MIAMI — The former Versace mansion in Miami Beach fetched a top bid of $41.5 million from a group that included New York's Nakash family, which controls Jordache Enterprises, at a court-ordered bankruptcy auction Tuesday.
After the auction, Joe Nakash, the winning bidder and owner of the Victor Hotel next door, said he plans to ask for the right to use the Versace name and operate the mansion as a hotel in conjunction with the Victor.
Lamar P. Fisher of Fisher Auction Co. conducted the auction Tuesday morning inside the ornate 10-bedroom, 11-bath mansion.
The winning bid came from VM South Beach LLC, which acquired the mortgage on the property in December 2011 from a German bank, WestLB. VM South Beach's principals include the Nakash family of New York, which controls Jordache Enterprises, and Gindi Capital, controlled by the Gindi family of New York. The Nakash and Gindi interests also jointly own the Victor Hotel next door to Casa Casuarina.
Should the deal fall through, the mansion will go to Donald Trump, whose team had the second highest bid at $41 million. "I felt it brought a fair market value," said Fisher at a news conference immediately following the auction.
Other bidders included Palm Beach Polo Club owner Glenn Straub.
The media weren't allowed to attend.
The parties expect to present the winning bid to U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Laurel M. Isicoff on Wednesday for approval.
Peter Loftin, who owned the property — a rare gem directly on Ocean Drive — 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. The property can be used as a residence or commercial business.
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.
Fashion designer Gianni Versace purchased the property in 1992, and according to The Jills, spent $33 million in renovating it, adding a wing and making additional upgrades.
Versace was shot to death on the steps of the home in 1997 by Andrew Cunanan.