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Preservation Board Fighting to Prevent 42 Star Island Demolition

February 20, 2013

Star Island is world-renowned for its affluence, exclusivity, and magnificent residences, some of which are one-of-a-kind historic masterpieces. With many Star Island homes being among the oldest and most unique in all of South Florida, there’s long been an effort to preserve them. This recently came to a head as a local preservation board is trying to fight against plans to demolition the 88-year-old home on 42 Star Island Drive. Curbed Miami reports.

The Miami Beach Historic Preservation Board has decided to fight for the preservation of Real Housewife of Miami Lisa Hochstein‘s historic house at 42 Star Island Drive and begin the process of designation, but due to the fact that the Hochsteins have already bought the house and submitted their new plans to the Design Review Board, it might be too late. Now, in a sense they’re in a race: MB Preservation Board Vs. the Real Housewife and her husband “Boob God” Lenny Hochstein, and it looks like the Hochsteins might still win.

Another report in the Miami Herald makes note of the complexity of the issue:
Ordinarily, the board’s move would freeze the owners’ plans to demolish it, but not this time. The reason: City staffers did not complete the normal preliminary paperwork for the project before the meeting.


As a result, the owners are in a race with the Miami Design Preservation League, which wants to save the house and filed the application for historic designation. If the city’s Design Review Board approves the demolition plan first, the owners win and can tear it down.


The design board next meets March 5, while the historic board won’t take up the application for the home at 42 StarIslandagain until probably April.


At stake is the fate of a mansion designed by Walter DeGarmo and currently owned by Leonard and Lisa Hochstein. He is a plastic surgeon known as “The Boob God.” She is a cast member of Bravo’s The Real Housewives of Miami.


Normally, the city issues an “evaluation and recommendation” report “upon receipt of a completed application,” according to city rules. Historic Preservation Board members then decide whether to move forward with a more detailed “designation” report. If that happens, any petition to demolish the structure in question would be put on hold until the city decides whether the structure is indeed historic.


In this case, however, William Cary,Miami Beach’s preservation director, waited until the regular preservation board meeting on Tuesday to ask board members whether they really wanted to move forward with the preliminary report.


While he acknowledged that the home probably meets the criteria for historic designation,Carycalled it “ethically unfair” that the application for historic designation was not submitted until after the Hochsteins bought the home and asked to tear it down. The couple has already spent time and money drawing up plans and going through the application process, he said. “I think it’s a bad precedent to set,”Carysaid.
It’s a testament to the beauty and elegance of Star Island homes that some properties would be strongly regarded as historic masterpieces. The world-class design and construction that characterizes many luxury Miami Properties explains why the market is rebounding spectacularly. To learn more, contact Metro 1 Properties, the leading local realtor, at 305-571-9991.


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