Gianni Versace's Miami mansion auctioned for US$41.5m
The seaside Miami mansion where Italian fashion designer Gianni Versace lived and was murdered in 1997 has been sold for US$41.5 million.
The fully-furnished Miami Beach property was sold on Tuesday to VM South Beach LLC, a group led by investor Joe Nakash, one of three bidders.
Rival offers were made by Eric Trump, the son of real estate tycoon Donald Trump, and Glenn Straub, owner of the Palm Beach Polo and Country Club.
Bidding for the villa, which is called Casa Casuarina and has 10 bedrooms and 11 bathrooms, started at US$25 million.
Versace, then 50, was shot to death outside the Mediterranean-style mansion on July 15, 1997, by Andrew Cunanan, a gay prostitute who had been on a three-month killing spree.
The auction lasted less than 20 minutes in the mansion's swimming pool area on 1116 Ocean Drive . The villa will be turned into a hotel, said Eli Gindi, another member of the VM South Beach LLC group.
Nakash and Gindi already own the Victor Hotel, an art deco building next door to the Versace mansion. The idea is to expand the Victor to create one big hotel complex with the Versace villa.
Gianni Versace bought the home in 1992 for $2.9 million.
The Versace family got rid of it after his killing, selling it in 2000 to Peter Loftin for US$19 million.