Bringing down the (open) house: Cops play spoilsport at Makowsky’s megamanse

Listing brokers' event at home asking $188M leaked on Instagram: sources

TRD LOS ANGELES /
Apr.April 18, 2018 02:05 PM
Rayni and Branden Williams and the house (Credit: Pixabay, Wikimedia Commons)

What happens when you mix a mansion asking $188 million, a brokers’ preview and social media? In Bel-Air at least, that’s a recipe for a police-led shutdown.

After what was meant to be a brokers-only open house at Bruce Makowsky’s spec home got raucous Tuesday, police intervened and shut the event down, sources in attendance told The Real Deal. Brokers, and some civilians who had caught wind of the event, were asked to leave the property.

Rayni Williams, a Hilton & Hyland broker who has the listing along with her partner, Branden Williams, and Nest Seekers International’s Shawn Elliott, said the police broke up proceedings because there were too many cars, stretching all the way down to Sunset Boulevard.

“The traffic was insane,” a broker who tried attending the event said. “It reminded me of when a kid has a house for the night and puts it on Facebook and then tons of people show up.”

News of the exclusive event apparently leaked on a luxury real estate Instagram page, sources said. Given the mansion’s notoriety – the developer has nicknamed it “Billionaire” and it boasts a moat-like canal – many guests showed up.

The event was scheduled to go from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. The boys in blue had showed up by 6:30 p.m.

Only licensed brokers were let inside the 38,000-square-foot residence, Branden said. There was a staff of at least 20, including security guards and event coordinators, on site.

“There was never anybody that wasn’t allowed to be in this party,” he said. But the gawkers came in droves.

“There was an overwhelming amount of people,” said Rayni. “We expected it but the issue is everyone came at once. People would get there and call clients and so it just turned into an even bigger outpour of love and respect for the house.”

The Hilton & Hyland team said they wanted to do something that would set this apart from the usual RSVP event. They often promote properties on their Instagram page, where “everything gets reposted,” Rayni said.

“I know a lot of other agents get very jealous because whatever we do, it always goes big,” Branden added.

The property, at 924 Bel Air Road, features a dozen bedrooms, 21 bathrooms, five bars, a Louis Vuitton-designed bowling alley, two champagne rooms and a 40-seat home theater. Initially listed for $250 million, it was relisted this week with a 25 percent price chop. The Makowsky property is one of the most prominent spec mansions in L.A., along with a Bel Air property being developed by Nile Niami that he christened “The One.” That property will reportedly ask $500 million, but Niami insists it’ll be marketed to “normal dudes.”


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