Gianni Versace's South Beach mansion, Casa Casuarina, sold at auction today for $41.5 million, according to real estate blog Redfin.com.
The price represents a far cry from the $100 million it was listed for on the MLS in June 2012. In May of this year, the price dropped to $75 million. Many expected the house to become the most expensive home ever sold in Miami, eclipsing the record $47 million that was paid last year for a 30,000-square-foot contemporary on Indian Creek Island.
Instead, the property's highest bidder, VM South Beach LLC — a group that includes the Nakash family, who own Jordache Enterprises — came in millions under the benchmark price. Joe Nakash is the owner of the Victor Hotel, which is located next door to Casa Casuarina. Donald Trump put in the second-highest bit ($41 million) for the 20,000-square-foot-plus Ocean Drive estate where the Italian fashion designer entertained Madonna, Princess Diana and many others. Versace was shot and killed on the mansion's front steps in 1997. Others were reported to have been interested in the property's auction, including British soccer star David Beckham and wife Victoria.
The 10-bedroom, 11-bath spread is known for its over-the-top opulent touches including a mosaic-tiled pool lined in 24-karat gold, hand-painted walls and ceiling frescoes, lush gardens, fountains and Medusa heads set into the walls surrounding the compound.
Nakash told the Miami Herald that he plans to turn the mansion into a hotel, which will operate in conjunction with the Victor, although others argue that with only 10 bedrooms, it would be difficult to generate enough revenue to justify the high price.