Versace Mansion on Miami’s famed Ocean Drive has featured regularly on Forbes’ list of America’s most expensive homes for sale. Known as Casa Casuarina, the estate has been on the market for over a year now. It had to take the auction route to find a buyer. In an auction held on Tuesday, the trophy home fetched $41.5 million. The mansion built in 1930 has a design inspired by the Alcazar de Colon, the colonial palace where the family of Christopher Columbus once lived. Gianni Versace had bought the estate in 1992 and spent an estimated $33 million on improvements.
The Auction Had Drawn the Attention of International Buyers
Versace was killed on the doorsteps of the mansion in 1997 by serial killer Andrew Cunanan. The luxury home was acquired by telecom mogul Peter Loftin for $19 million. He converted the building and leased it out as a boutique hotel. However, the property was not managed well and defaults on mortgage and property taxes led Loftin’s Casa Casuarina LLC to file Chapter 11 earlier this year before it could go for foreclosure. The auction was managed by Fisher Auction Company who had advertised it extensively and managed to draw the attention of prospective buyers from around the world. Lamar Fisher, their Chief Executive was happy with the result and the way the whole process was completed.
The New Owners are Expected to Operate the Property as a Hotel
VM South Beach LLC made the winning bid beating the $41 million bid made by leading real estate player Donald Trump. It is an investor group that already holds the mortgage on the property. The group owns the Hotel Victor next door and is expected to operate the Versace mansion also as a hotel. The mansion has a total of 23,000 square feet of living space that includes 10 bedrooms, 11 bathrooms and an observatory. The hand painted walls and fresco adorned ceilings, twin staircase grand entry and 54 foot-long pool lined with 24 karat gold are some of the highlights of the iconic building. The property was originally listed for an asking price of $125 million in June 2012. The final price at the auction was 67% lower but all the stakeholders were satisfied with the fact that sale was finally completed.