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A Megamansion Builder Explains: Why Would You Need 4 Pools?

"The most ambitious" spec house in Los Angeles is a Bel Air project underway right now, which, when completed next year, will be asking $500 million. The Wall Street Journal says the project will have "100,000 square feet of space spread across a 4-acre property," including a nightclub and casino, a bowling alley, and four swimming pools. It's the swimming pool excess that's just too much for some, like Fred Rosen, the former chief executive at Ticketmaster who founded the Bel Air Homeowner's Alliance. "When you think of it, who in their right mind needs four swimming pools?" he (like many others) wonders. (Hey, did we mention there's an epic drought on?)

Who in their right mind needs four pools? How about who doesn't need four swimming pools? The megamansion's developer, prolific giant spec house builder Nile Niami, retorts, "Why would you not need four swimming pools?" He goes on to say that four is not an outrageous number of pools for an estate this large. Four pools on four acres, that's one pool for every acre—when it's laid out like that, it hardly seems over the top at all. Especially considering the place is being built by Niami, who's spearheaded many other massive mansions, some with far more unusual amenities than a bevy of pools. (One of his projects has an operating room and dental offices in the basement.)

Perhaps even worse, all those pools are probably not going to get very much use at all. "I think whoever is buying this house is going to have 10 other houses," Niami says. "Nobody buys a 100,000-square-foot house as their principal residence to use every day."
· Where Prices Start at $115 Million: Bel Air's Trophy Home Boom [WSJ]
· The New Biggest Mansion in Los Angeles Will Ask $500 Million [Curbed LA]