There’s so much to say about Morris Kaplan. He’s definitely a man of high energy. Also one of engineering knowhow, family closeness, spiritual conviction, keen insights, operational acumen, land discoveries, constant integrity, vanguard achievements, widespread generosity, worldly travel, New Jersey roots and a Florida address.
That’s the CliffsNotes bio. Here’s the longer one.
It all started in 1976 when Morris graduated from Rutgers University with a degree in civil engineering. Educated, eager and motivated, he applied his energies to gaining hands-on experience.
Morris’ roots began by learning construction from the ground up during 25 years in the field. Over the next two decades, his development expertise blossomed into all the various disciplines of real estate – closely following the career path of his revered father.
It’s not surprising. Family is and always has been universally central to Morris. A dad of three and grandfather as well, he’s married to the wise and lovely Sandra Lisman Kaplan, who puts it this way:
“My biggest and most important titles are Daughter, Wife, Mother, Grandmother, Sister, Aunt, and Friend. For me, my family is what always comes first.”
Besides being occupied with the responsibilities listed above, Sandra makes it her business to support Morris and provide exceptional insight on issues that sometimes frustrate him. She has been a great sounding board for the whole Kaplan team. Her passion to see the firm’s projects succeed is evidenced by her participation in various aspects of communities that have been developed and ones currently on the drawing board. Behind every successful man is a great woman . . . that is Sandra. Morris is wholeheartedly thankful to have a great partner like her.
Ranking second in devotion is the couple’s love of community. Giving back is instinctive, their service to Jewish organizations undeniable. He’s a past president of Young Israel of Bal Harbour, KSpace, Bris Avrohom and Monmouth Torah Links and is active in these and many more. On top of that, he’s built four synagogues, two in Florida and two in New Jersey. Sandra has also been actively involved for 35 years in Women’s International Zionist Organization (WIZO).
With religion such a huge part of his life, integrity is a credo without boundaries for Morris. He’s resolute about doing the right thing. All the time. Regardless. In and outside of work.
His track record is an eye-opener. Kaplan has developed 30,000 homes and 3 million square feet of non-residential projects over the last 46 years as a family company. Very focused on big dreams, Kaplan has a long-term goal of developing a billion dollars of real estate on a bi-annual basis. On the way to that target, he’s accomplishing some very daunting feats.
From developing master-planned communities, working through environmentally challenging sites to build apartments, implementing new technologies like lightweight steel framing and modular constructions, building in urban or suburban markets, Morris has overseen projects that would have stymied most large and national developers.
Operating ahead of the curve, Morris has instituted a slogan – The Impossible is Possible.
Following his 1986 move to open up new markets in the Southeast, his 450 Piedmont development made headlines as the first private development in downtown Atlanta. Soon more and more Kaplan Residential developments were rising up in cities throughout Georgia, Florida, the Carolinas . . . and the groundbreaking announcements just keep on coming. All of this has come full circle in that Kaplan Residential recently broke ground in downtown Atlanta on a 17-story high-rise utilizing a lightweight steel framing technology, the first installation of its kind in the U.S.
Like we said, Morris Kaplan is definitely a high-energy guy.