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‘Miami Housewife’ Fights To Build Dream Star Island Home

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A Star Island home designed by Walter Degarmo in 1925 may be razed and replaced by Lisa Hochstein, star of Bravo's "Real Housewives of Miami". Members of the Historic Preservation Board don't want the home torn down. (Source: CBS4)

A Star Island home designed by Walter Degarmo in 1925 may be razed and replaced by Lisa Hochstein, star of Bravo’s “Real Housewives of Miami”. Members of the Historic Preservation Board don’t want the home torn down. (Source: CBS4)

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MIAMI BEACH (CBSMiami) – “Real Housewives of Miami” star Lisa Hochstein and her plastic surgeon husband Lenny will have a wait even longer before getting their dream home on Star Island.

Miami Beach’s Design Review Board on Tuesday delayed a vote on plans submitted by the Hochsteins to demolish a home built in 1925 to build a 14,000-square-foot mansion in its place.  “This is the home of our dreams. We’re not trying to hurt anybody we want to live here the rest of our lives,” Lisa Hochstein told the Board.

A lawyer for the couple said the Hochsteins initially wanted to restore the home but determined it was not livable.

Michael Larkin  explained, “the Hochsteins expressed a preference to try to save it, but once they brought in the engineer he started doing the report and  he saw how bad it was they just decided they wanted to have the best house they could possibly have there.”

But preservationists fought against the demolition of the existing home.   Miami Beach resident Daniel Ciraldo started a petition urging the City not to approve the plans.

“That house I believe in Star island is iconic of the houses that have really inspired so many millions of visitors and represent a time that is important to remember in the history of Miami Beach,” he said.

In the end, the Hochsteins do not need the approval of Miami Beach’s protective Historic Preservation Board because the Degarmo-designed home is not designated historic by the city. That means they only need the city’s Design Review Board to sign off on their development plans.

Since the Design Review Board said the design for the Hochstein’s mansion had not been thoroughly vetted with the city planners and an engineering report was not thorough enough, it decided to delay Tuesday’s vote.

The board, which can not outright deny the Hochsteins’ application to demolish the existing Degarmo home, will reconsider the proposed mansion in February.

The Hochstein’s currently live in a 5-bedroom, 5-bath Sunset Island home, referred to as Palacio Del Eden, which is on the market for $10.75 million.

(©2012 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. CBS4 news partner The Miami Herald contributed material for this report.)

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