Snoweiss Becomes Latin America Hub For Baltimorebased Rtkl Associates
Written by Marilyn Bowden on October 5, 2000
By Marilyn Bowden
Howard Snoweiss Design Group and Baltimore-based RTKL Associates last week formed a partnership principals say will be mutually beneficial.
The new RTKL office will be the international design firm’s Latin American headquarters, said David C. Hudson, RTKL president and CEO.
RTKL will eventually move about 50 employees to the Miami office, he said, where they will share space with the 50-member staff at Howard Snoweiss Design. Both business names will be retained because of the name recognition of each.
Mr. Snoweiss, who remains president of his own firm, becomes a major stockholder and senior vice president of RTKL, in charge of its Miami office.
"When we did our research in the area," Mr. Hudson said, "Howard Snoweiss and his firm got such high recommendations that we were really impressed. This was fundamental to our decision to proceed.
"He will be an active leader within our company and will help us widen our view."
"The advantages for us are substantial," Mr. Snoweiss said. "We have become a nationally known firm, and from an expertise and marketing point of view this puts us in locations where RTKL already has a presence."
He said the decision to join forces was made after two years of discussion.
"Personally, I was looking for the next challenge," he said, "and RTKL is coming here in any case. Our two companies make a good fit or I wouldn’t have considered it.
"RTKL consistently ranks among the top 10 architecture and design firms in the country. Its body of work over the past 55 years is of such high quality that it’s an honor for us to be associated with them."
RTKL, whose 900 employees are involved in projects in 60 countries, is designer of the Mandarin Oriental Miami, about to open on Brickell Key.
Mr. Hudson said the firm has been active in South Florida since the early 1980s. The Miami office — its 13th — will be its first in the southeast US.
RTKL, which is expanding rapidly, is opening an office in Shanghai next month and in Singapore next year, Mr. Hudson said. Also on the boards are offices in Sao Paolo, Frankfurt and Beijing.
"Howard’s business provides unique design services we presently don’t have," he said. "This relationship expands our hospitality, cruise ship and corporate business into South Florida."
Howard Snoweiss Design has a lengthy client list in the area, including Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises, the Ritz Carlton Key Biscayne, Barclays Financial Center, The Ocean Club at Key Biscayne and Coscan Homes.
Mr. Snoweiss said he is looking for office space to house the combined companies — a move that had become necessary before the merger.
"We are in the path of the Rouse project" being built in Coral Gables, he said, "and we needed to expand anyway." Details: (305) 461-3131.