Versace manse could become another Apple store

Casa Casuarina and pictured from left: Jill Eber, Joe Nakash and associate Eli Gendi
Casa Casuarina and pictured from left: Jill Eber, Joe Nakash and associate Eli Gendi

Jordache Enterprises mogul Joe Nakash is considering a plan to convert the former Versace mansion, which it acquired at auction for $41.5 million last week, into a high-end retail location, The Real Deal has learned.

The revelation follows Nakash’s announcement to reporters on the mansion’s steps following the auction; namely, that his family would seek to license the Versace name to be able to turn the storied property into a Versace hotel.

Jordache, which acquired the mansion at a Sept. 17 auction through an affiliate called VM South Beach, could use the property as a hotel as an interim move before bringing in a retailer like Apple or Victoria’s Secret, according to Jon Bennett, director of real estate at Nakash Holdings in New York.

“I think this could be an incredible retail flag location,” Bennett told TRD.

The Nakash family continues to explore the idea to open up the mansion in combination with their adjacent Hotel Victor, which has undergone a multimillion-dollar renovation and now operates under the name Thompson Ocean Drive.

The firm, in a partnership with New York investor Eli Gindi, beat out rival real estate mogul Donald Trump after his son Eric made a final bid of $41 million.

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The 23,000-square-foot, 10-bedroom mansion at 1116 Ocean Drive, originally known as Casa Casuarina, was first listed for $125 million, but then saw the price drop to $75 million.

Lyle Stern, president of the Koniver Stern retail brokerage, said converting the mansion into a retail location could work as long as the right kind of tenant was brought to the site, respecting the historical nature of the mansion and the outlying Art Deco district.

“It all depends on how it is introduced into the building,” he said.

Residents and tourists pack an Apple store on South Beach’s main pedestrian thoroughfare, Lincoln Road.

The 1930 mansion was sent to the auction block by U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Laurel Isikoff in July after telecom mogul Peter Loftin foreclosed on the debt. The Nakash family were the chief creditors.

Judge Isikoff approved the sale last week, as TRD previously reported.