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Smart Growth Awards project nominee

Martin Building redevelopment encourages community

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Community at Martin Building + Flats is the inaugural project for Gregory Strangman and LWP Group's Community brand of affordable urban properties. The Community "brand" is a set of principles for redevelopment and management that create buildings that facilitate active participation in urban neighborhoods.

Goals include the preservation and renovation of existing structures that reflect local, neighborhood and community identity, and to create active "hub" environments that encourage and stimulate occupant interactions and exemplify community. Whenever possible, adaptive reuse and sustainability principles are used, and an emphasis is placed on connection to diverse transportation options. Community buildings are redeveloped with an individual character and style that embraces the history of the existing structure and the creativity of San Diego's urban renaissance and eclectic populace. Affordability and access are also important principles in the Community brand.

LWP Group applied its Community brand ideals to the redeveloped of the vacant Martin Building (built in 1925) and adjacent structure (built in 1961) into Community at Martin Building + Flats. The redevelopment included preservation of the historical features that gave the Martin Building its unique character, include the original hardwood floors, tile and marble entry, wooden sash windows and art deco facade. On the southern exterior wall, facing downtown, the building proudly proclaims its history via an original painted sign advertising the Martin Apt. Hotel. Along with its past, Martin Building + Flats is fully present in modern urban living, with fresh eclectic art and a bold, clean use of color in the communal areas.

Occupant interaction is encouraged in a large massage board and communication/mail center. An urban community garden, constructed out of salvaged shipping containers, is tended by the building's occupants. Additional Community features include: access to shared-use bicycles and re-useable shopping bags; free wireless Internet access; community deck and swimming pool; recycling services; revolving local art exhibits and custom music from Groove247.com; and monthly community social events. This is all offered to residents at an affordable rental rate starting at $800 per month.

In addition, if residents participate and donate time to a local charity or nonprofit group that provides benefits to the overall community, they receive a discount on rent.

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