It was on the front steps of this Ocean Drive mansion that Versace took his final breath after being shot dead by Andrew Cunanan on July 15, 1997. Versace bought the Casa Casuarina (built by Standard Oil heir Alden Freeman in 1930 as a tribute to what was then the oldest existing house in the western hemisphere, the Alcazar de Colon built by Christopher Columbus’ son Diego in Santo Domingo in 1510) and expanded it while respecting its original structure. Years after his death, the villa was transformed into a private members-only club of 35 guest rooms and renamed “The Villa by Barton G.” But for upwards of $1,200 per night you could become a temporary member and experience Versace’s vision of Mediterranean opulence in South Beach.
Well, it seems that all this is now coming to an end – at least this latest iteration of Versace’s former home. The mansion is being sold for a mere $125 million. Not much of a surprise considering its history, unique ocean front location, but also the allure of being Versace’s favorite and final house.
I had the opportunity to visit the Villa a few years ago for dinner. The $750 per ounce caviar, the unimaginable wine collection and rare champagne catalogue while dining above the Neptune fountain made the visit indeed a singular experience.
Not sure what the downpayment is, but at this bargain price you can create a new chapter in what is currently a boutique hotel, or you can make this casa a crib of your own. Are you interested ? Place your bets…