You have probably never heard of California City. Still, this city in the middle of the Mojave Desert is the third largest in the state of California and the 34th in the whole of the United States . Located about 120 km from Los Angeles, it was born as a singular experiment of the sociologist Nat Mendelsohn, who dreamed of creating a metropolis capable of contrasting the world capital of cinema.
In 1958 Mendelsohn bought a 320 km2 piece of land in the desert at a symbolic price and divided that territory into 51 thousand plots intended to be sold individually. The university professor, turned promoter, thought that people would be interested and that California City from utopia would become reality.
But the reality is sometimes bizarre. Many plots were sold, but not to build, rather to speculate . A decade later, only 1,000 people had moved to the new metropolis. Today California City has just over 15,000 inhabitants, a hundred shops, a lake and dozens of dusty and unpaved streets, with names but no houses. There is also Edwards Air Force Base, a United States Air Force base, a 2,300-seat prison and a $ 60 million Honda circuit.
The largest villa on the Los Angeles market, The One , located in the upscale Bel Air neighborhood and put up for sale for $ 500 million in 2017, was finally auctioned for $ 141 million , about $ 128 million. euro . The dream of its eccentric promoter, Nile Niami, who amassed over $ 100 million in debt, fell into the hands of fashion entrepreneur Richard Saghian.
After several attempts to sell the ultra-luxury property since 2021, the court administration has decided to accept the highest bid at the latest auction of this property of over 9,700 square meters , 21 bedrooms and 42 bathrooms. The property was sold for 126 million dollars, about 115 million euros, in addition to 15 million dollars, just over 13.6 million euros, for costs and fees from the auction. Although it sold for $ 356 million less than its initial asking price, it became the most expensive house auctioned in California history.
Saghian, 40, founded Fashion Nova in 2006, a company that sells fashionable clothes at affordable prices. Annual sales exceeded $ 1 billion, according to sources close to the company.
“The One Bel-Air is a unique property. There is nothing like her. As an avid collector of real estate, I recognized this as an opportunity, which also allows me to own a unique property destined to be part of history. of Los Angeles, “Saghian said in a statement.
The One has never been inhabited since it was completed. Construction lasted about seven years, amid bureaucratic delays and other funding problems for the developer, who went to court after accumulating $ 106 million in debt.
This spectacular home was designed by architect Paul McClean, who built Beyoncé and Jay-Z’s home. It has a huge infinity pool, cinema room, jacuzzi, gym, wine cellar with a capacity of 10,000 bottles, beauty salon, private nightclub, bowling alley and even a casino, with five internal lifts and a garage with 30 parking spaces.