Lisa Hochstein is taking to her Bravo Blog to explain the drama with her house on Star Island. Lisa explains the hoops her and Lenny had to jump through in order to start building their dream home in their dream location. She also updates us on the lawsuit that is going on between the Hochsteins, the preservationists, and the city of Miami Beach.
Lisa writes, “I want to say a few things about the home we bought on Star Island The property had been neglected by the previous owners for many years and allowed to fall into disrepair. These people took out $14 million in loans with two banks and then promptly stopped making payments. They then put the house on the open market for sale, but found nobody interested in purchasing it. My husband negotiated with the bank to buy the note and completed the foreclosure process that the bank had initiated two years prior. After obtaining the note from the bank, he tried to negotiate with the tenants and offer them a tremendous amount of money to move out to start a life.
They turned him down and then spent a huge sum of money on attorneys to delay the foreclosure process. To this day my husband doesn’t quite understand why they refused the roughly $200,000 that they could have otherwise had. Ultimately after exhausting their baseless appeals and spending so much money on attorneys, they had to move out. Fortunately no eviction was necessary.
Once we got on the property we were disgusted by the condition of the house. Our engineer deemed the house uninhabitable. We then went to the city of Miami Beach to get permission to demolish the home and build a new one.
It was at this time a group of preservationist decided to take advantage of this situation. They wanted free publicity by opposing us in an attempt to designate our home as a historic site in Miami Beach, which is something that has never been done in the history of Miami Beach to single-family home.
It seems very strange to us that they never cared about this home in the past while it was allowed to deteriorate. They also didn’t take much interest in the other homes that were demolished before or after.
In spite of their attempts, the city of Miami Beach’s design review board unanimously voted to allow us the demolition and approved our new plans. Since this time, these preservationists had appealed the decision to a special master who upheld the city decision. Unfortunately they did not stop there. The preservationists are now suing us and the city of Miami Beach for giving us this permission. My husband has even offered to donate the home and help pay for its relocation, but has been turned down. The fact is these people do not care about the home, they just want publicity for their cause that they otherwise would not ever get. They are a despicable bunch that is targeting the wrong people. They give preservationists a bad name.”
Photo Credit: Bravo