Martin Ditto started Ditto Residential in 2008 to pursue new ideas and innovation through real estate. He wants to create architecturally significant residences through transformative design and frequently partners with avant-garde, award-winning design firms.
At the same time, Ditto recognizes and responds to underserved populations, both singles and families who have trouble finding affordable options. In cities like Washington, D.C., group homes shared by young people are being converted to single-family use or to high-end condos, and families who need more than two-bedroom apartments have few places to turn.
Ditto sees himself as the quintessential entrepreneur, unafraid to take a chance. He points to his first attempt to serve the underserved market with a nine-unit development in D.C., called Oslo, which has been profiled as a ULI Case Study. One of the nation’s first group-housing projects, Oslo is an apartment building consisting of three- and four-bedroom units designed for sharing. Each tenant has a 400-square-foot (37 sq m) bedroom with bath, and unit members share a kitchen and living room.
Ditto calls Oslo “a new housing type for millennials between the traditional group house and a studio or one-bedroom apartment.” Olso, he said, has essentially been full since opening two years ago, and three similar buildings are in the works.
He also plans to break new ground by erecting a triangular, mixed-use building that predominantly comprises three- and four-bedroom apartments—49 in all—to serve families with more than one child.