Al Capone's gangster mansion on the market in Miami Beach
By Zachary Fagenson
MIAMI BEACH, Florida (Reuters) - One of Miami Beach's most notorious pieces of real estate is back on the block: the asking price is almost $8.5 million.
The sprawling, waterfront compound is where notorious Chicago gangster Al Capone died after being released from Alcatraz and is said to have plotted the St. Valentine's day massacre in 1929.
The 10,000-square-foot baby blue mansion sits on exclusive Palm Island, sandwiched in Biscayne Bay between downtown Miami's skyscrapers and South Beach's hotel district.
The current owner, a Florida company managed by New York accountant Anthony Panebianco, purchased the home barely six months ago for $7.4 million, according to Miami-Dade property records.
The mansion was built in 1922 by Clarence Busch, a member of the Anheuser-Busch brewing family. Capone, who made a vast fortune importing and selling liquor during prohibition, bought it in 1928 for $40,000 after being chased out of Chicago and later Los Angeles, according Ron Chepesiuk, a journalist and author of the book Gangsters of Miami.
"A lot of the booze he was marketing was coming through Miami and south Florida," said Paul George, a leading Florida historian.
High-profile organized crime figures were a mainstay of Miami's early days, in part because of its proximity to Havana, a popular gambling and watering hole for Americans during the prohibition era.
A generation after Capone, Meyer Lansky - known as the "Mob Accountant" - owned a condominium on Miami Beach and in the 1950s operated casinos in Cuba before the communist revolution. Continued...