VERSACE’S MIAMI ESTATE IS SOLD

Byline: Eric Wilson

NEW YORK — Casa Casuarina has a new owner.
The palatial Miami Beach estate that Gianni Versace turned into a showplace of his design aesthetic, but was also the location where he was murdered in July 1997, has been sold for around $25 million to Peter T. Loftin, a telecommunications executive from Raleigh, N.C.
While rumors about the fate of the house began circulating within weeks of Versace’s death, his family did not officially acknowledge it was for sale until last August, with an asking price of $25 million, to be sold through Sotheby’s.
The 12-bedroom, 13-bathroom Mediterranean-style home has an interior courtyard, swimming pools and garden. Versace had modified several areas of the house to reflect his signature style, placing Medusa icons on fences, tiling and around the pools.
“There are stipulations in the contract that the house needs to be kept in a certain way,” said a Versace spokesman. “It was his love project. Every tile in the house was something he loved and picked himself.”
Representatives of Versace, Loftin and Sotheby’s would not confirm the price paid for the mansion, but sources said it was right around the $25 million asking price.
Loftin is the founder, chairman and chief executive officer of BTI Telecommunications Services, a company based in Raleigh, N.C., that is one of the country’s largest long-distance telephone services. The firm recently filed documents with the Securities and Exchange Commission that indicate it is contemplating an initial public offering.
A spokesman for Loftin said the executive would live in the Versace mansion and added he has no commercial plans for the property.
“It was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to own a stupendous home designed by a true genius,” the spokesman said. “He bought it because he loved it.”