Back in July we reported that the iconic Versace Mansion was set to go on sale at auction on September 17th this year. Well it did and unsurprisingly Gianni Versace’s former Miami abode sold to the highest bidder - VM South Beach LLC. The investment vehicle of the Nakash family beat a counter-bid by Donald Trump by just $500,000 with their $41.5million offering and look set to turn the 1116 Ocean Drive South Beach property into a hotel.
A representative of the company, who already own the Victor Hotel next door, revealed: "We've waited a long time for this day. This is a very delicate property and a very special property. People take more pictures in front of it than they do the White House because they can't get in. We want people to be able to enter and see it. A lot of different concepts are on the table. Right now, we're talking about a hotel and a hotel only, but we're a creative bunch and we're throwing around ideas for a magnificent retail concept. We're looking into using the Versace name and intend to speak to the family and see what they have to say about that. We would love to have a collaboration with them and pay proper homage to Gianni."
Phew! Sounds like they won't be messing too much with the Versace decor. Gianni first bought the 1930 beachfront property for $3million (£1.88 million) in 1992 and spent $33 million (£21.2 million) on its renovation. The property was put up for reluctant auction as the majority owner, telecom entrepreneur (and George Wendt from Cheers lookalike) Peter Loftin had to file for bankruptcy. Oh dear.
Loftin bought Versace’s former mansion in 2000 following the sale of his company Business Telecom Inc, and refurbished it into a high-end boutique hotel and club, but it's now up for grabs. Once upon a time, this epic home which has ten bedrooms, ten bathrooms and some of the most ornate soft furnishing and gilding we’ve ever seen was on sale with a hefty $125 million (£81.5 million) price tag.
GIANNI VERSACE - AUTUMN WINTER FASHION SHOW, PARIS, FRANCE IN 1991
However, the company that dealt with the sale this time around, Fisher Auction Co., started bidding with a much more reasonable (okay, reasonable may be the wrong word but you know what we mean) £16 million asking price. If we had the money, we would most certainly have thrown it in the direction of this auction. A quality investment for a piece of fashion history? Especially when there’s a gold-lined swimming pool thrown in for good measure!