“Real Housewives” Star Can Move Forward With Home Demolition
MIAMI BEACH (CBSMiami) – A reality star and her plastic surgeon husband are one step closer to building their dream home on Miami Beach’s famed Star Island.
Lisa Hochstein, a featured personality on “The Real Housewives of Miami,” and her husband Leonard, reached a settlement this week with the Miami Design Preservation League to drop lawsuits which had halted the demolition of the home currently standing at 42 Star Island Drive.
“My wife and I are very happy about the recent turn of events. This is a process that we’ve been through for the last year and a half,” Dr. Hochstein told CBS4’s Lauren Pastrana in a phone interview Thursday night.
Not everyone was happy with the decision.
“It’s a sad day for the city of Miami Beach when one of the most iconic homes in our city is now up to a matter of time when the bulldozers will come,” said Daniel Ciraldo, a member of the MDPL.
The League had fought to save the house built in 1925 designed by the first registered architect in Florida, Walter DeGarmo.
But the Hochsteins had never planned to leave the home as-is.
They dreamed up tearing it down and building a new 25,000 sq. ft. estate in its place.
“We’re just glad that we’re finally able to start building our home and moving on with our lives,” Hochstein said.
Despite the efforts of the MDPL, the Miami Beach City Commission declined to designate the home as historic last month.
However, lawsuits kept the couple from tearing the home down.
The MDPL sued to stop demolition, and the Hochsteins fired back with a countersuit, challenging the group’s right to file for such designations and appeals.
A settlement was reached in which the Hochsteins will pay $25,000 toward the Design Preservation League’s legal costs.
Kent Harrison Robbins, the MDPL attorney, said the money will go to support the group’s efforts to save other landmark homes and commercial buildings.
Dr. Hochstein says construction on his new home will last for about two years, but it’s not clear exactly when the wrecking ball will get to work on the current structure.
“We’re feeling sad but we know that we’ve fought the good fight,” Ciraldo said. “Now we’re going to have in its place an oversized McMansion. I’m sorry that’s the situation, but we tried our best.”