The couple purchased an estate on Star Island at auction for the low, low price of $7.6 million. Lisa and Lenny intended to tear down the dilapidated structure on the foreclosed property and build their dream home in its place. Unfortunately, the pair's plans have been put on hold. They are now in a legal battle with the Miami Design Preservation League after the group's attempts to label the existing house as a historical landmark. If the preservationists are successful, then it's ciao to the new casa.
The home in question was designed in 1925 by famed Miami architect Walter DeGarmo famous for the popular Mediterranean-Revival style of historic Miami. When historic preservation groups got wind of the Hochsteins' plans they immediate swung into action and fought to deny the demolition.
Lenny and Lisa bought the home in a foreclosure auction sight unseen. No inspection was done at the time of purchase. Lenny claims they had initially planned to renovate the existing home but then discovered serious structural damage including a sinking foundation and decided it could not be salvaged. The home was NOT zoned a historic property at the time of purchase.
Preservation groups believe Lenny and Lisa planned to tear down the house all along and they are standing up to wealthy homeowners to protect their city.