Kobi Karp moved to Miami in the late 1980s to work as an architect because of its prime location — near the Caribbean, that is.
“It was Miami Vice and Scarface days; there was really no work being done here,” said Karp, 52, who started out with British firm Lane Pettigrew Wood Karp on Lincoln Road.
That shift reflects the changing international profile of Miami, Karp said: “We were seen as a sea, sun and sand part-time resort city. Now we’re seen as a cultured, civilized, progressive destination.”
He has had a front-row seat for that evolution. Karp lives in Miami Beach with his wife Nancy, who runs advertising and marketing for the company, and his sons Aden, 13, and Jordan, 19, whom he calls “my two most important projects.”
Originally from Israel, Karp moved with his family to Minneapolis as a child and attended the University of Minnesota’s Institute of Technology, where he earned degrees in architecture and environmental design.
Since he founded the firm in 1995, he and his team have designed projects around the globe that cost developers over $36 billion to build. The company offers both architecture and interior design services, with architecture making up 60, sometimes as much as 70 percent of the business, Karp said.