Vaulted Invest in Gold

Visit this blog’s sponsor. Vaulted is an online mobile web app for investing in allocated and deliverable physical gold: Kunstler.com/vaulted


Support JHK on Patreon


If you’re interested in supporting this blog, check out the Patreon page or Substack.
Get This blog by email:

Attention Movie Producers!
JHK’s screenplay in hard-copy edition

Click to order!

A Too-Big-To-Fail Bankster…
Three Teenagers who bring him down…
Gothic doings on a Connecticut Estate.
High velocity drama!

Now Live on Amazon

“Simply the best novel of the 1960s”

Now in Paperback !
Only Seven Bucks!
JHK’s Three-Act Play
A log mansion in the Adirondack Mountains…
A big family on the run…
A nation in peril…

Long Emergency Cafe Press ad 2

Get your Official JHK swag on Cafe Press

The fourth and final book of the World Made By Hand series.


Battenkill Books (autographed by the Author) |  Northshire Books Amazon

emb of Riches Thumbnail

JHK’s lost classic now reprinted as an e-book
Kindle edition only


Support this blog by visiting Jim’s Patreon Page

And thanks to all my Patrons for your support



Behold the Bel Air (Los Angeles) real estate venture called The One. (There is no other One… it’s the only One). This exercise in wretched excess on steroids (with sugar on top) is a house, in case you couldn’t figure that out. It’s 105,000 square feet clad in white marble, has five pools, a large nightclub, 40-seat home theater, bowling alley, tennis court, running track, putting green, a 30-car garage, and a moat!  All on three little acres. Views of distant downtown LA. One could easily imagine Christopher Walken ranging through the austere chambers with a Glock “Nine,” firing potshots at the art.

The developer, a sometime film producer named Nile Niami, lost control of the project when he missed a payment to an outfit called Westlake Finance, known to be an aggressive lender with a bent for hair-trigger foreclosures.  Niami’s company, Crestlloyd LLC, went bankrupt and The One veered into receivership. Originally priced at $500-million, to make it the most expensive private home in America, it goes on the market this month priced at $295-million. The outstanding debt on the place is $165-million. If no one snaps it up, it goes to auction.

Note of interest: when the project got into trouble, Mr. Niami rented The One out as an “event space.” The nightclub was used to put on shows featuring holograms of Whiney Houston and Michael Jackson performing their hits. Holograms are lovely people. They don’t fight over their pay or make outlandish demands for exotic snacks in the Green Room.

If you happen to be in LA this month, go visit the place on its cut-de-sac, Airole Way off Stradella Road (map below).
Thanks to Joey King for the nomination.


This web feature is sponsored by Sage Restoration

Sage Restoration

About James Howard Kunstler

View all posts by James Howard Kunstler
James Howard Kunstler is the author of many books including (non-fiction) The Geography of Nowhere, The City in Mind: Notes on the Urban Condition, Home from Nowhere, The Long Emergency and the four-book series of World Made By Hand novels, set in a post economic crash American future. His most recent book is Living in the Long Emergency; Global Crisis, the Failure of the Futurists, and the Early Adapters Who Are Showing Us the Way Forward. Jim lives on a homestead in Washington County, New. York, where he tends his garden and communes with his chickens.

8 Responses to “January 2022”

  1. tucsonspur January 4, 2022 at 3:10 am #

    Some might say it’s ostentasteless like Trump. No, fuggedaboutit, nowadays he couldn’t even afford the upkeep. Besides, there’re more than miles of distance between LA and NYC.

    It’s ‘The One’, but it probably won’t be the only one of its type. They say that if you’ve got it flaunt it, but these days it seems that you can flaunt it even if you haven’t got ‘it’, it meaning the actual money. Mettle and moxie though can often lead to massive amounts of munificence.

    Niami wants to create the ‘ONE Coin’, crypto stuff backed by the house. Supposedly the value of the home will be ‘tokenized’ and sold in something like a realm of digital real estate.

    All in all, it’s really quite striking for a house and would splendidly accommodate even a large family, but of course the design seems to have more in mind than traditional family values, what with all those Playboy covers and such, so something like orgies and gangbangs comes to mind considering LA’s often libidinous, lewd and lascivious reputation.

    Success and excess often go hand in hand. Is Nile just a pimp of profligacy, just an odious ogre of oneiric overindulgence? See him and the ‘Wings of Angels’ here:


    • MaryQueen January 4, 2022 at 11:28 am #

      That YouTube does come off as a parody, as many of the commenters point out. In the 1970s it sure would have been.

      But the 2020s with its obscene excess of the recent covid19 billionaires shows now this is perfectly normal.

      What a horrid place, it’s like a sterile hotel.

  2. gusgus2022 January 4, 2022 at 11:38 am #

    I will never understand why for what you pay to build a personal shopping center you could live by the beach in LA ….plus Belair etc isn’t that nice considering what’s houses cost
    After 25 years living there I hate that place it’s the worst of suburbia ,miles and miles of 50s tracts and unbearable depressing traffic .
    The DWP has a photo archive ,and looking from 1890 to the 40s the Automobile really does look like a plague .

  3. tom clark January 4, 2022 at 8:42 pm #

    A million here, a million there, pretty soon you’re talkin’ real money!

  4. SvrzoH January 5, 2022 at 12:09 pm #

    Just a three decades ago, ability of some (read “an ordinary guy who made it big”) to build such a monstrosity was viewed as what makes this country great.
    Nauseating roller deck of by default rooms what a new construction demands in this area. No mentioned, but I am certain that list includes “panic room” too.

  5. anmariwakaranai January 8, 2022 at 1:59 am #

    I can see Christopher Walken as ‘the Continental’ getting lost looking for Annette Funechello, (sp?, rip), in a spoof light porn, every sprawling room filled with wacky woke Hollyweirds looking to con their next vic.

    The Continental…


    Support this blog on PatreonSupport this blog on Substack
    Support this blog via Patreon or Substack
  6. Ishabaka January 17, 2022 at 9:26 am #

    Unlike the other buildings featured, this isn’t hideous. Seems to be more resentment of the rich than architectural criticism.

  7. Jo-G January 25, 2022 at 1:46 pm #

    It is too large for the lot size. The aerial view doesn’t give us enough information to judge it’s hideousness. No rich person purchased it nor bought it. I lived “near” a few mansions owned by a few of America’s ultra rich at one time. I could see one of the “homes” off in the distance. I thought it was an exclusive hotel or conference center until the owner died that I found out it was one of the guy’s vacation homes. Apparently he and his guests came and went by helicopter. The “driveway” was used by support staff not the owner. I’m not saying a Trump like rich person wouldn’t buy this as a recreational venue when he or she has to stay in LA. A 30 car garage would come in handy for lavish parties. You wouldn’t want your buddies to park their extreme luxury cars on the street.