…Virtual glory, that is. Big Bertha isn’t quite ready to go the full monty yet — she’s playing coy for another few months. But one of our longtime readers kindly forwarded Yolanda an expensively-made official 3D promo video for the property. Turns out this was actually released back in August, but we’d never before clapped eyes on it. Maybe y’all haven’t, either.
And if y’all have seen this vid, well, don’t whine. Simply skip this post over. Or if you’re feeling extra naughty, unsubscribe from our email updates. We promise Yolanda shan’t shed a tear.
Anyway, for those of y’all unindoctrinated, The One is an unfinished giga-mansion located on a massive four-acre Bel Air promontory. It’s being built by real estate developer Nile Niami and his longtime architect associate Paul McClean — arguably the most successful pair of spec-mansion builders that LA has ever seen. When The One is completed sometime in the next few months, it will carry an unprecedented $500 million pricetag.
Our Mr. Niami purchased the sublime property in late 2012 from Russian-born video game heiress Rita Kogan — her late daddy created Space Invaders — and records show he forked out exactly $28 million for the land. Since then, he has sunk tens of millions more (and nearly six years of his time) into creating his residential pièce de résistance.
There are 20 bedrooms, 30 bathrooms, a 30-car “auto gallery”, five swimming pools, two kitchens, a jellyfish room — yes, the glass walls and ceiling hold jellyfish tanks — a library, cigar room, a 32-seat theater, six-lane bowling alley, gym, and every luxury amenity imaginable.
This isn’t a home, obviously. No 100,000-square-foot compound can be called a home. But to dismiss it as a nightclub or boutique hotel masquerading as a residential property is also an oversimplification, Yolanda thinks. The owner’s $500 million isn’t just buying the property. As the promo video so clearly shows, he’s purchasing a whole lifestyle.
Now, Yolanda had a rough weekend and we’re already two mimosas deep on this Monday morning. So forgive us if this is just the alcohol talkin’, but we detected a distinct sadness in this promotional video. It’s obvious this compound is being marketed to a very specific buyer: the lonely billionaire bachelor.
Watch as the owner pulls up to his contemporary art museum — er, house — in his $3 million Ferrari LaFerrari. He’s all alone. As he strolls through The One‘s vastness, he is greeted only by the butler, who immediately offers him an alcoholic beverage. Telling?
Scattered throughout the residence are multiple attractive young women. Are they secretaries? Assistants? Concubines? The question goes unanswered, and the owner emerges from his 5,500-square-foot master suite in a bathrobe. He gives a hardened glance at the glass rooftop pool, where a bikini-clad young woman is frolicking. Does he even know her name?
As dusk approaches, the place is deserted. The lights are on, the fireplace is lit, the waterfalls shimmering, yet nobody’s home. It’s spooky — but wait! Suddenly the mood changes. Exotic vehicles roar up the driveway. Ah, these must be the owner’s friends.
Suddenly celebrities and socialites alike are crowding the giant residence. Obviously the who’s who of LA society know this is the place to party. In the cigar room, our owner savors a whiskey with his male business associates before joining his other guests. Young people shake their toned backsides on the ballroom’s dancefloor. A bevy of lovely ladies surround our owner.
The message is simple: buy this place and you’ll become the most popular guy in LA. Everyone who is anyone will come to your parties. And suddenly you’ll be just as famous as your guests! Yep, y’all can imagine the conversations that would go down in this place.
“Oh my Gawd, that’s Drake at the bar! Look, the Hadid sisters are taking selfies in the jellyfish room! Was that Kendall Jenner talking to Leo DiCaprio on the terrace?”
And it’s true. LA is all about appearances. Deny all you want, but there it is. Think about all the people who live in fancy houses mortgaged up to their eyeballs. And how come everyone here drives a fancy car? Heck, even Yolanda drives a luxury automobile. And we’re broke as a joke since our third ex-husband Randall stopped paying the spousal support. Yes, rich people buying their way into Hollywood is a tradition as old as time, and we don’t doubt that many celebs would gladly accept an invite to party here.
But how often can those parties be thrown? Once a week for a few hours, at most? Eventually the lights will dim, the trysts will end, and the owner’s guests will stagger out to their chauffeur-driven Maybachs and Escalades. Then what? The owner will be the only one left in The One, in his lonely tomb.
We know some folks reading this will sneer that we’re “just jealous“. Maybe the owner enjoys living this way, occasionally surrounded by attention and stars, yet alone and untouchable at other times. Maybe he craves the solitude.
Okay. Fair enough. But all human beings — regardless of wealth or status — have an inherent desire to be liked; an innate need for approval. We firmly believe that. And while the owner of this house may be The Most Interesting Man in the World™ during his parties, how many of those girls are actually laughing at his wit? How many of them are attracted more to his house, his pocketbook and connections? And as for his male friends, would any of them be there for him if he lost everything tomorrow?
Unless the owner is our world’s most self-absorbed narcissist, we think the basic question of “who actually likes me for me?” will always nag at him. We’re not hating, we’re just saying.
So while the owner knows everyone, has he really got friends? He’s a billionaire, but is he actually rich? We may never know. He may never know! All anyone knows is that he’s The One — the only one.
Pour your master another drink, Mr. Butler. It’s lonely at the top.