness among the younger generation by tagging them with the #NovaBabes hashtag. The fashion company is said to have “set the Instagram aesthetic look into stone.” The reason? Affordable on-trend clothing that is endorsed by influencers and celebrities alike. Fashion Nova’s affiliation with celebrities, like Cardi B, Kylie Jenner, Khloe Kardashian, and Megan Thee Stallion among others has had a big impact on Fashion Nova’s branding. This year, their collaboration with Cardi B made $1 million in just one day. By 2018, Fashion Nova was ranked higher than H&M, Zara, and other fashion houses like Louis Vuitton, Versace, and Gucci. All because of one post on Kylie Jenner’s Instagram. Such a post makes $50,000 in revenue for Saighan’s brand. Forbes recently reported that Saghian is worth $1.4 billion, considering that Fashion Nova takes in over $1 billion a year.
However, his success has not been without some controversies. In 2016, there was an investigation into allegations that some of the factories used by Fashion Nova were underpaying their workers. Fashion Nova denied these allegations and said that the workers in question were not directly employed by Fashion Nova. Despite the controversy, Saghian has pledged to donate $1 million to various NGOs. These include Black Lives Matter, Know Your Rights Camp, and The NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund.
Now that we have an idea of who the buyer is, let’s go back to, probably what everyone is waiting for, the mega mansion. What really happened with the mansion, and why was it sold? The extravagant owner of The One has defaulted on more than $100 million in loans, leaving the very residence in question. Nile Niami, the project’s developer, pitched the 105,000 square foot home as having seven pools, a 50 car garage, a 10,000-bottle wine cellar, and even its own nightclub on her Instagram post. Promoted as being the largest and most expensive urban property in the world, it was expected to come to market for $500 million. But it suffered many delays and complications and now faces a court-ordered sale to pay debts. Niami borrowed $82.5 million from Hankey Capital in 2018 to continue building their home. But in March of this year, Hankey served notice of default on Niami and sent the property towards a foreclosure sale. Niami had 90 days to pay or renegotiate their debt, which had grown to more than $110 million according to court documents.
The homeowners did not pay their home dues by July, so it was taken over by the court, which is an alternative to foreclosure for complicated real estate deals. The receiver has several tasks on hand relating to the accounting of the home’s debts and readying the land for sale, besides looking after creditors and lenders. However, the homeowners did not pay their home dues by July, so it was taken over by the court, which is an alternative to foreclosure for complicated real estate deals. The receiver has several tasks on hand relating to the accounting of the home’s debts and readying the land for sale, besides looking after creditors and lenders.
Hankey Capital declined to comment on the default or receivership. Nile Niami did not respond to a request for comment. But despite Niami promising that the property is nearly done, there are still many details left to address and the property is not ready for market. According to Lanes’ first report, it should be another four weeks before it is completed. And there are some things to consider when building a home that are fairly common like how the gas company won’t provide service until there’s a certificate of occupancy. But some details are specific to the property, like how the permit to build a commercial-grade catering kitchen was denied, causing that space to remain empty.
According to Lanes, he is still learning about new issues that need to be dealt with. He is obtaining the plans and permits and sorting out agreements with the artists whose work is in the house, a furniture staging company, and a gardener. The house has a lot of problems, according to the report. The property’s insurance lapsed recently and people on social media are challenging others to sneak onto the property. John Lanes said that safety-related projects are prioritized before other non-safety related projects. The certificate of occupancy requires that all the other projects are also done. Lanes found that the home has an unresolved $2 million tax liability and $1 million worth of outstanding invoices for contractors. Lanes found that the home has an unresolved $2 million tax liability and $1 million worth of outstanding invoices for contractors. Lanes wrote that this property has unpaid taxes, unresolved zoning disputes, and lacks a certificate of occupancy. The goal is to make the property more marketable by making it easier to insure and acquire.
Nearly a decade in the making, this luxury home is located atop a hill in Bel Air and has views of Los Angeles. Built to scale, it includes 20 bedrooms, 8 rooms for staff, and 3 bedrooms that can be used as guest houses. Inside is a library, cigar room, and candy room. The home has a four-lane bowling alley, movie theater with 50 seats, wellness center, and fitness center. There is also a putting green, beauty salon, and juice bar. There’s even a tennis court for your entertainment! One of the homeowners, Niami, would tease his new property weeks away from coming to the market. However, the home never arrived, and he has instead been unloading other properties. Last year, a Los Angeles mansion in West Hollywood was sold for $28 million, much lower than its original asking price of $35 million.
In April, an LA property in Bel Air was sold for about half the asking price of last year at $36 million. Default notices have been sent to Niami, who accrued a debt of $10 Million on a home in Hollywood Hills, and another of $23.4 Million on the Beverly Hill house. Aside from that, Niami has been sued by another company for not paying a debt. The company’s lawsuit states that Niami borrowed $200,000 from the company to try and sell a different home in Bel Air. Influencers like Michael Blakey have already shown the collaboration capabilities of Niami and Copymatic. They recently featured a home tour with amenities fit for a social media influencer such as a nightclub in the VIP area and a walk-through of 4,000 square feet that includes a private pool. “I gave them everything here,” Niami said in the video. “We have everything anyone could ever want in this house.”
With all the issues with The One, there’s no denying that it is one of the most beautiful mansions ever made, even among other jaw-dropping estates in Los Angeles. The One sits high atop a hill and has 360-degree views of the city below it. Imagine standing on this property; you can see all of your surroundings. It’s a great place to be if you want everything important to you and want to enjoy an incredible view. The mega mansion can cater to any hobby or interest that you have. If you are into cars there is a 30-car garage, as well as two turntables for showcasing your cars, which are available on the subterranean level of the home. But if you’re more of the fitness type, the third floor has its own gym and lap pool, plus a four-lane bowling alley, a hair salon, and a juice bar which is great for making post-workout smoothies. Also on this level is the movie theater for cinephiles, the 10,000-bottle wine cellar for vino enthusiasts, and the cigar lounge for those who’d rather just unwind with a stogie.
On the other hand, the master bedroom alone is larger than most New York City apartments at 5,000 square feet and has its own sitting room, massive his and hers closets, and an office. And for visiting guests who’d prefer a separate building entirely, there’s a 4,500 square foot guest house on the grounds as well. There are also infinity pools on the property that create an oasis that surrounds the main home and offer spectacular views of the city. This is just one reason you will want to spend time outdoors at this mansion. The 10,000 square feet roof deck has breathtaking views of the city, as well as a roof that elevates you to look over those who are below. So if you’re looking for a great party pad, then maybe The One is for you because it has its own in-house night club. Some people even call it the philanthropy wing because it’s similar to something in the Pritzker Estate where they host thousands of people for charity events. When all of the above is put together, the home makes a lot of sense in today’s real estate market, when purchasers want as many built-in facilities as possible so that, even if another quarantine period occurs, they have everything they need.
According to Forbes, co-listing agent Aaron Kirman of the Aaron Kirman Group at Compass says they showed the mansion to over 40 billionaires from across the world. And more than three dozen potential purchasers viewed the 944 Airole Way home, including billionaires from the Middle East, Asia, and California, according to The One’s listed agents. but only five bids participated in the auction. Then, the bidder was revealed to be Fashion Nova CEO Richard Saghian, who paid $126 million for the property plus a $15 million auction bonus. He received a great deal as the top bidder, considering the house was placed at auction for $295 million with no reserve. And if it had sold for $295 million at auction, it would have been the most expensive mansion ever sold in the United States. The record is still held by billionaire and hedge fund mogul Ken Griffin’s $238 million New York penthouse. The mansion, however, is the largest in Los Angeles and the fourth largest sale in California history, with 105,000 square feet.
However, a lavish mega mansion like this one wouldn’t be everyone’s cup of tea. But for the people, it is for, it doesn’t get better than this. Unfortunately, the One’s new owner, Richard Saghian, founder and CEO of Fashion Nova, will have to wait a bit longer to find out for himself. The house isn’t finished and doesn’t have a certificate of occupancy since municipal inspectors haven’t signed off on critical permits for grading, electrical, and other work. According to court filings, it might also contain building problems and zoning code breaches. Finishing the home and obtaining a certificate of occupancy is likely to require several more months of work and roughly $20 million. The Beverly Hills Estates’ Branden and Rayni Williams, as well as Kirman, co-listed the house. Saghian was represented in the transaction by the Williamses and Stuart Vetterick of Hilton & Hyland. “‘The One’ Bel-Air is a once-in-a-lifetime property that can never be duplicated. There is nothing else like it. As a lifelong Angeleno and avid collector of real estate, I recognized this as a rare opportunity that also lets me own a unique property that is destined to be a part of Los Angeles history.” Saghian told the Los Angeles Times while declining to discuss further on the acquisition.
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