Former Versace Mansion Sells — Will it Become a Hotel Again?
By Neal Broverman
The famed Ocean Drive house where gay fashion designer Gianni Versace was killed, and Madonna used to play, finally sold, but for way less than hoped a year ago.
An investor group connected with the Nakash family that owns Jordache jeans paid $41.5 million for Casa Casuarina (they own a hotel next door to the mansion). The winning bid was just a half million dollars more than Donald Trump's bid for the property. Realtors selling the house expressed happiness at the sale, though it's a 67% markdown from the 2012 asking price of $125 million. The sellers dropped the price by a $100 million when they tried to unload it this year.
The home was built in 1930 and purchased 62 years later by Versace, who spent $33 million on improvements to the house, which sits on 23,000 square feet of prime Miami Beach real estate. The flashy designer added a gold-tiled pool, observatory, and left the home with 10 bedrooms and 11 bathrooms. Versace threw opulent parties at the mansion, with luminaries like Madonna and Demi Moore partying there.
After Versace's 1997 murder on Casa Casuarina's front steps, killed by gay psycho Andrew Cunanan, the house was sold and converted to a boutique hotel. Financial problems left that owner to put the house on the market after declaring bankruptcy. It's not clear if Casa Casuarina will remain a hotel, but considering the public's interest in it, it could be a smart move. Read more here.