ideas inspiring change

fernando castillo joins api(+) to lead miami office

senior designer has robust portfolio of retail and hospitality work for global brands
Fernando Castillo joins api(+) to lead Miami office
Senior designer has robust portfolio of retail and hospitality work for global brands

Fernando Castillo has joined api(+) to lead the firm’s Miami office. Fernando brings 25 years’ experience in branding planning and design both nationally and internationally to the api(+) team. He is a licensed interior designer skilled in architecture, merchandising, fixture systems, and overall environmental design.

His expertise in strategic planning yields high impact, high value, award-winning results within the global retail arena. Before joining api(+) Fernando worked with well-respected firms, The Pavlik DesignTeam, PDTI and most recently with IDDI in Miami.

His portfolio includes specialty retail, food retail, restaurant, entertainment, department store, mall, hospitality, and travel retail work for clients such as Chedraui Markets, Carnival Cruise Lines, B Hotel + Condominium, Yum Brands, Universal Studios, Harrods(UK), and Golden Harvest Sky Cinema (Hong Kong).

August 5, 2013

deborah bortolin joins api(+) to lead retail center studio studio

deborah bortolin brings international experience to api(+) clients
Deborah Bortolin joins api(+) to lead retail center studio studio
Deborah Bortolin brings international experience to api(+) clients

api(+) is pleased to announce that Deborah Bortolin has joined our team as retail center studio director. Bortolin will lead api(+)’s retail center work including mixed-use and urban planning projects.

Bortolin brings 15 years’ international experience in place-making and comprehensive retail strategy for large-scale enclosed and open-air mixed-use developments to the api(+) team. Her extensive experience also includes master planning, retail design, wellness, leisure, hotel, spa, office and high-end residential projects.

api(+) president and CEO Juan Romero said “Deborah’s qualifications and professional experience support our commitment to delivering exceptional design solutions focused on branded experiences, differentiation and performance.”

As a studio leader, Bortolin has directed teams, coordinated with clients and oversaw design, budget and functionality for large-scale enclosed and open-air, mixed use developments including: the Atlanta Braves sports complex master plan in Atlanta, Georgia, The Market at Santa Monica Place by Macerich in Santa Monica, California, and Kashirskaya Retail Center in Moscow, Russia, just to name a few.

Deborah earned a Doctor of Architecture degree from IUAV University of Architecture in Venice. She established her own firm in Italy, designing leisure and retail centers, before working with the well-respected firms of Design International in London and most recently The Jerde Partnership out of Los Angeles.

March 1, 2016

trish nearhoof, aia, ncarb joins api(+) to manage its food retail group

nearhoof brings more than 10 years' experience with focus in retail and restaurant work
Trish Nearhoof, AIA, NCARB joins api(+) to manage its food retail group
Nearhoof brings more than 10 years' experience with focus in retail and restaurant work

api(+) today announced new team member Trish Nearhoof, AIA, NCARB. Nearhoof comes to api(+) as project manager for its food retail group.

As project manager for api(+)’s food retail group, Nearhoof, a registered architect, will manage multiple projects and supervise others to ensure proper communication and successful delivery of projects in terms of budget, schedule, quality and Client satisfaction. She brings 10 years of professional architectural experience in project management, design, construction documentation and rollout expertise to the api(+) team.

June 30, 2014

api(+) earns three awards in progressive grocer store design contest

yummy market, super 1 foods and schnucks honored
api(+) earns three awards in Progressive Grocer Store Design Contest
Yummy Market, Super 1 Foods and Schnucks honored

api(+) is pleased to announce that three of its architecture and design projects earned awards in Progressive Grocer’s 2013 Store Design Contest. The firm earned best-of-class awards for the following categories:

  • “Best Remodel, Under $3 million” for Yummy Market in Toronto, Canada
  • “Best Discount Format” for Super 1 Foods in Tyler, Texas
  • “Runner-up for Best Overall Store Design, New Construction, Under 50,000-square-feet” for Schnucks in Ballwin, Missouri

api(+) president and CEO, Juan Romero said, “While we are honored to earn awards, the successful performance of our stores, Client satisfaction, and customer delight is our ultimate goal. Our Clients’ success is our greatest reward.”

August 5, 2013

walmart to go prototype wins gold

a.r.e’s design awards honors api(+) convenience store prototype
Walmart To Go prototype wins gold
A.R.E’s Design Awards honors api(+) convenience store prototype

api(+) is pleased to announce that the Association for Retail Environments has honored its prototype design for Walmart To Go with the gold award in the convenience store category of the A.R.E. Design Awards.

The 2015 A.R.E. Design Awards celebrated adventures in retail from around the world with an awards presentation at GlobalShop in Las Vegas, which showcased Walmart To Go among winning projects from nine countries.

Walmart To Go is the retailer’s first small format convenience store and it’s now open near its headquarters in Bentonville, Arkansas. It features illuminated green and yellow exterior branding, splayed “W” columns, logo sparks on the canopy underside, a lowered green entry canopy and an expansive glass storefront accommodating views to the interior. Inside it offers a mix of fresh prepared and traditional grocery items foods along with popular convenience store products, enhanced by polished concrete floors, galvanized cooler panels, and exposed finishes that create an urban loft theme.

“We are proud to continue to be a resource to Walmart for original thinking and fresh design ideas and honored to be recognized by the leading retail design association, A.R.E., for our work.” said Juan Romero, AIA, NCARB president and CEO of api(+).

April 22, 2015

api(+) promotes five to associate level

the associate title recognizes outstanding team member contributions
api(+) promotes five to associate level
The associate title recognizes outstanding team member contributions

api(+) is pleased to announce five established employees, David Behrens, Ryan Martin, LEED AP, Christy Emery, AIA, NCARB, John Scheffel and Tim Moore, have been promoted to associate level.

The associate title recognizes individuals who have laid roots and are making ongoing contributions to the vision, strategy and culture of api(+). Those who earn the title are presented both an opportunity and an obligation to continue contributing, growing, developing and leading.

Juan Romero, AIA, NCARB, president and CEO said, “It’s a privilege to have these five individuals contributing to our leadership and work. Each adds exceptional value and enthusiasm to our team, provides insight and creative input to spotting and resolving problems, and influences others as a role model within the firm.”

April 22, 2015

2015 progressive grocer store design contest

market bistro by price chopper wins best remodel

retail environments

here comes the sun – native sun natural foods

grocery business

the rise of the grocerant: a moveable feast

chain store age

store of the week: fresh thyme farmer’s market

society for environmental graphic design (segd)

api(+) dubs the earl of sandwich

progressive grocer

api(+) earns best remodel award in 2014 store design contest

progressive grocer

taking root: fresh thyme is pg’s store of the month

grocery business

it's about thyme

convenience store news

future store: the neighborhood market

chain store age

fresh thyme takes root in the midwest

restaurant development + design

earl of sandwich designed for growth

grocery headquarters

designing spaces

2014 progressive grocer store design contest

fresh thyme and ultra foods earn accolades

2015 a.r.e design awards

walmart to go wins gold

retail environments

blue sky thinking

tampa bay times

earl of sandwich seeks to expand with new st. petersburg prototype

2016 newsletter

miami office, hispanic retail and convenience store prototypes, adaptive reuse creates a gourmet grocer

2015 newsletter

award-winning concepts for price chopper and walmart, 9 new team members and 5 promotions

2014 newsletter

out-of-the-box ideas for earl of sandwich, the fresh market and upscale retail centers

2013 newsletter

api(+) scores a grocery design trifecta, creates a foodie destination in toronto, and presents at hispanic retail 360

2012 newsletter

creating sunglass hut on miami’s lincoln road, price chopper’s ‘store of the century,’ and so much more

progressive grocer

profit by design

convenience store news

walmart to go hybrid boasts innovative design

progressive grocer

ultra foods: redefining the warehouse store format

tampa bay times

tampa firm designs first walmart to go convenience store


yummy market, toronto

progressive grocer

store design spotlight: schnucks kehrs mill

drug store news

upscale format puts ‘fine’ back in wine store

grocery headquarters

design stars


scale it down

progressive grocer

2013 store design contest finalists

chain store age

abc fine wines & spirits, ocala, fla.

business observer

designed to sell

grocery business

another yummy experience

the shelby report

api(+) designed yummy market in toronto


jockeying for position

chain store age

store feature: yummy market

the shelby report

api(+) designed schnucks grocery store in ballwin, mo

fsr magazine

form follows fun

2014 brick in architecture awards

the fresh market in pittsburgh wins silver award

business observer

how to expand globally

progressive grocer

kings debuts premiere store in gillette, n.j.

the shelby report

romero innovates grocery store design


design feature: the wine loft

fsr magazine

api(+) designs the wine loft’s newest location

supermarket news

kings gets a royal makeover

grocery headquarters

sweetbay debuts new prototype store


sweetbay debuts new prototype store

progressive grocer

visual vanguards – market bistro by price chopper earns the remarkable reinvention award

vmsd design competition

carnival supermarket recognized in vmsd design competition

tampa bay business journal

tampa bay’s top architecture firms

the shelby report

retail design firm api(+) promotes five to associate level

retail environments

walmart to go convenience store design earns gold award

progressive grocer tv

fresh thyme’s organic growth plan

tampa bay business journal

coolest office spaces 2013: api(+)
For media inquiries, please contact Juliette Lauer at or (813) 281-9299.