Al Capone’s former mansion gets facelift for the big screen

A wealthy Italian family bought the property for $8M in 2013, has spent $1.4M to date on renovations

Mar.March 18, 2015 11:15 AM

Al Capone’s former mansion on Miami Beach’s Palm Island is getting a facelift and a new life as a production, filming and photo shoot venue, The Real Deal has learned.

The Mediterranean mansion, complete with a gate house and pool cabana, also has a new name: 93 Palm.

A wealthy, Northern Italian industrialist family bought the storied property at 93 Palm Avenue in April 2013 for $8 million. Since then, MB America, a Miami-based property investment firm that represents the owner, has been renovating the property while trying to preserve its heritage, MB American founder and CEO Marco Bruzzi told TRD.

“Our goal is to save it, to conserve the historical building, and at the same time, to keep the original value of the property,” Bruzzi said.

The same Italian family that owns 93 Palm also owns 100 million euros worth of property in Europe, he said. In Miami, the family also owns Spaceby3, a warehouse at 2105 North Miami Avenue in Wynwood that is used as an event and production venue; and the Orchid House, a Mediterranean villa at 1350 Collins Avenue in Miami Beach that is rented out as a luxury retreat, Bruzzi said. Previous guests that have stayed there include Justin Bieber and his entourage.

“All the investments we bought because we are [offering] them for luxury events and for production, photo shoots and filming,” he said.

For 93 Palm, MB America has brought in its Italian architect Monica Melotti, who has experience in historic renovation. To date, the group has spent $1.4 million on renovations, which began in December and are so far 75 percent complete, Bruzzi said. By May, the property should be available for lease, he said.

The 6,077-square-foot main house, built in 1922, sits on a 30,000 square-foot waterfront site, according to Miami-Dade property records.

“Al Capone bought it in 1928 and he built the gate house and the pool cabana to make the property like a fortress so it could be safe from the street as well as from the sea,” Bruzzi said.

Capone was known as a gangster and Prohibition crime leader. He died in the Palm Island home in 1947.

Historian Paul George, speaking at a media event at the mansion on Wednesday, said Capone was a hard partier, who often held “steak and spaghetti parties with punch” at the home.

Capone’s great niece Deidre Marie Capone, who authored a book “Uncle Al Capone,” recounted learning to swim in the saltwater pool on the estate.

“We were a very close family,” said Capone, 75. “We ate our meals together, we sang together, we cooked together.”

She hopes to get a movie released in 2017 about Capone’s life, which would be partly filmed at the Palm Island home.

“I’m trying to do as much as I can,” she said, “to let people know about what made him laugh, what made him cry, what was he was afraid of, and what made him do the things he did.”


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