Real Estate in Florida
Fort Lauderdale's Skyline Identity
Ken Stiles looks to expand his firm's considerable legacy.
For decades, the late Terry Stiles and his development company shaped Fort Lauderdale’s skyline. This year, his son and successor, Ken, is following his influential father. Stiles has in the works The Main on Las Olas, a full city-block project with retail, restaurants, a 24-story office tower and a 27-story, 341-unit apartment tower. Stiles also is building the 419-unit Residences of Las Olas. In addition, the company is the contractor on Greystar’s 327-unit apartment high-rise at 790 E. Broward Blvd.
Ken Stiles, the third generation in the family firm, majored in business management at Elon University in North Carolina with an eye toward joining the business that’s built more than 48 million square feet of projects in Florida and beyond.
Ken Stiles on ...
Favorite part of job: “One of the things I like most about this industry is being able to see the tangible result of everything we do. Hopefully, when we get it right, our projects help to enhance the communities in which they are built.”
Father’s influence: “My dad truly believed that doing the right thing, even when it would not be the most profitable, would pay dividends over time through long-lasting relationships.”
Family business: “Coming into a family business is an unbelievable opportunity, but at the same time it comes with challenges. One of the toughest things early on was remaining patient and working to earn the respect and trust of those around me, including our leadership team, bankers, investors and clients. Transition and succession can be tough and complicated, but we made it a constant focus and spent more than a decade implementing the strategy to make it as seamless as possible.”
Changes: “Our industry is constantly evolving. We must be on top of innovation and trends across the country to readily adapt our projects to the needs and desires of end users. Residents and tenants are looking for a more social and entertaining environment that focuses on gathering and interaction. So with every new project, regardless of the type, we spend more and more time developing programming and amenity areas that hopefully create an exciting synergy for people to enjoy and appreciate.”
Fort Lauderdale: “Fort Lauderdale has long had the reputation of being the city between Miami and Palm Beach. However, over the past several years, this city has experienced amazing growth, emerging as an exciting location for living, working and entertainment. It stands on its own, and everyone is noticing. We have a lot of exciting things happening here, and I am looking forward to seeing what the next few years bring.”