With tower groundbreakings and megamansion listings, the real estate market in South Florida continues to flourish.

The historic 1925 mansion at 42 Star Island Drive
The historic 1925 mansion at 42 Star Island Drive faces demolition.

Plastic surgeon and self-proclaimed “boob god” Lenny Hochstein and his wife and The Real Housewives of Miami star, Lisa, have won the right to demolish a historic house on Star Island. So ends a year-long battle with historic preservationists who fought to save the house, one of the most visible in Miami Beach. The large white stucco Mediterranean Revival mansion at 42 Star Island Drive was designed and built in 1925 by Florida’s first registered architect, Walter DeGarmo, who designed many of South Florida’s most significant early buildings. The last barrier to demolition, a lawsuit by the Miami Design Preservation League, was dropped when the city denied the house a historic designation.

Island in the Sun

When it hit the market in February, the 26-acre Pumpkin Key, a mostly undeveloped private island within the confines of Key Largo’s exclusive Ocean Reef Club, was the most expensive new real estate listing in the United States at a grand total of $110 million. The island comes with a 5,000-square-foot main house, a couple of cottages, a small marina “capable of handling a superyacht,” according to the listing, and tennis courts that can be used as a helipad. Just don’t break your brand-new chopper’s window. Pumpkin Key, Key Largo, 305-45-8199; russellpostsir.com

Fully Furnished Sale

Villa Artefacto
Villa Artefacto on North Bay Road.

What happens when you pair up a superstar designer and a builder to design and completely furnish a home? A $25 million offer, that’s what. Barry Brodsky and Artefacto’s Paulo Bacchi collaborated on a spectacular waterfront residence at 2068 North Bay Road in Miami Beach, nicknamed “Villa Artefacto.” Just completed and now under contract, the 12,000-square-foot, twostory home on 100 feet of waterfront incorporated Bacchi’s Brazilian designs in order to give buyers “a home that totally reflects the way they envision themselves living,” says broker Nelson Gonzalez of EWM Realty. “They want great design, the finest materials, and impeccable craftsmanship,” Gonzalez says. Brodsky’s company, Brodson Construction, co-developed the property with Sergio Rok. 2068 N. Bay Road, Miami Beach. Listing agent Nelson Gonzalez, 305-674-4040

The Crazy Building Boom

 The Bond at Brickell
Construction is underway for The Bond at Brickell.

Here are some sure signs of our crazy real estate times: In the span of just one week this January, three major condo towers—The Bond at Brickell (1080 Brickell Ave., Miami, 305-890-2026), SLS Hotel & Residences (1300 S. Miami Ave., Miami, 305-533-1350), and The Crimson (601 NE 27th St., Miami, 305-377-3337)—all had groundbreaking ceremonies on a single day (a Wednesday), and eight new towers in Miami’s urban core received height approval by the Federal Aviation Administration. The onslaught continued when three additional FAA approvals followed within the next week.

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