SB Architects Announces Three Mixed-Use High-Rise Developments That Are Transforming Downtown City Skylines

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Leading Hospitality and Real Estate Design Firm Underway on Several Significant Urban Mixed-Use Developments

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Well known as an industry leader in the design of luxurious, site-sensitive hotels and resorts, SB Architects is quickly becoming a key player in the design of urban high-rise properties, leveraging the firm’s long history of leadership in the design of multi-family residential and mixed-use projects.

SB Architect’s rapidly expanding urban practice includes three new high-rise projects that, once complete, will each be the tallest in their respective cities. Each of the three projects – One St. Petersburg in St. Petersburg, Fla., 100 East Las Olas in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., and Ashford & Earle in San Juan, Puerto Rico – will re-sculpt the city skyline and become a key force in the evolution of downtown. For two of three three projects – One St. Petersburg and 100 East Las Olas – SB Architects has teamed up with Kolter Urban, a division of West Palm Beach-based The Kolter Group LLC.

“The goal of our practice is to be skilled and nimble, a leader in a select number of project types, but diverse in how we envision, design and deliver those projects,” said SB Architects President and Principal Scott Lee. “What is really meaningful to us is that we are working with existing clients on all of these urban high-rise projects. We are proud they have once again enlisted our partnership based upon the success of previous projects, which stems from the strength of our working relationships and the integrity of the design and development teams. They’ve trusted us to go vertical in a big way.”

Another common theme among the three projects is emphasizing livability, walkability, creativity, transparency and interactivity. These developments are designed to actively engage and enhance the burgeoning communities that are being built in these thriving downtown destinations. For city planners and designers alike, it is no secret that tall buildings combined with comprehensive open-space plans are what bolster an active urban core and form the basis for a new approach to downtown.

One St. Petersburg
At 41 stories, One St. Petersburg will be the city’s tallest structure – rising 75 feet above the next highest building downtown. The project mix includes 253 luxury condominiums, a 174-key Hyatt Hotel and 17,000 square feet of retail space. Kolter Urban has already pre-sold more than 60 percent of the units, nearly two years ahead of completion. The two- and three-bedroom units start at $600,000, with an average price of $1MM.

St. Petersburg has been named one of Florida’s most walkable cities – a major deciding factor for the development team in choosing the location. Within walking distance of the city’s famed Beach Drive retail district, One St. Petersburg will occupy one of the most central and desirable sites left to develop in downtown St. Petersburg. The prime location is certainly a key to the early sales success, as are the unobstructed views of Tampa Bay and the city’s evolving skyline.

Stefano Falbo, vice president and associate principal of SB Architects, led the design team and factored views into every decision: “Our design eliminates or minimizes corridor circulation, creating greater living spaces. Owners and hotel guests can open the entry door and have a glimpse of the spectacular views right where they’re standing.”

KAST Construction broke ground on One St. Petersburg in May 2016. Construction is scheduled to be completed in 2018.

100 East Las Olas
Arising amid a building boom in Ft. Lauderdale that is bringing thousands of residents to its downtown area, 100 East Las Olas will reach 45 stories, making it the city’s tallest building at 495 feet. The mixed-use tower will include 121 for-sale condominiums, 238 hotel keys, two elevated amenity decks with swimming pools, and retail at ground level. Once again, Kolter Urban brought on SB Architects to design the urban mixed-use project.

Once known primarily as a spring break destination, Ft. Lauderdale has recently become a focus for development – particularly high-rise residential development – thanks to its water orientation, rapid growth and relatively affordable land costs. In 2015, builders completed 2,900 new residential units and broke ground on 4,300 more, and the city’s population continues to rise.

Both St. Petersburg and Ft. Lauderdale embody the current trend toward “re-urbanization,” as housing, retail and entertainment blossom in newly invigorated downtowns across the country, following the urban orientation of the so-called “creative class.” The hotel, which will occupy floors eight through 15, is regarded by many as a sign of the hospitality industry’s growing interest in Ft. Lauderdale. The mix of hotel and condominiums in a downtown location is becoming more the norm than ever, according to the local project design team.

Construction, beginning in the first quarter of 2017, is expected to be complete in 2019.

Ashford & Earle
Located just across the bridge from Old San Juan, Condado Beach is one of the city’s most fashionable, up-and-coming neighborhoods. Sophisticated shopping, bistros and restaurants, casinos and nightlife draw visitors to the area both day and night. At 304 feet, the new 28-story tower at Ashford & Earle will be the tallest in Old San Juan and the newest development in the area in more than a decade.

The developers brought SB Architects on board to re-envision the design for the project, originally designed by a Puerto Rico-based firm. By rearranging space to maximize living spaces and minimize space devoted to circulation, SB Architects’ design team increased the unit count from 66 to 75, without adding to the overall height of the building. The 75 units, 43 of which are waterfront, range from two to five bedrooms. The four penthouse units range from 2,470 to 6,000 square feet.

The SB Architects team created a design that is slender and minimal, urban and sleek, fully embracing the surrounding urban fabric. As the first new voice in the area’s real estate lexicon in a decade, the slender tower is unabashedly modern. The building envelope is faced with full-length, 14-foot-deep balconies on the Ashford and beach-facing facades. Curtain walls on Earle Street promote transparency and light, with loads of glass and indoor/outdoor spaces. Offset panels on the lower levels create a sense of movement and a sexy, shimmery effect at ground level. The target market is collaborative, creative, active and social. To meet their needs, the team designed the lobby as a flexible, communal, indoor/outdoor space, while ground-floor retail on Ashford Street keeps the street-facing facade active.

To learn more about these projects and other SB Architects developments currently underway around the world, please visit

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About SB Architects
In 55 years of continuous practice, SB Architects has established a world-wide reputation for excellence in the planning and design of large-scale hotels, resorts, destination resort communities, and all associated resort amenities, as well as large-scale multi-family residential and urban mixed-use projects. The dedicated staff in the firm’s San Francisco, Miami and Shenzhen offices successfully merges five decades of experience with the energy, drive and dedication of a second generation of partners. 

Media Contact:
Meredith Strodel
Castillo & Ruig Communications
(310) 664-8867

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