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Tibor Hollo gift to fund FIU real estate program

Long before it was popular to talk about urban living, Miami developer Tibor Hollo was a believer who made it his priority.

In nearly 60 years of development in South Florida, the vast majority of his projects have been built in Miami’s urban core stretching from the Brickell Avenue corridor north to the Omni district.

Now Hollo wants to encourage the next generation of real estate visionaries to tackle the development challenges that lie ahead both in South Florida and across the country.

Hollo, president of Florida East Coast Realty, and his wife Sheila are funding a $2.5 million endowment to create the Tibor & Sheila Hollo School of Real Estate at Florida International University’s Downtown Brickell campus.

“Real estate is one of the resources that cannot grow; we cannot make more of it,” Hollo said. “Only scientifically can we really administer land properly. That can only be done in an academic environment.”

The need to ensure the best use of that remaining resource is the motivation behind Hollo’s support of the new real estate program. The university will celebrate the naming of the school in the Hollos’ honor on Friday at a luncheon hosted by FIU President Mark B. Rosenberg and Joyce Elam, executive dean of FIU’s College of Business.

“Tibor is one of the most well-respected pioneers in this community,” Elam said. “The fact that he agreed to be associated with our school of real estate really elevates it to a whole different level. Real estate as an industry and a profession is so important to this community. This will help us to recruit great students and enable us to be a thought leader in the real estate industry.”

The creation of a dedicated real estate school is something that has been a dream of Elam’s since the university started offering a Master’s Degree in International Real Estate in Jan. 2006. The program was initially run out of space in Macy’s downtown office building, but after it outgrew that space it moved into Hollo’s building at 1101 Brickell Ave.

It was that move that launched the beginning of the university’s relationship with Hollo.