Allen Morris On Real Estate

It’s the Roaring 20’s… Again

  |   Real Estate
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The 1920’s were marked by bold innovation, creativity and change.


As I think about The Allen Morris Company’s bold plans for 2020, I think about how our stepping out with bold action in the past has been scary, and yet has also brought the most wonderfully creative results.


Whether it is the outrageous amenity deck on the rooftop of the Hermitage Apartment Homes in St. Petersburg, which won the award as the best new apartment building in Florida, or the Live + Work units in the new mixed-use development, Maitland City Centre near Orlando, or the outrageous outdoor collaboration decks and amenity spaces on every floor of the Star Metals Office Building under construction in West Midtown Atlanta, we have found that innovation is always a messy, and sometimes scary process.


Star Metals Office Building 7th floor amenity level.


There is major financial risk in committing to a new and untested creative idea. I am continually inspired by that masterful quote attributed to German playwright Wolfgang Goethe:


“Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back…Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth that ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would have come his way…Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now.”


One of the most exciting aspects to me is to witness how an innovative idea or product is then re-imagined by the people who use them in ways that we could never anticipate. A year after we opened The Hermitage apartment building, I discovered that our residents had hosted 22 weddings on the rooftop amenity deck.


When we created the innovative Live+ Work units in the Maitland City Centre project, a creative teacher turned the working side of her unit into a colorful classroom to tutor her young students.


Live + Work unit at Maitland City Centre


In other words, when we take the bold step to act on our innovative ideas, it has a multiplier effect by inspiring creative innovation in others that change the ways we see our lives and how we live in the world.


As Goethe said, “Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it.“


In all of my hesitancy and worry about embarking to bring something new and unique to the market, I have to remember that if what I’m doing does not inspire me, it’s not likely to inspire anyone else. If it really inspires me, it is likely to inspire others!

So rather than just dream or stick with what is safe, I must act when boldness is called for.


As Thomas Jefferson advised, “Do you want to know who you are? Don’t ask. Act! Action will delineate and define you.”


So in the NEW Roaring 20’s, let’s all get out and ROAR!!



VIDEO:  Walter Allen Spencer Morris, Executive Vice President, speaks on the challenge of innovation in a family business.



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