The former home of Italian designer Gianni Versace hitting the market is a big enough story on its own, but add in its jaw-dropping price tag of $125 million and the intrigue increases.
Homes priced for over $100 million are not common. Even the Spelling Manor, first listed for a whopping $150 million, sold for $85 million. There are only a handful of homes that are priced over $100 million currently; the only other property in this category is the famous Fleur de Lys in Bel Air, which is listed for $125 million as well.
What pushes a home into the $100 million-plus category?
Beyond the home’s famous previous owner, this home has 10 bedrooms, 11 baths and a 54-foot mosaic pool lined in 24-karat gold. Known as Casa Casuarina, the 18,838-square-foot home was built in 1930 by architect and philanthropist Alden Freeman. After Freeman’s death, the home transferred to Jacques Amersterdam, who opened the property as an apartment building.
Versace bought the home in 1992 for about $10 million and spent some $33 million expanding it, adding an entire south wing and exterior plazas as well as the flashy gold pool. He was murdered outside the mansion in 1997 as he returned from his morning walk.
Telecom entrepreneur Peter Loftin purchased the home in 2000 for $20 million and added his own touches to it. He used the Miami Beach home as a private residence for a few years and then turned the home into boutique hotel Villa by Barton G in 2009.
Despite the country’s slow recovery from the real estate recession, high-end homes are selling well to international buyers. Spelling Manor was picked up by British heiress Petra Eccelestone, Russian investor Yuri Milner bought a home in Silicon Valley for $100 million, and an $88 million penthouse went to Ekaterina Rybolovleva, daughter of Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev.
“Miami is now seeing prices like it’s never seen before, with an influx of international buyers, so it’s the perfect time to sell this trophy property,” Coldwell Banker listing agent Jill Eber told the Wall Street Journal. Eber shares the property listing with Jill Hertzberg.