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Last year, when the Versace mansion was listed for the first time, it immediately grabbed headlines with the suggestion that a residential property in Miami might finally sell for over $100 million. The property was listed at $125, where it gained immediate attention from the local and national press. The South Beach mansion, once owned by Italian fashion designer Gianni Versace, was then listed at $75 million in order to hurry the sale along. The $50 million reduction was staggering and most thought the property would be snapped up at that price.
Versace Miami property sale
The property was still expected to beat the record for a Miami sale of $47 million by a large margin. Low and behold, the property called Casa Casuarina sold today for a disappointing $41.5 million to the mortgage holder, VM South Beach, by Fisher Auction.
While the 19,000-square-foot estate on Ocean Drive entertained Madonna, Princess Diana and other celebrities, it was also on its front steps where Versace was killed in 1997. Apparently, that bit of history is enough to significantly reduce the selling price.
Detail about the Versace mansion
The property has a mosaic-tiled pool lined with 24-karat gold, an elaborate courtyard, 10 bedrooms and 11 baths. It was marketed by the “Jills”—the Miami real-estate duo of Jill Eber and Jill Hertzberg. The house has been featured on numerous television shows including “Today.”
One of the problems the listing price could not overcome is its location in the middle of Ocean Drive, a location that provides little privacy and is mobbed by tourists year round.
“It’s really not practical as a single-family residence,” said Jorge Uribe, senior vice president of One Sotheby’s International in Miami. “I don’t know any clients who would want to live there even as a second or third house.”
Versace mansion conversion to hotel
The fact that the property “only” has 10 bedrooms made the conversion of the house to a hotel all but impossible at the asking price as well.
Additionally, the house was viewed as too small to accommodate a member’s club similar to the Casa Tua or Soho House that function in the same neighborhood.
The current owner, telecom entrepreneur Peter Loftin, still did well with the house. He purchased it for $19 million in 2000, but was forced to place it in Chapter 11 bankruptcy this year following a financial dispute with VM South Beach, a company whose principles included the New York Nakash and Gindi families.