Andrew Frey: Developing Socially Responsible Urban Planning Initiatives

Andrew Frey is quite intentionally no stranger to dire circumstances. In high school, when most of us were consumed with hallway soap operas, he volunteered at an orphanage in Haiti, and then in college—following the conflict in Kosovo—he flew over to neighboring Albania to work in refugee camps. “I always like that Jackie Robinson quote: ‘A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives,’” says 32-year-old Frey, who was raised in the countryside of Pennsylvania and later in Worcester, Massachusetts. “To me, helping others—or at least trying to take into account all the ways your actions affect others—is the best motivation for anything.”

Previously a land-use lawyer and now an apartment developer based in Miami, Frey has always been interested in the intricacies of urban planning. He was recently asked to relaunch the Young Leaders Group in Miami for the Urban Land Institute, an international organization devoted to promulgating responsible land use. He also cofounded the innovative DawnTown, an annual architectural ideas competition designed to attract talent and generate inventive plans for downtown Miami, and runs a website ( devoted to exposing the merits of smaller urban buildings.

Meanwhile, Frey lends his time to the less fortunate in our community, as a member of the NextGen Council at the Community Partnership for Homeless: “We serve dinner at the assistance center several times a year, which is always fun, and organize other service opportunities, such as holiday parties at the center and fundraising events to get young professionals in the habit of giving.”

As for the future, Frey plans on staying focused: “I see myself living here with my wife, Ali, and a couple of kids, developing buildings—some more traditional and others as experiments in urban planning,” he says. “And of course I’ll continue to support causes related to homelessness, housing and public transportation. In 10 years, hopefully, I’ll be riding a streetcar to work every day.”


The look: Suit and pocket square, Saks Fifth Avenue. Shirt, Brioni. Tie, Ermenegildo Zegna. Suspenders, Ralph Lauren. Shoes, Salvatore Ferragamo

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