There aren’t many 23,000-square-foot, 10-bedroom mansions waiting around to be converted into Apple stores or Victoria Secret locations. Thus, the Versace Mansion is a high commodity and may become a spectacular retail spot on Ocean Drive.
The former home of Versace on Ocean Dr. could be the hippest, coolest new retail space on the beach. Possibly, it will house an Apple store and Victoria Secret. In a time where recycling re-vitalizing has become part of many industries (the fashion industry with hipsters and vintage clothing, interior design with 70s vinyl’s, etc.) it might not be surprising that the iconic Versace Mansion on Miami Beach is being discussed as the next Apple fanatic it stop. Imagine the line of people waiting for their new IPhone, IPad or any other Apple product on the steps of the notorious icon of South Beach!
Jordache Jeans’ investment office won the bid at the auction with an offer of over 41 million dollars, saving the estate from bankruptcy. Even though originally the idea was to continue the life of the Versace brand and legacy (converting the place into a boutique hotel), this was prevented by family rights. Nevertheless, the location assures the project to become a spectacular retail location. The competitors at the bid were Donald Trump (who is also on the venture of renovating the Doral golf course) and Glenn Straub (Palm Beach club owner).
Why Apple? Perhaps because of their ability to convert spaces and construct homes to their stores that pick up the local flare. As a creative company, there is an expectation that they will add something extra to the real estate. In an attempt to blend the old and the new, Apple might just be the candidate for the job.
However, locals have been presenting their case. This retail monster is seen my some as a mockery of south Florida history. Casa Casuarina, the original name of the property, has stood in South Beach long before the time of Versace. It was a 1930s residency of artist part of The Amsterdam Place. Only later, the fashion designer fell in love with the property and renovated it.
The property is simply amazing and speaks top the culture and history of the area. The three-story villa has been so far protected from demolition (and alterations in its exterior). The interior of the villa, however, are not protected, implying that the newcomers could potentially tore down the luxury detail added by the designer, mosaic pool, ceiling frescoes, and others.
Jordache’s has promised not to make any structural changes to the landmark and include a plaque in remembrance of the designer’s death in 1997. We have to wait and see…