Mohamed Hadid’s Bel Air mega-mansion, which he has once hoped to sell for $100 million, is finally being demolished piece by piece after being held up in various court battles.
Exclusive pictures obtained by DailyMail.com show the home being reduced to a very expensive pile of rubble.
Hadid, the father of supermodels Gigi and Bella Hadid, purchased the lot in 2011 and quickly began construction, cramming a 30,000-square-foot house onto the 1.22-acre lot.
But the home’s dimensions were a lot larger and taller than city rules permit – and double the 15,000 square feet he was given permission for by the Buildings Department.
Neighbors then took Hadid to court fearing the estate might slide down the steep hillside and crush the homes below.
Sahara Construction scooped up the property in December for a mere $8.5 million and agreed to pay the $5 million in costs for knocking it down with the hope of making the money back through a future resale and a special tax break.
Mohamed Hadid’s 30,000-square-foot mega-mansion is being demolished on the side of a Bel Air hillside
Demolition work began last month after Sahara Construction bought the property in December and agreed to pay the $5 million costs for knocking it down
Mohamed Hadid sold the homes for $8.5 million after he was ordered to demolish the estate over safety concerns
A rendering of the home posted to Instagram shows what might have been had the building work been allowed to continue
Various construction vehicles including a cherry picked and bulldozer are seen at the demolition site
Mohamed Hadid, 73, sold his half-built Bel Air mega-mansion that is being demolished in May 2021
Hadid, 73, sold the home for a fraction of what he had hoped to make after he was ordered to demolish the estate over safety concerns, the New York Post reported.
Speaking to DailyMail.com last month, Hadid said he was not sad to see the house he envisaged as a monument to luxury and elegance reduced to a pile of rubble.
‘I’ve moved on with my life – that’s all behind me now,’ he said. ‘I wish the people who bought it well and I wish them well with whatever they build there in its place. I have other projects I am involved with now.’
Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Craig D. Karlan ordered the hulking structure to be torn down, calling it a ‘danger to the public’.
The gargantuan property, which had increasingly become a weight around Hadid’s neck, had mushroomed over a decade into the construction into the $100 million estate, according to various reports.
Hadid, a purported multi-millionaire, had argued in court in 2019 that he was so broke he could not afford the $5million it would take to tear it down after his own architect said he was worried the building ‘will slide down the hill and kill someone.’
Hadid, a father of five, including supermodels Gigi and Bella was prosecuted by the Los Angeles city council in 2015 after he refused to comply with stop work orders on the mansion.
He then declared that he was broke and facing US$60 million in losses over the property. $30 million, he claimed was his own money, with the other half comprised from loans.
His daughters are believed to be worth far more than their father with Gigi, 26, worth an estimated $29 million and Bella, 25, at $25million.
Hadid’s own architect had said he was worried the building ‘will slide down the hill and kill someone’
The home, which sold for $8.5 million in May 2021, is now costing the company that bought it $5 million to demolish
The company is using ‘multiple layers of safety’ in the demolition project, including strengthening existing fencing and installing netting around the site that’s strong enough to stop up to 20,000 pounds of debris from hurtling down the hill
Neighbors have long held concerns that the entire construction would ‘slide down the hillside’ crushing homes below
Hadid sold the home for $8.5 million after he was ordered to demolish the estate over safety concerns
Several workers can be seen working on the delicate operation to demolish the megamansion
California’s Supreme Court rejected the real estate tycoon’s appeal to review his case to overturn the decision to tear the home down last summer – calling the property a ‘clear and present danger’ to his neighbors.
The half-finished mansion was situated on Strada Vecchia Road in the ‘sought-after’ neighborhood of Lower Bel Air and is surrounded by some of the city’s ‘most celebrated estates,’ the listing read.
Hadid had started out building the mansion, on spec – without a buyer arranged – about 10 years ago, according to Los Angeles Magazine.
The listing called it ‘a rare opportunity to build a world class estate featuring views of the city and surrounding canyon.’
The home, located near the exclusive Bel Air Country Club as well as’ the world-renowned restaurants and boutiques of downtown Beverly Hills.’
Destroying the building is taking some time mainly because its position atop the steep hill overlooking several homes that would be in the path of any rubble or debris crashing downward.
From above it appears very little remains of the residence, but there are still three story’s to be removed
Hadid’s 30,000-square-foot mega-mansion has almost been demolished with the pile of rubble growing
At one stage there were plans for the building to be a $150 million mega mansion which Hadid planned to sell on
Destroying the building is a delicate operation with the property sitting atop a steep hill overlooking several homes
Gigi Hadid, Mohamed Hadid and Bella Hadid attend the Victoria’s Secret After Party at the Grand Palais on November 30, 2016 in Paris, France
‘We are unbuilding this house the same way it was built,’ Paul Ventura, boss of Sahara Construction, told DailyMail.com last month. ‘We have to be very careful – we can’t just smash everything down. We have to be a lot more surgical than that.
‘So instead of a wrecking ball, we’re using hydraulic excavators with long arms with special attachments on them to take down the structure more methodically and safely, ‘ he added.
Ventura stressed that the company is using ‘multiple layers of safety’ in the demolition project, including strengthening existing fencing and installing netting around the site that’s strong enough to stop up to 20,000 pounds of debris from hurtling down the hill.
In addition to the steepness of the hill the four-story house sits on, Sahara has to deal with another problem: the parts of the giant house that Hadid built without approval from LA city planners.
The demolition engineers are using the original approved plans to dismantle the building, section by section.
But, added Ventura, ‘Because the original builder (Hadid) did not build it according to the plans, a lot of the demolition work is exploratory. We have to carefully take down the walls to the steel supporting beams to see what’s there.
‘We’re not sure what we’re going to find when we, say, take down a wall or another part of the structure. Because a lot of the building is not on the plans.’
Instead of a wrecking ball, ‘we’re using hydraulic excavators with long arms with special attachments on them to take down the structure more methodically and safely’ the demolition company explained
The demolition engineers are using the original approved plans to dismantle the building, section by section
The home was supposed to have included a 70-seat IMAX theater and a huge wine cellar, that made the house grow to more than twice the 15,000 square feet the city had approved
Hadid, a purported multi-millionaire, had argued in court in 2019 that he was so broke he ‘could not afford’ the $5million it would take to tear it down
Sahara Construction, the company demolishing the home, invited DailyMail.com to the demolition site last for a first-hand look at how the operation to take apart the mansion was going.
Ripping down the stucco walls of the top floor revealed an interior that was supposed to be the very height of opulence and extravagance.
The centerpiece in the spectacular house was to be a huge entertainment area – with 15-foot ceilings and a 10-foot sculpted marble fireplace – that was to have been the scene of many glittering parties for the rich and famous.
With both the floor and walls lined with off-white marble, the vast space also boasts giant floor-to-ceiling windows that offer imposing, panoramic views over ritzy Bel Air and even to the Pacific Ocean on clear days.
To one side of the massive room is a 12-foot-long bar, made from a single piece of marble, that swivels to allow revelers entrance into an Imax movie theater.
That was to have seated film-goers in 70 red velvet chairs. But it’s now just a dark, cold cavern, waiting for saws to carve up its concrete walls and haul the pieces to a dump.
The same fate awaits the nearby wine cellar which was to have housed thousand of bottles of vintage.
With a nod to his Middle-eastern background, Hadid included an elaborate Turkish bath, complete with ornate wood carvings, colorful colorful ceramic tiles and walls covered in marble and mirrors.
‘It was a magnificent house – quite beautiful,’ he said.
The staircase that would have been elaborately decorated instead is now splintered and crumbling, pictured in February
Before: Hadid had shared his vision for the home during its construction on social media with photos of innovative designs and structural pieces
After: The half-constructed rooms are now waiting for saws to take down its concrete walls, pictured in February
Plans for the house included an elaborate Turkish bath, complete with ornate wood carvings, colorful tiles and marble and mirrored walls
Those rooms are now covered in dust, waiting to be torn apart, pictured in February
The real estate tycoon had plans to include a 70-seat IMAX theater and a huge wine cellar that were not part of the original construction plans
A huge entertainment room lined with marble walls and a 10-foot marble fireplace lies empty and ready to be taken apart
Inside the once magnificent structure, in place of the opulence and extravagance that Hadid had intended, there are only ruins. Pictured in February
Sahara Construction invited DailyMail.com last month for an exclusive, first-hand look at how the massive mansion is being reduced to rubble
Due to the house’s size and position on the hill, contractors must work carefully to prevent pieces of rubble and masonry from endangering properties below