The exterior of the building is deceptively simple, but the inside is all about grandiosity. Versace purchased the property in 1992 and spent $33 million in renovating it, adding a wing and making additional upgrades. Each room is decorated in a fantasy theme.
The house, which has hand-painted murals and ornate statues throughout, boasts a 54-foot, mosaic-inlaid pool lined in 24-karat gold.
Peter Loftin, the owner, placed the corporate entity it is held in, Casa Casuarina LLC, in Chapter 11 federal bankruptcy proceedings July 1 to stave off lien holder VM South Beach’s efforts to appoint a receiver and wrest control of the sale process from him.
Loftin, a telecom entrepreneur, bought the property in 2000 for $19 million. Until May, Barton Weiss, a well-known Miami restaurateur, had leased the property, operating it as The Villa By Barton G, a 10-room boutique hotel.
Loftin listed the property for sale in June for $125 million with luxury real-estate brokers Jill Eber and Jill Hertzberg, who operate as The Jills Team at Coldwell Banker. He later pared the price to $100 million and then $75 million, but drew no buyers. When it was set for auction, the Jills joined Fisher Auction in marketing the property to wealthy prospects around the world.
Joe Grant, Loftin’s attorney, said late Tuesday: “It’s a somber day for him. He’s obviously attached to the property from living there.” Grant said after all the property’s debts are paid, “he’s going to walk away with some money in his pocket.”
A 9.9 percent share of the proceeds due Casa Casuarina LLC will go to the bankruptcy trustee for Rothstein Rosenfeldt Adler, the defunct Fort Lauderdale law firm of convicted Ponzi schemer and attorney Scott Rothstein. Rothstein, who married his wife Kimberly at the mansion, had invested in Casa Casuarina LLC.
“We feel it brought fair market value,” Fisher told reporters. “It was exposed worldwide.”
“This is one of the most-recognized properties in the world. It’s iconic,” added Jill Eber. “So it’s always hard to identify where the value would end up.”