'Real Housewives' Star in Battle to Tear Down Mansion

Lisa Hochstein and husband Lenny Hochstein say their historic island mansion is unsafe.
4:13 | 05/30/13

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Transcript for 'Real Housewives' Star in Battle to Tear Down Mansion
We'll turn to that nasty neighbor war for a real housewife of miami. It started when they decided to take down their mansion and others would ruin the character of their neighborhood. Matt gutman has the story. Reporter: She's part of the toned cast of bravo's "real housewives of miami." We need more pictures of me in the office. Reporter: Lisa and her husband cosmetic surgeon and so-called boob doctor are finding themselves stitched up in a real estate problem. At the center this historic waterfront star island mansion on miami beach. The house that boobs built. That's right. Reporter: They bought it for $7.6 million, a fixer-upper they now want to tear down. It's really not functional or safe. As a matter of fact, the engineers have I had have the balconies could fall at any time. Reporter: The neighbors rosie o'donnell, p. Diddy and gloria estefan and urban legend has it this is where the movie "scarface" was filmed. It's received a lot of attention from the preservation society hoping to designate it as a historic home. Most the history. This couple does not. Reporter: Last week they hosted a "scarface" party scattering fake blood everywhere. A lot wouldn't want to do this to an $8 million house. This is not an $8 million house. The value of the property is the land. Reporter: Dr. Hochstein insists the house is structural unsound that even the library ladder doesn't work. He envisioned something bigger and better. We'll definitely have modern plumbing, modern air-conditioning. It'll be functional for our family. Reporter: To which preservationists would called the crown jewel of that island respond, over our dead bodies. This is a matter of preserving the historic resources of a community. I don't think there's any question all of this was because my wife has notoriety. It is, after all, star island. For "good morning america," matt gutman, abc news, miami beach. Let's bring in dan abrams for a little bit more on this. We heard the preservationists say over our dead bodies. Can they actually prevent a homeowner from tearing down the home. In theory. The problem is they didn't do everything the way they should have. Meaning the preservation commission didn't really step in until after they said, you know what, we want to tear this down, we want to build something new here. And they were late in terms of when they filed. There's a lot of technical legal issues concerning how the preservation commission has gone about doing what they do here. And I think that's going to be one of the keyues in determining whether they can do that. How about that notoriety for the couple? Is that relevant in the case? It shouldn't be but, of course it is. These are people deciding whether an old grand home should be torn down by the boob king, right? When you think about it, that's not the sort of preservation that they're looking for. You know. Worked on that all night long. I did. I was sitting there. I figured it out in my head before I said it. Anything else? Are we good? Straight to fixer-upper but I'll let -- I think we're good. Yeah. But you look at the condition of the house. I'm going to try to bring this back now. You look at the condition. They have to do something here. And it is relevant whether the house is no longer sort of sustainable, the preservationists are saying the family is vastly overstating how bad shape the house is in and whether it's structurally unsound. That is relevant in assessing whether they can tear it down. But when the preservation commission comes in, they say, LOOK, IT'S A 1920s HOME, ET Cetera, those are the arguments they probably could have won on if they had done this earlier, they did this very late. It becomes a race to sort of file, which is do they get the permission to tear it down before the preservationists get the permission to force them to stop and that is sort of where we are at this kind of impasse. We'll keep an eye on it. Time for the weather.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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