Casa Casuarina, perhaps better known as the Versace Mansion, is one of the most famous buildings in South Beach, but no one can figure out what to do with it. Less than two years after buying it at auction, its owners have put it back on the market. Update: Apparently just as a rental upon updated reports.
The Nakash family paid $41.5 million for it in 2013 through their Jordache Enterprises. (Yes, that's the family that started Jordache Jeans.) There were all sorts of rumors and plans about what the family might do with it. There was even talk of bringing in retail clients like Apple and Victoria's Secret, but it has continued to be operated as a restaurant, boutique hotel, and event venue.
The Nakashes already owned a few hotels in South Beach, including the nearby Hotel Victor, and just this past December shelled out $90 million for the Setai.
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According to the Real Deal South Florida, they've now put Casa Casuarina back on the market as a rental property.The property is listed with Cushman & Wakefield. According to the Real Deal, they're marketing it as a mixed-use property that could include "luxury retail, financial advisory services, high-end dining and lounge space, a hotel, auction house, or art gallery."
Gianni Versace bought two neighboring hotels to create the mansion in the early '90s, during South Beach's wild heyday, and lived there part time until he was murdered on its front steps in 1997 by spree killer Andrew Cunanan.
Few people with the money to buy the private residence would want the notoriety and lack of privacy that would come with living directly on Ocean Drive. The problem with the property for other uses is that it's the exquisitely designed interior features, overseen by Versace himself, that make the place special, not necessarily the structure itself. The building still holds Versace's personal furniture, making it difficult to redevelop for other uses. With just ten suites, its use as a hotel is limited.