Case Studies: Development
1. IBM Tallahassee
IBM Tallahassee had a lease of 40,000 square feet that was expiring in 12 months and they needed to find office space quickly that was more appropriate to their needs. They desired a prime corner in downtown Tallahassee occupied by an operating business, but had been told the property could not be bought.
They also could not predict their growth, yet required the ability to expand an additional 15,000 SF in five years.
Allen Morris found a solution that allowed the owner of the prime corner property to sell. The solution involved allowing time for the owner to find a new property and move out while we fast-tracked the design and construction, and delivered an institutional quality building on time and within budget. This involved timing the purchase of the property so that our architects and engineers had sufficient time to plan and prepare the building and get the permits before the closing date when the seller had to vacate, satisfying the owner’s need for additional time to relocate. In addition, we designed and built the building with an extra floor of parking, designed and constructed to be converted to office space in the future when needed by IBM.
IBM moved into a 10-story office building, Monroe Park Tower, at the number one prime office corner in downtown Tallahassee, delivered on time in 12 months with the desired expansion space.
2. The Bank of Miami
The Bank of Miami wanted to consolidate offices from five different locations into a Class A signature building with instant presence and identity.
We completed a site acquisition study identifying possible prime locations and the bank selected a parcel, which was the location of an historic church in Coral Gables. The site was a triangular configuration, which presented huge architectural and engineering design challenges. We overcame those challenges by a private/public collaborative partnership between the city and our development team. It was the first development agreement in the city’s history and the first transferred development rights (TDRs) from a neighboring historic building.
In addition, the seller had special requirements to memorialize the church as part of the new building, and also required the purchase of extra land, all of which were without development rights. The church selected us as the ultimate purchaser above the other ten bidders because we were responsive to their personal request and memorialized the church within our design of the new building by incorporating the church’s stained glass windows into the lobby, replicating the church’s functioning bell tower, and displaying photographs honoring the history of the church.
We designed and developed a Mediterranean-Revival building that gave the bank its desired prominent visibility and prestige while pleasing the church representatives by respectfully memorializing the history of the site. The headquarters building, called Alhambra Towers, has won 9 awards and, surpassing Class A level to be referred to by the city as iconic, and by some brokers as “World Class.”