By combining the roles of the Architect & Developer, we have greater control of the project making faster decisions, providing a more efficient process and maximizing the potential for a better profit for our investors.


Investment Opportunity

South Florida based architectural and development firm RNA is launching its Architect as Developer™ business with ultra-contemporary projects for single-family homes and mid-rise residential in South Florida and the Northeast. This is a unique opportunity for the savvy investor.

The Architect as Developer™ business model is a complete real estate investment package that includes site selection combined with the most compelling architectural design to maximize aesthetics and ROI. Other equally important tasks include preparing and facilitating the permitting process, production of working drawings, construction, and project management.

Southern Florida provides ideal demographic and topographic opportunities for the construction and development of high-end residential properties. Based on their reputation and history as the preferred Fort Lauderdale architects for contemporary design, RNA expects the opportunity for growth and success in the field of property design and development for this region as eminently achievable.

RNA has determined that many Architect as Developer™ investment opportunities exist beyond South Florida, specifically in the Northeast where New York architectsBoston architects, and Provincetown architects tend to repeat the same design themes reflective of the Colonial America architectural vernacular. Weathered Shingle Style homes are commonplace to the coastal communities of Downeast Maine, the Outer Cape Cod villages of Provincetown and Truro, the islands of Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket, and the Hamptons. Traditional Adirondack style log cabins and rural Vermont country cottage designs are a repeated theme by New York developers and Boston developers.

The contemporary design of RNA and Architect as Developer™ model will provide a fresh and sophisticated perspective to contemporary architecture and will appeal to the next generation of luxury residential development. The traditional four-square wooden boxes reminiscent of previous generations will yield to more elegant and contemporary design; clean lines, open spaces, connections to nature.

Site-sensitive design and large expanses of windows will engage with natural surroundings, whether the Intracoastal waterways of Fort Lauderdale, the windswept beaches of Cape Cod and the Islands, the rugged beauty of the Maine Coast, or the four-season resorts of the Adirondacks and Vermont.

The Architect as Developer™

The Architect has a vision for the project. The Developer has the knowledge of the community and access to the construction trades. By combining the roles of the Architect & Developer there is a singular aesthetic vision, sensitivity to the natural environment, knowledge of prevailing client tastes, faster decision making, experience with high-tech sustainable building materials, project management, and access to preferred contractors.

The role and contribution of RNA has become more and more evident over the years as builders profited from RNA’s collaborative guidance. Designing, developing, and constructing our projects is a natural direction for our business. As the architect and developer, Fort Lauderdale developers RNA is the facilitator with the vision. Studying the proven business models of the most successful developers over the past 25 years has refined our proof of concept.

While return on investment cannot be guaranteed, it may be reasonable to assume a 50% return on the initial investment within a 24 to 48 months period. Variables include site purchase price and unanticipated costs of development and sale of the property.

About RNA

RNA, formerly known as Rex Nichols Architects, emerged 30 years ago and has been focused on designing alluring and innovative contemporary style luxury homes and mid-rise residential properties for clients and developers in Fort Lauderdale, Miami, Palm Beach, Boca Raton, and the surrounding region.

Over time, our business has expanded from designing to include developing multifamily residential properties and condominium projects in South Florida and the Northeast. Through this ongoing process, RNA has evolved into an Architect as Developer™firm creating opportunities for investment in the most desirable and prestigious locations.

RNA’s awards for contemporary architectural design spans 30 years, including:

• Eleven national (AIA) American Institute of Architects awards.

• Top 50 Coastal Architects in the USA by Oceans Home Magazine (2015, 2016, 2017, 2018).

RNA development proposals include detailed pro forma financials for each project, ensuring optimal ROI for the savvy investor. Flexibility regarding design and material selection makes RNA a proactive partner while maximizing investment opportunities and optimal aesthetic results.

Case Study: Emaar Properties

Rex Nichols Architects “RNA” is proud that preeminent developer, Emaar Properties, has recognized its visionary work. Although RNA accomplishments are well known in the U.S. and especially South Florida, it was the portfolio of Alex Penna, RNA Design Leader for Contemporary Architecture, which caught the attention of Emaar Properties Senior Manager of Design. Emaar felt the contemporary architecture featured on the RNA website perfectly aligned with the architectural style envisioned for their high-profile Dubai Creek Harbor development.

Luxury lifestyle, spectacular cultural offerings, and monumental architecture are characteristics of The Emaar Group’s boundary-pushing projects. Emaar Properties is widely recognized for Burj Khalifa, the tallest structure in the world since late 2008, and The Dubai Mall, the largest mall in the world by total area. Emaar developments are a significant contributor to the architectural beauty of the United Arab Emirates.

Equally impressive is Emaar’s Dubai Marina, an artificial canal city built along a two-mile stretch of Persian Gulf shoreline. Aside from dockage for the world’s largest yachts, Dubai Marina accommodates more than 120,000 people in residential villas and towers.

Emaar describes Dubai Creek Harbor as an iconic waterfront development. This mixed-use development of monumental scale is situated on the banks of the historic Dubai Creek just 15 minutes from Downtown Dubai and the Dubai International Airport. Dubai Creek Harbor will also be home for the world’s second tallest tower at 3045 feet. Dubai Creek Tower, designed by the renowned Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava, is scheduled for completion in 2020.


1) John Portman – the Architect as Developer. John Portman is known as one of Atlanta's most influential architects. Three years after graduating from Georgia Tech with an architecture degree, John Portman opened his first architectural firm in Atlanta in 1953, known today as John Portman & Associates

2) The Master Builder: Jonathan Segal Interview. Ben Stevens recently interviewed Architect & Developer Jonathan Segal as part of his Skyline Forums website. Jonathan is well known for his online course Architect as Developer and has built many notable works in San Diego, CA.

For more information,

Contact Rex Nichols Architects



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