The former Gianni Versace mansion located on South Beach, Casa Casuarina, will soon be operated by Barton G. Weiss which will function as a restaurant and specialty boutique hotel.
Casa Casuarina is one of the most beautiful and well-known Ocean Drive hotspots, and while the property is owned by Peter Loftin, the 10-suite oceanfront villa will soon be managed by Barton G. Weiss who is in the process of turning it into a luxurious restaurant and specialty boutique hotel.
Loftin and Weiss are getting ready to make the deal official and 51-year-old Loftin says, “I’ve learned over the years what it takes to run Casa Casuarina. It takes a creative genius. I’m stepping aside. Barton is going to run the whole place. Nobody does it like Barton.”
It is reported that once everything is signed in ink, Weiss will be in possession of a 10-year lease with a 10-year renewable option. In addition to managing the property, Weiss will be rebranding it, The Villa by Barton G., and begin booking events and suites immediately. 53-year-old Weiss conquers with Loftin in regards to the significance the building has in South Beach and comments, “It’s a special building that needs to be managed correctly.” Weiss, who had a catering contract for special events with Casa Casuarina from 2003 to 2007, is hopefully that he’ll be able to open the restaurant by February 2010 and adds, “This is completely different. Now, I’m running the entire experience. It’s me, bringing my whimsical themeing to an iconic property—the Barton G. touch.”
Loftin, a telecom entrepreneur, purchased the villa three years after Versace died and lived there for four years before marketing the property as a private club and high-end hotel. Currently, Loftin offers public tours for $65 per person, which includes a complimentary mimosa, although there is no word as to whether these tours will continue once Weiss officially gets on board and the transformation ensues.
Casa Casuarina is the former Gianni Versace mansion and the front steps of the villa have become a popular photo-op for locals and tourist as it is the location where Versace was regretfully gunned down by Andrew Cunanan in 1997. Versace paid $2.9 million for the building in 1992 before converting it into the opulent residence it is today.