Allen Morris On Real Estate

The Movers – People Who Move Miami

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RAINMAKER   –  Allen Morris

NGP_2105-EditThe Coral Gables-born real estate developer and second-generation CEO of The Allen Morris Company has survived a plane crash and market crashes and managed to stay on top.

VITALS 64. Real estate developer whose namesake company helped turn downtown Miami into a full-fledged business district. Native of Coral Gables, younger brother to two sisters. His father, L. Allen Morris, moved from Atlanta in 1947 to try his hand at real estate; baby W. Allen Morris arrived five years later. Educated at military school in Chattanooga, Tenn., before attending Georgia Institute of Technology. Worked through the ranks of his father’s company as builder, broker and manager before joining the board of directors at 21 and officially taking the reins of The Allen Morris Company as CEO in 1980. Stepfather and father to six children, including Spencer, 25, and Mallori, 30, who are busy at work continuing the family legacy. Spends free time flying, practicing martial arts and traveling the world with wife June, a TV news anchor turned PR maven, philanthropist and volunteer.

CURRENT JOB Chairman and CEO of The Allen Morris Company, a Miami real estate development firm founded by his father in 1958.

FIRST PAYING GIG “I was about 10 years old, and I had a contract with my father to do the yard work at our house. I had to put together a profit-and- loss statement and figure out what it would cost me to maintain the lawn mower and edger, and buy gas and oil. Eventually I moved on to selling Coca-Colas at the golf course.”

CLAIM TO FAME “The Alhambra Towers really marked a turning point for me in building. This really was an expression of my personal passion.”

WHAT’S NEW? “I’m very involved in men’s retreats and men’s personal growth experiences. So our next project that we’re working on is to create a retreat center here in Miami.”

BEST DAY ON THE JOB “When I get together with my son and my daughter to talk about our projects and to hear and see their excitement in what we’re doing.”

WORST DAY ON THE JOB “During the recession, after paying $24 million for our Coral Gables site, a bank appraiser valued it at $9 million just a year and a half after we bought it. Because I had been through four of these cycles before, I said, ‘You know, we could panic, but let’s just put it on the shelf and let time pass.’ Within a few years we sold it for over $33 million.”

IS THAT A SOUTHERN DRAWL? “My freshman year in military school in Tennessee they gave me the nickname Yank because I talked like I was from Miami. After four years of learning to ‘talk right’ in Tennessee I went to Atlanta, and just had it so engrained in me. I’m never going to get rid of it now .”


NGP_2344-EditON CHAIRING UNITED WAY’S VERITAGEMIAMI “My wife, June, and I love learning about wine. We have a 2,300-bottle wine cellar and our own private label, so participating in VeritageMiami is something that is just hilariously fun and at the same time, it’s helping the people who are in greatest need in our community.”




ON HIS FATHER’S ADVICE “He always told me that the most important thing to do is to decide the most important thing to do, and then do it.”

ON HIS OWN FATHERLY ADVICE “Who you are is more important than what you do.”

IN HIS SPARE TIME “Right now I am completing my training to become single-pilot certified as a jet pilot. I’ve been a commercial pilot for years. I’m also a licensed scuba diver and deep water diver, NASCAR licensed as a driver on the track, and a licensed boater. Most recently I have studied Korean martial arts and I’m a fourth-degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do.”

GET BACK ON THE BICYCLE “I was in a plane crash in college and broke my back. I had six passengers, and I saved everybody’s life. We had an engine failure after we took off, and I had to make a crash landing. As soon as I got out of my body cast, I went and passed my FAA physical examination and got rated for multi-engine aircraft. It’s kind of like falling off your bicycle. Best to get back on right away.”

Words by Nicole Martinez/Photography by Nick Garcia/ Makeup by Vicky Mejia











Miami Indulge Magazine – Page 39 and 40{“issue_id”:307165,”page”:39}




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