Photo: Versace mansion (Odyssey)
The luxury Miami Beach mansion where Italian designer Gianni Versace lived and died was sold Tuesday at auction for $41.5 million to a business consortium including the Nakash family, the owner of Jordache Jeans.
The Nakash clan already has an interest in the Victor Hotel, next door to the mansion, and plans to consolidate the two properties to create a hotel.
At the end of Tuesday’s auction, Joe Nakash announced his intention to ask permission of the Versace family to name the new establishment the Versace Hotel Villa.
The winning bid was presented by the VM South Beach LLC group, which in 2011 acquired the mortgage on the mansion from Germany’s WestLB bank and among whose partners are the Nakash family and Gindi Capital.
Versace’s former villa, for which bidding was started at $25 million, is just off the beach and - these days - is a prime attraction for tourists, the curious and admirers of the slain Italian fashion designer.
Casa Casuarina was constructed in 1930 by Alden Freeman, an heir to the Standard Oil fortune. The mansion, which has 10 bedrooms and 11 bathrooms, is known for the statue of Aphrodite in its garden.
Versace bought Casa Casuarina in 1992 and turned it into a palace in the style of the Roman Empire.
The Italian designer was gunned down on July 15, 1997, by Andrew Cunanan, a male prostitute suspected of murdering four other men.
Cunanan committed suicide in a Miami Beach houseboat eight days later.
The Nakash family was one of the three bidders who vied to purchase the home in Tuesday’s auction, which was held inside the villa and lasted just 30 minutes.