Birth of Tiara Towers

1989 - The Birth of Tiara Towers on North Hutchinson Island, FL

by Mike Izzi   602 S


For those of you who would like to reminisce or for those of you who were not part of the Tiara construction experience,  these photos should be a rare treat.  Our buildings were built with two 20 story Counterbalance Cranes with fixed height booms,  the kind you usually see putting up hi-rise buildings in the big cities.

See photos, below.  The construction proceeded as follows:

  1. There were five forms on leveling screw jacks, one for each apartment floor plan.
  2. The forms were put together to form a complete floor, and rebar, electrical conduit, plumbing lines, etc. were set in place.
  3. A constant stream of concrete trucks delivered concrete to the site.
  4. The concrete was loaded into the crane bucket and lifted to the floor form where it was emptied and spread by workers on the floor tops.
  5. When the concrete set, about every two days, the forms were lowered via the leveling jacks and the crane was used to slide the forms out from under the poured concrete floors above them.
  6. Each form was then reset on top of the newly poured floors and the process was repeated until the building topped off.
  7. As is the custom, when the concrete structure was complete, a christmas tree was set on the very top and a party was held at the old Holiday Inn.
  8. The apartment interiors were then finished.
  9. The parking lot and garages were also completed, followed by the carport construction.

Just a little bit of trivia...............

  • Bob Nelson, the builder of Tiara, originally was going to build on a lot near Bryn Mawr, and the name for the project was Pegasis.  The deal fell through and Tiara was born.
  • The builder was not able to get a loan to build Tiara because of lack of hi-rise experience.  He was able to get backing from two entrepreneurs from Vermont and to this day claims he never made a penny on the project.  He went on to build Visions and went broke building Paragon.
  • The original plans called for a hot tub in the vicinity of the Gazebo which was deleted for cost and three apartments were added to the first floor, deleting some of the amenity areas.
  • Tiara closings began in December 1989.
  • The total original sales for each building amounted to a little over 10 million dollars.
  • The average original sales price for all units was $143,500.
  • The lowest original price paid for a unit was unit 802N for $84,000.
  • The highest original price paid for a unit was unit 1405N for $212,400.
  • The original garage price was $12,000 each.
  • Owners were given limited freedom to change non-structural interior walls.  Thus my idea to open the kitchen to the third bedroom with french doors in the 02 and 04 units was incorporated on some of the higher floors.
  • Take note of the beach in photo 7.  Notice the dune walk stair is at the edge of the beach grass.  Our beach is accruing and has grown much larger since then.  We have been blessed with one of the most beautiful beaches in the world.


1A - Tiara foundation

1B - Tiara foundation, closeup

2 - Tiara Construction Cranes

3 - Tiara - First Floor

4 - Tiara South - Building 2nd Floor

5 - Tiara Buildings - Topped Off

6 - Tiara Buildings - Cranes Gone

7 - Tiara - Almost Complete

8 - Tiara South - Completed

8 Responses to Birth of Tiara Towers

  • mcousino says:

    VERY nice presentation thank you

  • jciny says:

    Seeing the photo’s brings back many happy anxious moments watching the building take shape. It was great fun to sit at the beach and watch it all take form. Yes, we have come a long way. Thanks Joan Izzi 4-30-12

  • aalvandian says:

    Great article and photos. Thanks Mike. Al Alvandian

  • pgustaitis says:

    Well presented, Mike and very informative. We’ve come a long way since then!

  • jmikesh says:

    Great Photos! Who took them?

  • jeetipuri says:

    Nice to know how Tiara got built. Builder/Developer may not have made a penny. But original Tiara condo owners have made a 3.5 % compounded annual TAX-FREE price appreciation rate on their investment over the 22.5 year life of Tiara ( Dec. 1989 to April 2012 ). Original average sales price per condo of $ 143,500 compounded @ 3.5 %/year over 22.5 years = $ 311,178 — which is approximately the average sales price of a condo in Tiara now.

    Just FYI, had original Tiara owners bought the overall stock market, as represented by the S&P 500 Index in Dec. 1989 — when it was trading at about 345 ( today it trades at about 1375 ), they would have made a TAXABLE capital appreciation rate of 6.3 % compounded annually.

    Similarly, had Tiara owners bought Gold in Dec. 1989 when it traded for about $ 400/ounce ( today it trades at about $ 1375/ounce ), they would have made a TAXABLE capital appreciation rate of 6.5 % compounded annually.

    • aalvandian says:

      Yes Jeeti, I could have invested in the stock market or bought gold but then, I think about all the good times during the past 22 years of coming to Tiara each year and enjoying our life here with the many friends we have made.
      Al Alvandian

  • HutcH says:

    Very nice!!!

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