The Real Deal Miami

Historic home of Miami Beach co-founder may be demolished

44 Star Island was built in 1935

January 28, 2015 10:30AM

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44 Star Island

44 Star Island

As Miami Beach celebrates its centennial year, one of its most historic homes may be up for demolition.

The 44 Star Island home, built in 1935, belonged to Miami Beach’s co-founder and first mayor, John H. Levi.

The home’s current owner, Shay Kostiner, wants to raze the mansion and replace it with a brand new one, Curbed Miami reported.

Public records say his application will be reviewed by the Miami Beach Design Review Board in March.

Levi, a marine engineer, was the guy who brought Miami Beach master developer Carl Fisher to the area back in 1912. Levi was supposed to deliver a yacht to Fisher in Jacksonville but telegrammed him, “…Miami pretty little town. Why not meet me here instead of Jacksonville,” Curbed reported. Both men were integral to Miami Beach’s development: Levi worked with Fisher to develop Miami’s man-made islands, hotels, polo fields, golf courses and streets, and he created Star Island.

The house was built in 1935, Miami-Dade property records show. It sits on a 1.1-acre lot and has an adjusted 4,722 square feet of living space. Kostiner bought the house for $7.25 million in 2010. [Curbed] — Kristina Puga