New Promo Video Released for Casa Casuarina

Your Mama has just received a friendly missive from a New York-based public relations lady who thoughtfully let us know that The Jills released a jazzy, 2.5 minute long promotional video for Casa Casuarina, the extravagant former Miami Beach (FL) mansion of deceased Italian fashion designer and sartorial icon Gianni Versace.*

The glitzy and garish but—come on! —still fabulously dressed, 23,000 square foot Mediterranean mansion, located across the street from the beach on bustling and often loud Ocean Drive in South Beach, was put up for sale earlier this year with a too-sunny $125,000,000 asking price. Today, according to the missive from the N.Y. P.R. lady, the price tag for the 10 bedroom and 11 bathroom behemoth plummeted by 20% to $100,000,000.**

The children will recall that Mister Versace was brutally gunned down by that creep Andrew Cunanan in July 1997 on the front steps of this very mansion as he returned home from his morning jaunt to News Cafe a few blocks to the south, a place we too appreciate and occasionally patronize. His heirs and estate executors sold the sumptuous—and some might say meretricious—mansion in September 2000 for $19,000,000 to self-promoting telecom tycoon Peter Loftin.

The fastidiously maintained 1930s Mediterranean stands three floors above street level and is privately oriented around a flamboyantly embellished central courtyard with a 54-foot long mosaic-tiled swimming pool. Inside Mister Loftin has retained much if not all of Mister Versace’s famously and cacophonously colorful and deliberately decadent day-core.

We’re not sure of the specifics but Mister Loftin apparently faces—or faced—foreclosure on the property.*** Several years ago Mister Loftin leased the property to big time event designer Barton G. Weiss who reportedly has 6 or years remaining on a 10 year lease with an option to up for another ten. Mister Weiss operates the premises as The Villa By Barton G. a super-luxe restaurant, swank event space and 10-suite boutique hotel where rack rates we dug up online start at well over $1,000 per night.

In the promotional video one of The Jills rather brazenly suggests the next owner can access “instant celebrity” status—if they want it—simply by dropping a hundred million deuces on this globally renown residence where tourists still stop and snap pictures of themselves standing on the very spot where Mister Versace bled to death.

We really couldn’t say how long this supposed celebrity status might last for the next owner but Your Mama is pretty dang sure that if bajillionaire comes along and snaps this place up to use as a crash pad/party pad for a few weeks or weekends a year The Jills can be assured that all us property gossips all around the world will wag our tongues about it for a few days, maybe a week. Maybe two.

Oh! Look at that! We’re already doing it now.

*The Jills are a couple of high-powered and internationally recognized real estate brokers in Miami who are both named Jill and who work together under the Coldwell Banker umbrella.

**The P.R. lady in New York did not, of course, make use of the word plummet in any form or tense.

***We’re not sure of the exact status of the reported foreclosure process.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. Anonymous says:

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  3. Anonymous says:

    My company did the windows and doors there. Worked with (now deceased) Wallace Tutt, the general contractor.
    Couldn’t imagine it could be resurrected from “the Amsterdam Palace” a gritty, dirty broke down crack house to Casa Casaurina.

    If I were the owner I’d be worried about “the Jills” – the one Jill speaking doesn’t make sense taking about celebrity. The Botox and fillers have affected her ability to put a sentence together.

  4. Helen says:

    You would think that if they were making a video to sell a $100,000 property, they would try to get the video in focus.

  5. Anonymous says:

    I love that house but I would never buy it. As if I could, HA! The thing is, for that price you can get something gorgeous in the south of France in addition to a mansion somewhere in the U.S. Anyone with that kind of money is not going to be willing to live in that area.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Been there…done that. Had dinner and drinks there and in my friends room. He was staying in the room Princess Di and Madonna stayed in. I’ve lived in South Florida since 1965.

    1) South beach is a toilet. If you haven’t been there…be very very careful if you do go.

    2) Anyone who spends $100 mil on that place should instead go to a facility with much thicker padded walls. (Unless there tearit down and put up a 50 story hotel).

  7. Anonymous says:

    This is the definition of a white elephant and it will sit unsold or foreclosed for years unless they get more seriou with the price chops.

  8. Don Juan's Wreckless Daughter says:

    @New Urban Youth 40+

    You captured it completely.

    @Anon 9:25AM – I too spent an evening at the ‘private club’, and felt so dirty afterwards that I had to go back to the Fountainbleau for a shower and a small cry.

    Those ‘Jills’ must be high… forget targeting a private buyer, they need to set their sites on a Chris Blackwell type hotel group who will, no doubt, beat the price down into the 40’s or 50 mils.


  9. Anonymous says:

    Garish and over the top… Been to the private club which again is vulgar display but tis the theme.

    I can’t imagine this going back to a residence. A boutique hotel perhaps.. but sizing and financial return on investment with low number of rooms is next to impossible.

    Agree with above. this is surrounded by every tourist and widget pusher known to man. True dollars are spent elsewhere in Miami.

  10. Yeah, I do think the price is WAY over the top for that house…I know it’s located on Ocean Drive, Miami Beach and I know the meter square over there is expensive, but c’mon…isn’t U.S.A. on a recession ?

  11. Anonymous says:

    8:06 I agree that few normal people would want to spend this kind of money to live on Ocean Drive. However, if you liked to cruise as gays do, it might have advantages, from what I understand to be the ambiance of South Beach.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Florida is a waste land and the tax base is jumping ship like rats on a cruise with Leo DeCaprio.

  13. Rosco Mare says:

    @ New Urban Youth 40+

    Enjoyed your post. I’ve never been to South Beach, but I now have a feel for it with your well-written comments. Thanks.

  14. Anonymous says:

    thanks for your wonderful description and details on those-days.

    to Anonymous Newshen said…
    reconsider your priorities.

  15. Anonymous says:

    I go to Miami/Boca almost every year and have gone by this place many times and it looks like garbage on the outside and I am not impressed with the area. I have no idea why anyone would want to spend $100 million to live down there. For $30 million or less you can live on Star Island in a gorgeous massive mansion, why would you live here?

  16. Aunt Gina says:

    I’m pretty sure having someone murdered in cold blood on the front steps is bad karma or bad feng shui or something like that.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Thank you for remembering.


  18. I remember this property when it was an apartment building- before S. Miami Beach became the commercial mess it is today. Before Mr. Versace bought it and demolished/rebuilt it–it was one of those typical, struggling young artist/bohemian beach bum places captured in TV shows like Melrose Place or LA Complex—on the eve before everyone had to move there was a huge party there, the kind of stuff (1990’s) South Beach legends are made of. Good times. Oddly enough I was freelancing as a fashion assistant at that time and just some time later ended up being hired to work on the Versace campaigns being shot in Miami: it was an incredible experience, the Versace siblings were everything you could possibly imagine them to be in terms of over the top, la Dolce Vita style glamour- and seeing the inside of the property I had once been swing dancing and swilling martinis in a pre-demolition celebration was surreal to say the least.

    After the murder of Gianni Versace, Miami Beach was never really quite the same. Before then celebrities, jet setters, even royalty mixed with the “Everyman” on the island in a way that was casual, all just felt so incidental. and was part of the charm of the place. Everything was open, unguarded- so much so that right after Mr. Versace’s killing people could just walk up to the homicide site…his most rabid fans even rushing to touch the blood he shed, some of the more disturbed of the bunch soaking magazine advertisements with it (I don’t know where the police were-it was a lax environment that never saw anything like this, I don’t think they even know how to handle it). I remember seeing a single shoe in front of the gate, being very affected by realizing what had just taken place. To this day it absolutely amazes me that people stand in that very spot where he was killed smiling away for tourist photographs: it really speaks to the culture of celebrity obsession in this day and age, and for South Beach it’s a morose reminder of an end of a kind of era there that can never be re-captured.

  19. Matt Jamison says:

    THE place on South Beach @ 11th and Ocean I was there for a wedding it is absolutely gorgeous!!!! but not 100 million!!! it is on a loud party street that can be heard in the courtyard

  20. Anonymous says:

    Wholly Sh…t, I thought real estate market is down in SF?? From 19 million to 100 million in just 12 years? I need the Jills to sell my property.

  21. Anonymous says:

    Hey Mama, for The Jills to be selling $100 million properties you’d think they’d learn to spell. In their video it says F.K.A. Versaci Mansion. I would believe it was formerly known as the Versace Mansion. Not Versaci.

  22. Newshen says:

    Dear Jill and Jill:

    One word . . . BOTOX

  23. Rosco Mare says:

    “The Jills,” only in Miami…or Beverly Hills

    I can’t believe 15 years have passed since the senseless tragedy, and I still can’t afford a gloriously beautiful Versace beach/pool towel.

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