Check out this interview by Reporter Oscar Pedro Musibay of our CEO Jeff Morr in the South Florida Business Journal…..
- Veteran entrepreneur launches design firm
Jeff Morr, CEO of Majestic Properties at Oak Tavern — a property that Majestic owns.
Photo Credit: Mark Freerks
Oscar Pedro Musibay
Reporter-South Florida Business Journal
Jeff Morr was one of the first residential real estate brokers to stake his claim in downtown Miami and neighborhoods to the north during the last residential cycle.
Today, those neighborhoods, including Edgewater, are once again being mined, with many new projects in the planning stages from the likes of The Related Group.
Morr, who emigrated from Israel at age 6, is now leveraging the reputation he gained as CEO of Majestic Properties to launch a new design firm, Itsuv Design Lab, with architect Jasmine Stine.
He spoke to the Business Journal about the new real estate cycle:
SFBJ: How does the new interest in Edgewater compare to the last cycle, when you were helping developers design the buildings?
Morr: First of all, during the last real estate boom, we were very early into Edgewater and the only brokers providing the range of services we offered, including neighborhood promotion and branding, consulting on unit design and the configuration of buildings like Paramount Bay and Ten Museum Park. I also worked on the naming and brandings of buildings such as Ice, Marquis, ios and Midtown Miami.
SFBJ: What is one takeaway from the last cycle that can be applied to today?
Morr: Don’t believe your own hype! Seriously though, anyone involved in sales has to be upbeat and optimistic about the product they market. And you also have to totally understand the product. Looking back, I think it’s fair to say that the mix of optimism and understanding was a little out of whack: Too much optimism, and maybe not enough understanding.
SFBJ: What projects are you working on today? How do they compare to the last cycle?
Morr: This time we have a healthier mix of product: more traditional single-family homes and commercial properties to add to our usual high-rise projects. There are values across the board in Miami, and we like to present options to our clients.
SFBJ: Tell me about your new venture.
Morr: Itsuv Design Lab is a full-service design firm in partnership with French architect/designer Jasmine Stine. We’re working on everything from single-family home design to high-rise design and finish.
SFBJ: What kind of growth do you expect over the next 18 to 24 months, in terms of the business model?
Morr: We are working on six projects right now, and hope to engage in an average of 12 significant projects a year.
SFBJ: How does it fit into your overall business strategy?
Morr: Single-family homes and condos used to be viewed as commodities – very similar in many ways. Today, homes are more frequently viewed as ‘statements’ about the resident and their values. So design of the structure, the allocation of space and all the interior elements tend to be much more personal. We believe there’s a very natural connection between the buying and selling of residences, and the ways in which such homes are furnished and decorated.
SFBJ: What do clients get from your new company?
Morr: Typically, there is no connection between the design of a home and the design of what goes into the home. Too often, the interior of a home clashes with the exterior because they are designed by different people with different aesthetics. By having both sides of the process shaped by the same people, there is a far greater likelihood that the entirety of the home will project a harmony of purpose and harmony of use.
As it relates to our core markets of downtown Miami, the Omni area, Edgewater, Midtown, Wynwood, the Design District and points north, people get the benefit of our deep penetration into those neighborhoods.
SFBJ: You were involved in the opposition to Walmart at Midtown. What is it about that project that motivated you to oppose it?
Morr: It would be totally out of scale with the rest of the area. Since I was involved in Midtown from the very beginning, I have a sense of what fits there and what doesn’t. And as to the residential side, I have a very good sense of what those buyers were led to believe would be their neighbors. A gigantic Walmart was never considered since there was to be a sizable Target store to meet those needs, surrounded by small shops and unique dining venues. Adding a huge Walmart at this point would break faith with those early buyers.
Oscar Pedro Musibay covers real estate.