A bankruptcy judge in Miami on Wednesday approved the $41.5 million purchase of the former Versace mansion by the Nakash family (of Jordache jeans fame) and the Gindis (former owners of the Plaza Hotel’s Oak Room).
U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Laurel M. Isicoff approved the purchase by VM South Beach LLC. Joe Nakash, chairman of Jordache Enterprises, and New York real estate investor Eli Gindi, clenching a cigar, emerged from the auction, held in the courtyard of the highly decorated estate, having bested competing bids by Donald Trump and Palm Beach club owner Glenn Straub.
The Nakash family owns the Hotel Victor adjacent to the ornate mansion, which they plan to turn into the Versace Hotel, pending approval from the family of the slain fashion designer.
Now called Casa Casuarina, the former estate of slain Italian fashion designer Gianni Versace went to the Nakashes in a closed-door auction within its frescoed walls.
“We bought history,” a visibly pleased Joe Nakash, the chairman of Jordache Enterprises, told reporters on the steps of the mansion, dismissing the possibility of a massive renovation or teardown. “We paid $41.5 million for it and it’s going to stay as it is,” he said, adding that he will approach the Versace family about licensing the name.
The villa was originally listed for $125 million but went on the auction block after lenders foreclosed on owner Peter Loftin.
Despite a worldwide marketing campaign, the estate of the late fashion designer Gianni Versace netted only three bidders — Donald Trump, who is redeveloping an 800-acre golf course in Doral; Palm Beach Polo and Country Club owner Glenn Straub; and VM South Beach, owned by the Nakash family of Jordache jeans fame.
The requirements of the auctioneer, Miami-based Fisher Auction Co., were a $3 million deposit placed in escrow and proof of at least $40 million in liquid assets.