Height variance granted for 44 Star Island due to sea level rise

Higher elevation is expected to eventually become standard for all new homes in Miami Beach

TRD MIAMI /
Apr.April 05, 2016 12:45 PM

Plans for 44 Star Island

Sea level rise is becoming a factor in the construction of some of the costliest homes being built on Miami Beach.  

On Tuesday the city’s Design Review Board unanimously approved variances for raising the height by as much as three feet for a new lavish home being built by Shay Kostiner at 44 Star Island.   

Design plans were approved for the project back in December but Kostiner’s architects returned with plans that will put the finished floor of the home at 13 feet.  That elevation is expected to become standard for all new homes across Miami Beach in line with new flood elevation standards, expected to be unveiled by FEMA within the next few years.    

Kostiner’s architects said they will raise the elevation of the home which has yet to be built by gradually sloping the property up to its desired height and by building berms along the side of the home. At the direction of the board they agreed to submit a “tree protection plan,” to save three large Ficus trees on the property, something they have said they would work to do in the past.   

Kostiner will build a two-story trapezoid structure with floor to ceiling glass panels running the length of the new home. He purchased the 1-acre plus waterfront lot in 2010 for $7.2 million.  

Preservationists had fought to save a 1935 mansion that had been built on the site by John H. Levi, a marine engineer who worked with Miami Beach founder Carl Fisher on a number of projects to create Miami Beach.  

Last year Kostiner told the Design Review Board that he and his team had spent more than a year designing his new home and that he had brought together “a great team” to design an architecturally significant contemporary home.


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