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.