Day in the life of: Everard Martin

The BCG president on his two-hour commute, developer powwows and drinking seven to eight cups of coffee a day

Nov.November 01, 2018 10:00 AM

Everard Martin (Photo by Axel Dupeux)

Everard Martin, 52, is the president of Broadway Construction Group, the New York-based general contractor that operates under Allen Gross’ GFI Capital Resources. GFI, perhaps best known for its Ace New York, NoMad and Beekman hotels, launched BCG in 2013 to manage all of its local ground-up developments and conversions, and the two companies share an office at 140 Broadway. To date, the independent affiliate, which works with other sponsors and contractors, has wrapped 15 projects worth about $500 million. BCG is overseeing the construction of 61 Bond Street — GFI’s 287-room hotel in Downtown Brooklyn that broke ground last year — and RXR Realty’s 363-unit rental tower at 810 Fulton Street in Fort Greene. The company is also involved in the conversion of Williamsburg’s former Dime Community Bank into a mixed-use complex with 177 apartments, plus shops and offices, and manages smaller projects such as developer Effie Dilmanian’s 22-unit Harlem rental tower on West 112th Street. In the past two years, BCG has doubled its staff to 50 full-time employees. Many of those hires came from the company’s 2017 acquisition of Zephyr Construction Management, a firm with strong outer-borough ties. That deal also brought in a handful of projects, including 42-20 27th Street in Long Island City, the Rabsky Group’s angular 195-unit rental. Martin joined BCG as a vice president in 2015 and was promoted to his current role last winter. The DeVry University MBA graduate immigrated to the U.S. from Kingston, Jamaica, at the age of 23 and got his start at Plaza Construction in 1995, working on jobs in Westchester and at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, including Building 77, a former warehouse that now houses offices, manufacturing space and a food hall. Martin, a devout Pentecostal Christian, lives in Sparta, New Jersey, with his wife, Deseree, a former accountant at the construction firm Skanska, and their seven-year-old daughter, Shannon. He has two other children from his first marriage: Brianne, a graduate student, and Jaiden, an assistant project manager at Omnibuild, one of BCG’s competitors.

4:00 a.m. I wake up, hit the shower, get dressed and have a cup of coffee. I don’t eat breakfast or work out — there’s just never enough time. By 4:45, I’m in my car.

Donnie McClurkin

5:00 a.m. On the way to my bus, I stop for another cup of coffee. I actually prepay for my coffee on a two-week basis to save time. Then it’s back in the car. I listen to gospel music, and I’m a Donnie McClurkin kind of guy. He has a morning [radio] show.

5:15 a.m. I park at the Rockaway Townsquare mall, where my bus picks me up. From there, it takes about an hour to the city. Fortunately, I get two seats and will take out my laptop and jump on emails from the day before.

6:45 a.m. When I arrive at Port Authority, I either go to a job site to meet with the developers and contractors, or head to the office. If I go to the rental project at 810 Fulton and I’m running early, I might stop at the Country House Diner on Fulton Street to work for a bit. Otherwise, I will walk the site early by myself and touch base with the guys there.

8:00 a.m. Site meetings usually last about an hour and a half. We take a quick walk through the job and then talk to the client. I always wear a construction helmet. You lead by example, and hard hats save lives. I have nine of them, including a white one and a green one from Plaza. My wife threw out the rest.

10:00 a.m. If I’m at a job site, I come back down to the office and get another cup of coffee. I love coffee. On an average day, I have seven cups — eight in the winter. Once I’m back, I sit with my assistant for 10 minutes to schedule meetings and plan events for the next day. Meetings are always face-to-face.

12:00 p.m. I will run out to lunch. I’m very consistent. I always go to the same place on Nassau Street and get a salad with arugula, grilled chicken and a lot of jalapeños, and go light on the dressing. If I’m out and not coming back for a meeting, I will have tuna instead of chicken.

Allen Gross

1:30 p.m. I meet with Allen Gross about once a week in our shared office. Sometimes it’s for a specific purpose, and sometimes it’s for a strategy session. On Wednesdays, we talk about new projects and new leads, which come through contacts and relationships. But sometimes I learn about projects through the media.

3:00 p.m. My afternoons can really vary. The other day, I had a conference call with an Italian company about supplying kitchen cabinets and bathroom vanities.

7:00 p.m. I head uptown on the A train to Port Authority, where I grab a snack. It’s sometimes a yogurt with fruit. But there’s a place to get Jamaican meat patties on the third floor of the bus terminal. I will even take a separate entrance to avoid the stand.

8:00 p.m. On the bus, I’m on the computer again. Cell phones aren’t allowed, which is frustrating, because you can usually reach a lot of people by phone from five to 10 o’clock. That’s the thing I miss about driving to the city, which I did until last year. I realized it was inefficient since I couldn’t be emailing. On the bus, I’ll put my phone’s earpiece in, but I can only listen.

9:30 p.m. I get home and make dinner. My wife and daughter usually eat at 6 o’clock. On Sundays, I cook curry chicken and jerk chicken to last a couple of days. During the week, I’ll have a salad and maybe make some rice to go with whatever I made on Sunday. I take my dinner upstairs and catch up with my wife before she falls asleep and kiss my daughter goodnight.

10:00 p.m. After I eat, which I often do in the bedroom, I will check Facebook and LinkedIn on my tablet. I also watch CNN to see Don Lemon, Chris Cuomo and Anderson Cooper. I like to know what’s going on in the world. I wouldn’t say my lifestyle is very exciting. I have a glass of wine every so often, and I have Red Stripe in my refrigerator, but it’s mostly for when friends come over.

12:00 a.m. I turn off the TV and fall asleep. I only need four hours of sleep. I’ve been like that for many years. And it works, at least for now.

Correction: A previous version of this article misstated that GFI controls the ground lease at RXR’s rental project at 810 Fulton Street. Also, the Country House Diner is where Martin stops when he visits 810 Fulton, not 61 Bond Street.

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