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TAMPA, FL-SunTrust Financial Centre, the city’s most distinctive skyscraper, has a new added feature that can be considered “green,” along with numerous other colors. The 36-story class A office tower received a new lighting system on its pyramid-shaped crown using light-emitting diodes that not only changes colors but puts them into motion.

Tests on the system were conducted in mid-December and put into full view in the Tampa skyline over New Year’s weekend. The new LED system replaces a series of eight-foot fluorescent tubes that were combined with theatrical gels to illuminate the building’s ziggurat, with various colors manually displayed to reflect special occasions ranging from red and green for Christmas to pink for breast cancer awareness month.

The cost of the new system was not disclosed, though the company contracted for installation, Tampa-based Bay Stage Lighting, estimates that the LEDs will use only 25% of the energy needed for fluorescents. The investment is expected to pay for itself in eight years and the new lights should last more than twice as long as the old ones.

Fort Lauderdale-based Stiles Corp. partnered with Australia’s Macquarie Office Trust to buy SunTrust Financial Centre in September 2007 for $117.5 million, or nearly $225 per square foot. The 527,000-square-foot structure is Downtown Tampa’s fourth-largest office tower, as well as one of its youngest, having opened in 1992.

Terry Stiles, chairman and CEO of the family enterprise, tells GlobeSt.com in a recent interview that the acquisition of SunTrust Financial Centre has been favorable despite the challenging commercial real estate market. The purchase included an adjacent vacant lot that he says may be developed in years to come.

“That has worked out well,” Stiles says. “The cap rate changes haven’t been helpful but we have renewed some of our major tenants and stabilized the income there, which was one of the risks when we bought it, so we’re pretty happy with it.”

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