His grandfather was involved in the building of the Flanner House Homes in his hometown of Indianapolis. It was a postwar residential neighborhood in Indianapolis developed in the 1950s as a housing project for African Americans. As a “sweat equity” housing project, participants were required to work a minimum of 20 hours each week to support the project. Participants worked in cooperative work groups to build the houses, gaining a skill set that would not only help in future maintenance of the structures, but in some cases also allow homeowners to find related employment. The builders, his grandfather included, logged their sweat equity hours to count as a down payment.
“He always preached about home ownership as a way to build wealth,” said Martin. “So that’s one thing that was always instilled in me. My father had his own law firm. My mother’s been in real estate.” Now Martin is building single family residential housing with a focus on workforce housing. His first single family subdivision is in pre-development. He’s developing 150 single-family homes on 54 acres in Antioch. The focus of the development is creating workforce housing for public servants, first responders and educators. It has a $7 million budget and is expected to break ground in summer/fall 2023 and be complete by mid-2026. He is partnering with New Level CDC and possibly two additional non-profits.
“It’s my first solo developed project,” he said. “This is a big one.”