Possibly thinking it could be a good place to sell some Jordache jeans, the Nakash family's director of real estate Jon Bennett told Real Deal Miami that, after using it as a hotel for an undetermined period, they may turn the Versace Mansion into some sort of retail establishment. Says Bennett "I think this could be an incredible retail flag location" for a retailer like Apple or Victoria's Secret. Or, presumably, wherever they sell Jordaches, This, of course, would be a massive slap in the face to the history and culture of South Florida.
Although the original structure itself, once a Mediterranean Revival apartment house for artists called the Amsterdam Palace, is historically designated under the Miami Beach Architectural District, and thus legally protected from demolition or serious alteration, none of the 'Gianni Versace' elements within the house are protected at all. It's all too new. Everything that Gianni Versace added to the building, including the gold-tiled swimming pool, the group shower, the elaborate landscaping, the new wing, the hookah room, Madonna's Suite, the seven closets in Gianni's bedroom, the ceiling murals, and Donatella's Suite, was added after the fashion designer bought the building in 1992, and just like that, with absolutely no legal protections it all could disappear. Even though the elements of the house connected with Gianni Versace are only about twenty years old, they are undoubtedly historical and it is imperative that Casa Casuarina, the Versace Mansion—the Vizcaya of the 90s—be preserved in its entirety.
· Versace Mansion could become another Apple Store [Real Deal Miami]
· Casa Casuarina coverage [Curbed Miami]