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The Real Deal Los Angeles

This Seagram heir tied to alleged cult is also an Encino resi developer

Clare Bronfman, who faces federal criminal charges related to the group Nxivm, wants to build a 46-unit complex
By Dennis Lynch |
Research by Laura Hanrahan
September 19, 2018 09:00AM

Sara Bronfman and 4717 N. Libbet Avenue

Seagram beverage company heir Clare Bronfman wants to develop a 46-unit residential building in Encino, even as she fights criminal charges in federal court over her involvement in an alleged sex cult.

An entity tied to Bronfman is seeking to build at 4717 N. Libbet Avenue. The five-story complex would have four units set aside for low-income renters. Parking for 60 cars would be located underground.

Federal prosecutors allege that Bronfman was the chief financier of a self-help group called Nxivm. Authorities say she was complicit in leader Keith Raniere’s physical and psychological abuse of a group of women in the group.

Bronfman was arrested in July on conspiracy to commit identity theft and racketeering charges, according to the Washington Post.

Bronfman and her sister Sara Bronfman, who allegedly played a smaller role in the Nxivm group, bought the Encino property in February 2017 and then transferred it to an LLC owned by Clare Bronfman.

Both are daughters of the late Edgar Bronfman Sr., who was chairman of Seagram’s. They are granddaughters of the multinational firm’s founder, Samuel Bronfman. The sisters have reportedly spent around $150 million of the family’s fortune on Nxivm.

Other Bronfmans are active in the residential market in Los Angeles, but this project appears to be the family’s first multifamily project.

Encino has seen a handful of similarly projects crop up this year. A 114-unit complex on West Ventura Boulevard cleared the city’s planning commission in July. TriStar is planning a 97-unit assisted living facility on Ventura Boulevard and DKN Hotels wants to build a 158-key hotel in Encino.