Reported billionaire Mohamed Hadid is claiming he doesn’t have enough money to pay for his “eyesore” of a mansion in Bel-Air to be knocked down.
During a court appearance last Wednesday, the attorney of the ex-husband of former Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star Yolanda Hadid said the real estate tycoon can’t demolish the home because he doesn’t have the $5 million it will cost to do so.
The issue with Mohamed’s Bel-Air mansion, which has been the subject of criminal charges and an FBI investigation, has to do with the fact that the home’s structures were found to be unsafe and deficient.
According to the LA Times, Mohamed pleaded no contest two years ago to criminal charges regarding the unfinished building, which prosecutors stated was larger than city rules allowed. In addition, the home included decks, bedrooms, and an IMAX theater that was never approved by the city. Momahed was ordered to perform community service, pay fines, and fix the issues with the home.
However, in recent weeks, it was determined there was no safe way to bring the home to code and Mohamed was ordered to demolish it. But a November 15 report from the Daily Mail states that despite seeing tons of success over the past several years, Mohamed is claiming he can’t even afford the $500,000 the receiver would charge him upfront to begin tearing down the home.
Mohamed “can’t afford it,” his attorney, Bruce Rudman, told Judge Craig Karlan of the Los Angeles Superior Court. “He doesn’t have the money.”
Meanwhile, the attorney of the neighbors beside Mohamed’s property, which he bought in 2011 for $1.9 million, isn’t buying it.
“It’s amazing to me because [Mohamed] just bought a multi-million home in Beverly Hills,” Ariel Neuman told the court. “We don’t accept this explanation. We don’t accept Mr. Hadid’s word for anything.”
Bruce said that Mohamed would get bank financing to knock down the home and build another, which would cost about $30 million, but only if the Building and Safety Department would guarantee permits for the new home, which they declined to do.
“With just the current house demolished and no permits for a house to be built in the future, the bank would foreclose (on the current loans [Mohamed] took out to build his colossal mansion) and the property would have to be sold,” Bruce explained.
The attorney added that Mohamed would get bank financing to pay the $1 to $2 million it would cost to get retro-fitting for the home’s current support piles, which his own structural engineer, Carl Josephson, deemed deficient because they weren’t deep enough in the bedrock. However, the city rejected the developer’s proposal.
During the legal proceedings, Mohamed’s neighbors claimed his home had unapproved retaining walls and inadequate foundation supports, which they labeled as “frightening.”
Even Mohamed’s own architect said, “I’m worried that building will slide down the hill and kill someone.”
After visiting the home himself, Judge Craig Karlan said he was “struck” by the steepness of the hill on which the house sits and “a little disconcerted” by the amount of piles supporting the home, which were positioned on angles, instead of being straight.
“If these piles failed and if this house came down the hill, I am positive in my mind that it would inflict severe damage on the (neighbors’) properties below, if not destroy them. Are these piles structurally safe? What would happen if there was a 6.0 earthquake?” he wondered.
At last week’s court hearing, the judge continued the case to November 20. At that time, he will decide on whether or not a receiver will be appointed to supervise the demolition of the home.
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