The $18.85 million, 80,000-sf SunTrust Plaza office/retail complex on fashionable Park Avenue in Winter Park has been named the best of its size in the United States by the Precast/Prestsressed Concrete Institute.

The solid recognition prompted St. Joe Commercial vice president Frank W. Herring to explain the strategy behind the commendation.

“We changed an exterior shell that was largely cosmetic into load-bearing structural walls with window spaces, and offset facades that are visually appealing from the outside,” says Herring. “That was a major concern for all of us, especially Rollins College” which owns the building’s land.

The one-year-old asset offers an 849-space parking garage “that looks more like a row of elegant townhomes and more in keeping with the chic Park Avenue environment,” Herring says.

Besides St. Joe Commercial, the development team includes Finfrock Industries of Orlando, the structural consultant and RTKL, the architect. The rent range is $29 psf to $32 psf. Office space is 51,996 sf; retail, 26,708 sf.

“What turned the award judges on was the way the project design fit into the neighborhood and the way the project design and development team were able to think quickly on their feet,” notes Herring.

Winter Park is eight miles north of Downtown Orlando.

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