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national   /   November 12, 2020

Paul Bubny
By: Paul Bubny

Women in Real Estate 2020: Sterling Bay's Stephanie Smothers Wins Accolades

When Stephanie Smothers joined Chicago-based development firm Sterling Bay as senior interior designer in 2017, she had already amassed numerous accolades at her previous firm, Eastlake Studio. A standout project was the 33,000-square-foot Pandora Radio offices at her current employer’s Two Pru, which Smothers and Eastlake architect Kevin Kamien designed with a 1980s John Hughes theme. Two Hughes films with influential soundtracks were set in Chicago suburbs, and the theme connected music and Chicago pride.

To invoke an ‘80s pop-punk feel, the Eastlake team used era-appropriate textual and graphic components over a post-industrial (punk-like) aesthetic, with exposed ductwork and polished concrete floors. The result was featured in Crain’s Chicago Business as one of 2016”s “coolest offices” and also won an AIA Chicago award.

Since joining Sterling Bay, Smothers has brought her skills to project both in Chicago’s West Loop and Miami. They have included 333 N. Green and 600 W. Chicago in the West Loop, and 545Wyn in Miami’s burgeoning Wynwood neighborhood.

These are just some of the reasons we chose Smothers as one of the 2020 Women in Real Estate Award winners. Connect Media’s Women in Real Estate Awards honor the achievements and inspirational stories of women who have reached respected positions of leadership and play key mentorship roles for others.


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Paul Bubny serves as Senior Content Director for Connect Commercial Real Estate, a role to which he brings 13-plus years’ experience covering the commercial real estate industry and 30-plus years in business-to-business journalism.
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