South Florida developer Tibor Hollo dies at 96

Hollo, who survived the Holocaust and cancer, was chairman and president of Florida East Coast Realty

Florida East Coast Realty's Tibor Hollo (Florida East Coast Realty)
Florida East Coast Realty's Tibor Hollo (Florida East Coast Realty)

South Florida developer Tibor Hollo, who helped shape Miami’s skyline, died at the age of 96. 

Hollo, a Holocaust survivor, founded his family owned Florida East Coast Realty after moving to Miami in 1956, and served as chairman and president. The residential, commercial and mixed-use developer most recently built Panorama Tower in Brickell, one of the tallest buildings along the Eastern Seaboard south of New York. 

He developed the first high-rise building on Brickell Avenue and was the first to redevelop the Omni neighborhood, now known as the Arts & Entertainment District in downtown Miami, according to his bio. 

A spokesperson for the family confirmed Hollo’s death.

The firm built the Class A office tower 2020 Ponce, the Biscayne Bay Marriott Hotel and Marina, Bay Park Apartments in the A&E district, 888 Brickell Avenue, two United States Treasury Buildings and the United States Justice Department’s building in downtown Miami and others. 

Hollo’s largest real estate deal was the $363 million sale of the waterfront development site at 1201 Brickell Bay Drive to billionaire hedge fund manager Ken Griffin in 2022. FECR sold the 2.5-acre property for $3,340 per square foot, or about $145 million per acre.

Florida East Coast Realty’s biggest planned development is One Bayfront Plaza, a mixed-use supertall project that would be built on the site of a now-graffitied building at 100 South Biscayne Boulevard in downtown Miami. 

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Hollo was born July 13, 1927 in Budapest, Hungary. He is survived by his wife, Sheila, whom he had been married to since 1967. He is also survived by his children, Jerome, Wayne, Arlene and Deborah, and other members of the Hollo family. He is preceded in death by his sons Laurence and Harvey. Jerome and Wayne are co-CEOs of the Brickell-based development firm, and his grandson Austin is chief operating officer.

Hollo’s charitable contributions included a $2.5 million donation funding the Tibor and Sheila Hollo School of Real Estate at Florida International University’s downtown/Brickell campus, at FECR’s 1101 Brickell Avenue tower. 

Hollo moved to France with his family during the war when he was six years old, and was taken by Germans to Auschwitz when he was about 14 years old, he told Florida Trend magazine more than a decade ago. His mother was killed, and his father survived the war.

Hollo also suffered from squamous cell and basal cell cancer when he was a teenager, which led to surgeons removing much of his nose. 

A major figure in South Florida’s business community, Hollo was recognized over the years by Congress, Catholic Charities Legal Services and the Archdiocese of Miami, the Urban Land Institute, Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce and others. 

Hollo lived in Miami Beach with his wife.  

This story will be updated as more information becomes available.