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‘Miami Housewife’ Continues Fight 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) — A reality TV star and her plastic surgeon husband are one step closer to building their dream home on Miami Beach’s Star Island.

The Miami Beach Design Review Board on Tuesday approved Lisa Hochstein’s plans to demolish the home which currently sits at 42 Star Island Drive in order to build a new 14,000 sq ft mansion.

The decision came despite the efforts of the Miami Design Preservation League to designate the home as historic, which would protect it from destruction.

The existing house was built in 1925.

“We’re ecstatic,” Lisa Hochstein said. “This is what we wanted. It’s finally over now we can start moving forward with our lives.”

Hochstein is one of the cast members on Bravo’s “Real Housewives of Miami”. Her husband, Leonard, is a well-known plastic surgeon.

Both were in attendance at Tuesday’s meeting at Miami Beach City Hall.

“The home that we bought just didn’t make sense for our family,” Leonard Hochstein said. “That’s why we had to make this decision to demolish this home and build a house we could live in.”

The Miami Beach Design Review Board gave the go-ahead for the Hochsteins to move forward with plans to tear down the existing property they bought in foreclosure, a mansion in a neoclassical design.

The reality wife says she knows just what to do with it.

“We want to fill it up ten babies,” Hochstein joked. “That’s why we need such a big home.”

The decision by the board came down to timing.

The Preservation board was set to consider the home for historic designation again next month, but the Hochsteins got their proposal before the design board approved first.

“We’re really behind our time on this,” Design Review Board member William Cary said. “It’s something we should have taken action on a lot sooner.”

Cary said the action from the Preservation League came just a bit too late.

The attorney for the Miami Design Preservation League, Kent Harrison Robins, said he won’t give up just yet.

“They’re going to go forward with the historic designation,” Robins explained after the meeting. “Until a board says it’s not historic, then at that point, we will stop.”

Robins said his client might appeal the board’s decision. He said they will try to secure the historic designation in case the property is ever sold before it’s demolished.

The Hochsteins hope demolition day comes soon.

“We hope to build in the next few months,” Lisa Hochstein said. “We’re going to go celebrate right now.”

The Hochsteins’ proposed home had to meet a list of conditions from the board in order to be approved.

A plaque will be placed at the front of the property explaining the history of the previous home and part of the existing ceiling will be preserved and used in the new mansion.

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