Structures Awards: Learn more about South Florida’s winning real estate projects, developers of 2017

Source: South Florida Business Journal | Published: November 10, 2017

Welcome to the South Florida Business Journal’s second annual Structures Awards publication – celebrating the people and organizations that define the tri-county region’s real estate and development marketplace.

Each day, we report on what’s happening in South Florida’s thriving real estate market, so it is with great pride that we recognize this year’s top projects, deals and dealmakers in our Structures Awards special section.

Each project or deal we’ve chosen to honor among our 15 categories is a winner, because we are recognizing the crème de la crème of our sprawling real estate landscape. Included are custom residences, high-rises and mixed-use developments, industrial parks, a student success center and even a fire department.

The 43 projects and dealmakers featured in this special report highlight the range of talent found in our local real estate industry.

New this year is the inaugural Terry Stiles Deal of the Year award. Named for the man who helped reshape downtown Fort Lauderdale and much of South Florida, the award celebrates the deal that best embodies the drive he brought to his work – and our community.

In addition to congratulating all the honorees, I would like to thank our sponsors – Berkowitz Pollack Brant Accountants and Advisors, Stiles and Suffolk Construction – for helping to bring this to our readers.

Also, a thank you to all those who sent in nominations and helped us to ensure we again honor all the best projects.

We had a superb team at the Business Journal putting Structures together. Brian Bandell, our senior reporter who covers real estate, was invaluable in his aid of this massive project. Contributing writer Jeff Zbar wrote the package, and Maureen D’Silva, our events program director, oversaw the nominations process and the execution of the gala Structures Awards ceremony, held Nov. 9 at the Conrad Miami.

A special thank you goes out to our advisers – key community real estate experts, as well as our editorial team, led by Editor-in-Chief Mel Meléndez – for selecting the Structures winners and finalists.

I hope you enjoy this special edition as much as we did putting it together.

As always, I look forward to your comments. Please feel free to reach out to me at (786) 533-8201 or


Melanie Dickinson, President and Publisher
South Florida Business Journal

Best Market-Rate Residential project: Winner

The Queue 

Bigtime Design Studios

Project address: 817 S.E. Second Ave., Fort Lauderdale 33316

(305) 758-4566

Key Partners

General contractor: Hooper Construction

Architect: MSA Architects

Electrical: Comet Electric

Landscaper: Dias Landscape

Insurance: Travelers

Financing: Mutual of Omaha

Executives with Bigtime Design Studios, a creative brand-centric firm, believe that most developers have a vision that is often difficult to articulate throughout the project. Their unique process starts with a story or script for which all the pieces and players are defined in advance.

“Once we create the ‘What does it smell like, look like and feel like?’ only then do we put pen to paper,” says Callin Fortis, the firm’s president. “We are really a conduit for helping developers tell their own unique story.”

With that in mind, the initial brand mission for The Queue was to market to South Florida’s millennials, who often seek out the boutique hotel as a new lifestyle choice for hospitality and food and beverage. So, designers created the catchphrase “boutique residential” for this specific project.

The result is a 314,595-square-foot, $32 million property that debuted in February 2017. With the target mission in mind, the exteriors sought to encourage a high-style backyard environment around the pool. The lobby is punctuated by a dramatic “check-in desk” that resembles a vintage writing table. The entrance feature was composed of old railroad ties suspended 15 feet overhead to create a dramatic sense of arrival.

Social gathering spaces were also created to encourage interaction. The signage on the windows was carefully designed to illuminate the name and address of the building on the polished concrete floor.

“To create a boutique atmosphere without the typical amenities was a bit of a challenge. However, the schematic design for the public space was pure Miami, L.A., N.Y. boutique hotel,” Fortis says. “You could put this concept in any major city and it would hold water.”

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