The Real Deal Miami

Lennar CEO wants delay on Star Island home demo review

Stuart Miller asks for extra month to “explore” redevelopment options for historic house
By Erik Bojnansky | October 31, 2014 10:00AM

Lennar CEO Stuart Miller and 22 Star Island

The head of the nation’s second-largest homebuilder is now seeking a month-long delay on his controversial application to demolish a more than 80-year-old Star Island home built by Miami Beach pioneer Carl Fisher.

An attorney for Lennar Corp. CEO Stuart Miller asked the City of Miami Beach planning department to postpone a hearing on the application to demolish the 7,021-square-foot waterfront home at 22 Star Island Drive and replace it with a contemporary 22,372-square-foot mansion with a nine-space underground parking garage, private theater, two-story office and winding infinity pool.

Rendering of mansion proposed as replacement for historic Star Island home

The item is on Tuesday’s Design Review Board agenda. Miller is asking that it be delayed until the board’s Dec. 2 meeting.

Land-use attorney Jeffrey Bercow explained in a Oct. 27 letter to the city obtained by The Real Deal that Miller wants to see if it’s possible for the old home, built between 1928 and 1931, to be saved. “The applicant wishes to use the intervening time to explore further all options relating to the proposed redevelopment of 22 Star Island Drive, including reasonable alternatives to demolition, such as rehabilitation and/or relocation of the existing structure,” Bercow wrote.

Daniel Ciraldo, public policy chair of the Miami Design Preservation League, said his organization has been in “indirect” talks with Miller to save the old home. “We are hopeful there will be a new outcome,” said Ciraldo, who started an online petition to save 22 Star Island. “It is really part of Miami Beach history.”

The home was built 83 years ago for Fisher and designed by renowned architect Martin Hampton, according to a recent Miami Herald story. Fisher later sold 22 Star Island to Col. Ned Green, who reportedly held circus acts on his lawn and entertained “several young women around the mansion.”

A Miami Beach Planning Department staff report said the home was built in 1928 and designed by the Pittsburgh architecture firm Kiehnel and Elliot.

Robert Moehring of South Beach-based Domo Design Studio is the architect of the proposed new home.

“The new residence has been designed in a contemporary style, featuring natural wood, stone and glass,” wrote Michael Larkin, another attorney representing Miller. “The interior and exterior of the proposed beautiful family residence flow seamlessly into one unified space.”

Miller bought 22 Star Island from Rosalie Carlotta Hallbauer in February 2012 for $7.5 million.