Versace's former Miami mansion sells for $41.5 million at auction
By Kevin Gray
MIAMI (Reuters) - One of America's landmark homes, the Miami Beach mansion that once belonged to Italian fashion designer Gianni Versace, was sold at an auction on Tuesday for $41.5 million to a business group that includes the owners of the Jordache jeans brand.
The 1930s-era Mediterranean-style estate, which has 10 bedrooms, 11 bathrooms and a pool inlaid with 24-karat gold, was auctioned off as part of a bankruptcy proceeding by its current owner, telecom magnate Peter Loftin.
Bidding opened at $25.5 million and the winning offer was made by the current mortgage holders of the property, VM South Beach, a company affiliated with New York's Nakash family, which controls Jordache Enterprises.
The group beat out two other bidders, including billionaire Donald Trump and a Florida developer who owns the Palm Beach Polo and Country Club.
Potential buyers participated in a poolside auction at the three-story mansion on Miami's Ocean Drive. The property is now known as Casa Casuarina.
The Nakash family jointly owns a hotel next door to the mansion with the Gindi family, who founded the Century 21 department store chain. They plan to consolidate the properties to create a hotel that will possibly carry Versace's name.
Joe Nakash told reporters he planned to ask Versace's family for permission to name the new 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." Continued...