Real estate mogul tied to SF corruption scandal buys $15M home

Victor Makras pays nearly three times the asking price for Hillsborough estate

A photo illustration of Victor Makras and 700 Brewer Drive in Hillsborough (Getty, LoopNet, Google Maps)
A photo illustration of Victor Makras and 700 Brewer Drive in Hillsborough (Getty, LoopNet, Google Maps)

Victor Makras, a politically connected real estate broker and investor tied to a San Francisco corruption scandal, has paid close to triple the asking price for a Hillsborough home, according to public records. 

The five-bedroom, 4.5-bath home at 700 Brewer Drive listed for just under $5.7 million at the end of February with Park North Real Estate agents Tim Hawko and Katie Tostanoski. It was in contract two weeks later and closed March 17 for $15 million. The quick close indicates an all-cash deal and works out to about $2,700 per square foot for the 5,500-square-foot home inspired by a French countryside farmhouse. It was built in 1919.

Hawko and Tostanoski declined to comment on the deal. Makras did not reply to a request for comment.

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Despite a conviction for bank fraud last year for his part in a federal bank loan probe that brought down former Public Utilities Commissions head Harlan Kelly and former Public Works Director Mohammed Nuru, Makras still has his real estate license and was both the agent and a buyer on the deal. Nuru was sentenced to seven years, but Makras avoided serving jail time after 190 letters asking for leniency, including testimonies from former San Francisco mayors Willie Brown and Art Agnos, were filed with the court. 

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A trust in Makras’ name partnered with Papouman Trust to buy the home, according to public record. “Papou” means grandfather in Greek and Makras is of Greek descent. Makras also owns two other Peninsula properties, one in Millbrae and one in Belmont, with different partners, according to public records. 

The estate on 0.75 acre has not sold since 1978, when it cost about $320,000. It was recently the subject of a litigated elder abuse case, according to court records. Thea Bacon inherited the property after her husband Frank died in the mid-1980s. Bacon had no heirs and before her death in January 2021 was placed under the conservatorship of Debra Dolch. Dolch claimed that Bacon’s long-time “designer and holistic healer” James Sykes had duped her into signing away the deed to the home and stolen millions of dollars, according to a press release from a law firm that represented the conservator. A March 2022 ruling awarded Dolch “approximately $8.5 million in compensatory damages, $16 million in double damages, title to a $6-million property in Hillsborough, CA, and attorneys’ fees and costs,” according to the release.