| MIAMI BEACH, Fla.
MIAMI BEACH, Fla. May 8 A Miami businessman on
Thursday purchased a waterfront mansion once owned by Colombian
cocaine kingpin Pablo Escobar and said he plans to raze the
coral pink house that federal officials seized in the late
Christian Berdouare, the owner of a chain of casual Miami
restaurants, paid $9.65 million for the 7,300-square-foot (680-
square-meter) home in an affluent Miami Beach neighborhood,
saying the location was its main attraction, not its history.
"If anything it's a negative," he said, referring to the
property's link to Escobar. "I don't particularly like drug
dealers and I don't want to have their energy close to me."
U.S. marshals seized the property in 1987 along with nearly
$20 million of the Medellín Cartel's Florida real estate assets.
Also included in the seizure was a 45-unit apartment
complex, a three-bedroom condominium near a high-end Miami mall,
a horse ranch in central Florida and a 240-unit rental complex
near Fort Lauderdale then worth $9.6 million.
Miami attorney Roger Schindler bought the mansion from the
U.S. government in 1990 for $915,000.
Escobar, along with members of the Ochoa family who sat atop
the cartel, were among the world's most wanted drug traffickers
in the late 1980s and early 1990s.
Escobar was gunned down in 1993 in Colombia with the help of
U.S. counter-narcotics agents.
It is unclear if Escobar ever visited the Miami Beach home.
"According to neighbors and real estate agents he was
definitely there," said Mirce Curkoski with ONE Sotheby's Realty
who represented Berdouare in the sale.
Schindler said some neighbors described lots of activity at
the house when it was owned by Escobar.
"They used to see boats coming up to the back yard," he
(Editing by Kevin Gray and Eric Walsh)