Miami-based Pinnacle Housing Group is out to prove that affordable housing can be beautiful. With the goal to make each of its communities an attractive place to live, the builder-developer works with local and regional artists to create artwork for display in each of its communities.

Most recently, the company contracted with Miami Beach artist Romero Britto to construct a 20-foot-tall sculpture for its 179-unit Los Suenos community. The work will be mounted on the top floor of the 13-story building's north façade and should be visible by all those driving the major thoroughfare between the cities of Miami and Miami Beach.

Known for his neo-pop cubism style, Britto's work is pulsing with vibrant colors and playful patterns. Examples of his work can be viewed at

Partners Mike Wohl and Louis Wolfson say that their commitment to art in public spaces creates not only a signature for the company but also increases awareness of the issue of affordable housing. “We utilize art to combat the public's perception—which is a misconception—about the product we build,” Wohl explains.

But what Wohl and Wolfson have noticed in the eight years since the art elements first became a Pinnacle trademark is that art elevates the pride level in the oft-blighted neighborhoods in which Pinnacle builds. The art becomes a defining characteristic of the neighborhoods, going beyond simply being an attraction and becoming a motivating factor for people to further improve the area.

“In 100 percent of the cases we've been involved in, property values have doubled—even tripled—in two to three years,” Wolfson explains.

Pinnacle completes about 500 to 700 units a year. Although they have primarily been for rental purposes, the company expects to have several for-sale communities coming out of the ground by 2007.

Learn more about markets featured in this article: Miami, FL.