Developer Profile: Tibor Hollo

Hungarian-born Tibor Hollo, who arrived to this country in NYC in 1948, is the builder of the first high rise in Brickell, pioneered high density development in the Omni/Venetia area, and is developing what Florida East Coast Realty—his company—considers to be the last great waterfront parcel in Brickell Village. His life is one of adversity and triumph. He studied architecture in France during a time where Europe was on the verge of a conflagration of hate and war. His mother was a Holocaust victim. From these circumstances, Mr. Hollo learned his lessons and developed his business acumen. Mr. Hollo’s legacy is one of setting the stage for future development. In many respects, he has laid the groundwork by which other developers have been able to capitalize. Were it not for Mr. Hollo’s Omni/Venetia efforts, it would be questionable whether the area be seeing its current surge of activity. At this point, he has been developing in Miami for over a half century.

For a long time, the Omni/Venetia area was considered a neighborhood that had not lived up to its potential. As a mall, the Omni failed and the Grand didn’t become the flagship hotel Mr. Hollo had originally intended. The Venetia, in the south fringe of the area, has one of the most prime lots in the city, but for years remained in obscurity. At one point in the 1990’s Mr. Hollo began to lose some of his properties and had to resort to seeking assistance in order to keep his company afloat. Today, with the development of the AAA and the PAC, the entire area has exploded with activity and Mr. Hollo’s vision for the neighborhood north of the I-395 is coming to fruition. Mr. Hollo, however, is not surprised. This was what he envisioned for the area when he began development there over twenty years ago.

His latest developments, Opera Tower and Villa Magna, mark his tallest buildings to date. His major acquisitions have been, for the most part, confined to within the City of Miami proper, although he has done work in Broward and North Miami. The designs of his buildings have, for the most part, been simple. They have basic rectangular shapes like Bay Parc, The Grand, Venetia, and now Villa Magna. Opera Tower has broken the mold with its curvilinear shape. Much of his architectural work has been contracted to the Corradino Group Architects, although  he has worked with NBWW architects as well. Still, much like Mr. Colombo with RVL, Mr. Hollo has remained loyal to CGA.

Tibor Hollo is a pillar in the Miami development scene. When buying a property, there aren’t too many developers one can feel certain is going to get the job done right. Mr. Hollo is one of them. He will go down in Miami history as being one of the city’s most influential developers along with names like Collins, Fisher, Merrick, and Curtis. His efforts have not just been contributory; rather they have been unprecedented resulting in major activity from other developers. Mr. Hollo envisioned a future for Miami, built over 3 billion dollars worth of development, and is now seeing his vision be realized.Currently, his firm has plans to build a 1000 footer (One Bayfront). If he succeeds in doing so, it could be the first ‘supertall’ to ever grace our tropical skyline. Much is owed to Mr. Hollo, and it is pleasing to see that his work is not yet finished. He is grooming his two sons to take over his well established company, Florida East Coast. His vision will be transferred to them and his efforts, long from now, will continue through their work–as Miami becomes the 24 hour city that he had been envisioning since the 1960’s and did so much to help develop.

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