Miami mansion where Gianni Versace died is listed at $125 million
The South Beach property ties the record for highest-priced listing in the United States. The 23,462-square-foot home is now a boutique hotel.
One of the two most expensive properties in the United States went on sale last week, the South Beach mansion where fashion designer Gianni Versace lived and was gunned down on the steps in 1997.
With the blood long washed off the marble staircase in front, the property across from the ocean has been used most recently as a boutique hotel. It's on trendy Ocean Drive, which is home mostly to hotels and restaurants.
Asking price is $125 million, making it the most expensive real-estate listing in Miami/Miami Beach history.
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"Every room is a work of art," Jill Eber, one of the listing agents, told The Miami Herald. "If the person buying it is not already a celebrity, it gives them instant celebrity status — if they want it."
While the listing gives the property status as single-family, Miami-Dade property records list the primary zoning as entertainment/mixed use with a hotel overlay. The property has been operating as The Villa by Barton G. since late 2009. If you want to stay, a night's lodging costs four figures -- though we found a room available for $895 on a weeknight in June. Operator Barton G. Weiss, a restaurateur who also operates an eatery at the site, told The Herald that he has a 10-year lease with an option to renew and that he expects to continue operating a hotel on the property.
The house, which during Versace's residency was the only single-family home on Ocean Drive, has 10 bedrooms and 11 baths. Property records say the three-story home is 23,462 square feet on a 19,500-square-foot lot. It is across the street from the Atlantic Ocean and overlooks an oceanfront park.
The original 18,838-square-foot house was built by architect and philanthropist Alden Freeman, one of the Standard Oil heirs, in 1930. He designed the home as a tribute to the Alcazar de Colon, the home built by Christopher Columbus' son in the Dominican Republic.
After Freeman died in 1937, the property was turned into the 30-unit Amsterdam Palace apartments, popular with artists.
Versace bought the property in 1992 for $2.95 million and also bought and demolished the historic Revere Hotel next door. His extensive renovations, said to have cost $33 million, included adding a 54-foot mosaic pool lined in 24-karat gold, a 6,100-square-foot south wing, frescoes on the home's walls and ceilings, and courtyards. The renovations were completed in 1995, just in time to host a birthday party for Madonna. You can see a photo of the building before Versace bought it here.
After the designer's murder, the home was sold to a corporation headed by Peter Loftin, a telecom entrepreneur, for $19 million. Loftin lived in the home for several years and then turned it into a private club.
The property is the subject of several lawsuits, including a foreclosure lawsuit brought by Jordache Enterprises.
The home is one of the two highest-priced real-estate listings in the United States. The other,
also offered at $125 million, is in the Bel-Air neighborhood of Los Angeles.
About Teresa Mears
Teresa Mears is a veteran journalist who has been interested in houses since her father took her to tax auctions to carry the cash at age 10. A former editor of The Miami Herald's Home & Design section, she lives in South Florida where, in addition to writing about real estate, she publishes Miami on the Cheap to help her neighbors adjust to the loss of 60% of their property value.