Yesterday, New Times unleashed its annual Best of Miami issue, including this year's pick for Best Feud -- Lisa and Leonard Hochstein versus the Miami Design Preservation League.
Now it appears the Hochsteins have taken a lead in the fight.
On Monday, the MDPL lost its appeal of a Miami Beach Design Review Board decision to allow the Hochsteins to tear down the existing Walter DeGarmo-designed home dating to 1925 at 42 Star Island Drive.
The saga of 42 Star Island Drive has dragged on since late 2012. The Hochsteins say they purchased the property in order to replace the existing home with a new design by Kobi Karp, one complete with a five-car garage, two-story guest house, and a full spread of luxe amenities including a massage room, home theater, and twin grand staircases -- serious Gatsby-level decadence. The Design Review Board approved those plans last month.
But MDPL preservationists argue that the original DeGarmo construction has great historic value, and should be preserved. It filed both an appeal of the Design Review Board decision -- which was denied by a special master on Monday -- as well as an application to designate the home as historic. The application for historic status is still pending.
MDPL attorney Kent Harrison Robbins told the Miami Herald that the MDPL's next step will be to appeal the Design Review Board's demolition approval in court. Still, with this week's loss of appeal, another avenue to the preservation of 42 Star Island Drive has been closed. And Leonard Hochstein's feeling pretty good about his chances in front of a judge.
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"They'll lose. They'll delay us and they'll cost us more money, but that's what these people do," he told the Herald.
Follow Ciara LaVelle on Twitter @ciaralavelle.