Reporting Summer Knowles
MIAMI BEACH (CBSMiami) — The posh South Beach mansion once owned by Italian designer Gianni Versace has been sold at auction for $41.5 million.
The winning bid at Tuesday’s auction went to the corporation VM South Beach LLC. Bidding started at approximately $25 million.
“We are very pleased to have had the opportunity to manage the sale of this iconic property,” said Lamar Fisher, President and CEO of Fisher Auction Company. “This beautifully appointed estate drew significant attention from prospective buyers from around the world.”
VM South Beach’s principals include the Nakash family of New York, who control Jordache Enterprises.
“It’s a very small price to pay for this villa, the home of Versace. Very small price,” said new owner Jeffrey Gindi.
Owning a handful of hotels in Miami Beach, including the Victor which is next door to the mansion, the new owners plan to utilize the mansion as a boutique hotel.
“We’d like to open it up to the public, that’s the plan, and if not—we’ll live in it,” said Eli Gindi laughing.
“I’m really happy with the people who got it because they understand Miami beach. They own the property next door, the Victor. They have six other hotels in the area so they are dedicated to bringing tourists,” adding, “that’s all good for the city and it’s good for us,” said Coldwell Banker Realtor Jill Hertzberg said Tuesday.
Gianni Versace bought the 23,000 square-foot home at 1116 Ocean Drive in 1992 and spent $33 million renovating it.
The home received national attention in 1997, when Versace was fatally shot on the front steps of the property on July 15th, 1997 by Andrew Cunanan, a male prostitute suspected in the murders of four other men. A little more than a week after Versace’s murder, Cunanan killed himself on a shuttered houseboat about 40 blocks from the mansion as police closed in.
Tourists can still routinely be spotted taking photos in front of the house.
The Versace family sold the property in 2000, and it operated as a private club and then as a boutique hotel until earlier this year when current owner Peter Loftin reportedly filed for bankruptcy to avoid foreclosure.
Loftin bought Casa Casuarina for $19 million and was most recently listed for $125 million.
Originally built in 1930, the mansion has 10 bedrooms, 11 bathrooms and a 54-foot-long mosaic swimming pool lined with 24-karat gold tiles. It also includes numerous frescos, ornate statues, arched doorways and an open air courtyard.