Versace Mansion Sells for $41.5 Million
A Florida business connected to Jordache Enterprises, famous for its upscale blue jeans, bought the Versace Mansion at auction this week with a winning bid of $41.5 million. The company plans to continue operating the 23,462-square-foot home located on Miami Beach’s South Beach as a hotel. They currently own several other Miami area hotels including the neighboring Hotel Victor.
It’s been quite a history for one of the country’s most historic and spectacular mansions. Gianni Versace bought the rundown Amsterdam Palace in 1992 for almost $10 million and then spent approximately $33 million to restore the mansion. Versace added a 6,100-square-foot south wing, a gold-lined swimming pool with more than one million mosaic tiles, gold-plated bath fixtures, a mosaic-covered courtyard, frescoes on the home’s walls and ceilings and lots of fancy artwork and furnishings.
The Legacy Continues
Versace renamed the mansion Casa Casuarina, but died there in 1997 when stalker Andrew Cunanan shot him on the home’s front steps . Architect and philanthropist Alden Freeman built the mansion in 1930. He modeled the home after the Alcazar de Colon mansion in the Dominican Republic. Alcazar de Colon was the home of the son of Christopher Columbus and the oldest existing house in the Western Hemisphere.
After Freeman died in 1937, the home was purchased by Jacques Amsterdam, who called it the Amsterdam Palace. Amsterdam used the home mostly as a crash pad for his hipster and intellectual friends. Upkeep was spotty and the mansion was in a serious state of neglect and disrepair when Versace purchased the property. Casa Casuarina went on the market last year at $125 million, but could not find a buyer. It was eventually reduced to $75 million, but still could not generate any interest and was sent to auction after lenders foreclosed on current owner Peter Loftin.
Furnishings and Artwork Included
The bidding, which was conducted in the mansion’s backyard next to the gold-plated swimming pool, began at $25.5 million and increased in $500,000 increments until it reached $41.5 million, trumping Donald Trump’s offer of $41 million. The house was sold with all the home’s furnishings and artwork. It is located in the middle of one of the world’s most fashionable neighborhoods, across the street from the Atlantic Ocean and just a few steps from the area’s hottest bars and trendy restaurants. The mansion entrance where Gianni died is one of South Florida’s most popular photo stops for tourists.
According to reuters.com, Joe Nakash, chairman of Jordache Enterprises, said he planned to ask Versace’s family for permission to rename the property the Versace Hotel Villa.
"Everything will stay as is," he said. "It’s history, every day you see how many people take a picture of this place."