October 29, 2012

Artecity, a luxury condominium complex that encompasses the historic Governor Hotel in the historic Art Deco District of Miami, nears completion. Developers ST Residential recognized the exceptional value of this landmark project and teamed with Connor & Gaskins Unlimited as general contractors to complete the unfinished buildings and amenities, now set for a late 2012 completion date.

Once a distressed property, the bi-product of the ambitious and over-constructed condominium frenzy that peaked in 2008, the five building complex is comprised of two residential condominium towers, the renovated Governor Hotel and construction of eighteen two-story townhome units plus ten two-story loft villas.

Jaime Valdivia, the on-site owner representative for ST Residential says he selected Connor & Gaskins Unlimited in early 2012 to complete the project because of their experience in the Miami market.  “With a Historic Preservation designation of the Governor Hotel and the project’s location in the Art Deco district, we knew we were dealing with a very complicated project, a lot of moving parts and some unique nuances specific to the area,” said Valdivia.

Barry Connor, CEO of Connors & Gaskins Unlimited referred to it as a seamless effort between the Historic Preservation Board, the Miami Planning and Zoning Department and the developer.

“Our hats are off to the Historic Preservation Board for their passion to preserve a part of Miami’s historic past while retaining the Art Deco feel for this project,” said Connor. “They were a tremendous resource for us throughout the entire process providing historic photos so that we could match materials and colors into the overall details of the buildings original façades.”

Examples of these details can be seen in the contractor’s ability to incorporate iconic architectural details of the infamous Governor Hotel. As one of the principal architects of the original South Beach, Henry Hohauser himself would be impressed with the attention to historic detail wrought by the construction team.

Artécity concurrently radiates luxury and history as an upscale residential enclave in the heart of South Beach’s cultural district.  Among Connor & Gaskins tasks was to refabricate the rounded fascia reminiscent of the roofing style incorporated by Hohauser and his colleagues at the time. The upward curling edges running horizontally beneath the roof line is one of the distinguishing art deco features maintained in the building, along with curved corners and wavy stainless steel hand rails along the balconies.  The process to rebuild the original mosaic fountain, long ago cracked by overgrown plant roots and discolored by incessant sunlight and chemicals, took months of research and custom-made tile work.

Modern accoutrements include private rooftop Jacuzzi spas; two resort-style swimming pools; a fully equipped professional gymnasium and spa treatment rooms; stainless steel appliances and in-unit washer dryers; Italian cabinetry, glasslike Silestone countertops and backsplashes in the kitchen; floating glass shower walls and designer tile and finishes throughout the homes and common hallways, social/multi-purpose rooms, and lobbies.

The grand lobby of The Governor Hotel offers residents an impressive place to welcome guests, meet visitors, and mingle. The expansive glass-walled area features a front desk check-in area, plush sofas and chairs positioned to promote conversation and wall space for displaying art. Last year’s famed Art Basel event in Miami included an exclusive exhibit and reception in the lobby.

According to ST Residential, more than half of the units have been sold since work commenced in February of 2012. In addition to completion of the high-rise condominium, Connors & Gaskins permitted and completed the construction of the East and West Park Villa units, the NE Plaza Villa, and the balance of the project site work and completion of the lush landscaped gardens of Artecity’s center court.

“This project was personal,” said Connor. “It brought back so many fond memories of growing up and working in the South Beach area of Miami with my grandfather, Louis G. Florio.”An immigrant from Amalfi, Italy, Florio was a long time Miami resident and businessman whose portfolio of investments included the St. Francis Hospital, Miami Heart Institute, involvement with the Joe’s Stone Crab and myriad rental properties and hotels throughout the area in the early 1960s through the mid 1990s. Connor’s grandfather used to gaze from rooftops of some of the early buildings that formed the original Miami skyline and say, “Someday the land over there, pointing towards South Beach, is going to be priceless.”

About Connor & Gaskins Unlimited:

Connor & Gaskins Unlimited is a full service general contractor that manages a broad spectrum of construction and consulting assignments, including residential and commercial structures. From interior renovations to exterior hardscape projects and ground up new construction to luxury condominiums, Connor & Gaskins Unlimited has the talent, resources and staff to handle any construction project from the developer’s original vision through concept and construction. Ongoing projects by Connor & Gaskins Unlimited include the Ritz Carlton – Sarasota, as well as several luxury condominium projects in Estero, Panama Beach, Miami, and Sarasota. For more information on Connor & Gaskins Unlimited, visit or call 239-293-2608.

Back to Press Releases