WHO WE ARE
Our team is more than a group of folks driven by developing memorable real estate projects - we dream big and love bringing partners along with us. While our work may be specific at times to the redevelopment of one building or even an entire city block, our goal is to create something that expands beyond those parameters and impacts the entire community.
The Cotton Companies cultivates community through impactful and compelling real estate development. And we're just getting started.
FOUNDER & CEO
With 20+ years of real estate experience, Chris has worked in every facet of both residential and commercial real estate from property management and marketing to business development, investment, and asset acquisition. He has a passion for development that goes beyond his profession. His ancestors arrived in Columbus in the late 1840s and have long-standing real estate development and entrepreneurial roots that reflect a love and commitment to the community. To date, his cumulative development, construction, management, sales, leasing, and investment is associated with over $180 million in developmental investments in the Columbus, Georgia region.
Chris has made a substantial impact in his hometown and region through development and community service and has been recognized as one of Georgia’s Most Influential Leaders in Georgia Trend’s 2023 Georgia 500. Additionally, he has earned the 2017 Greater Columbus Georgia Chamber of Commerce Entrepreneur of the Year, the 2014 Columbus Georgia Chamber of Commerce J.R. Allen Young Person of the Year Award and was awarded the 2013 Mayoral Service Award for Columbus, Georgia. In 2014, Christopher was also recognized by Georgia Trend Magazine as the “Top 40 Under 40” – an award given to those recognized in the state’s business community as the best and brightest under the age of Forty.
His present community involvement includes service on the Board of Directors for Boys & Girls Club of the Chattahoochee Valley and Board of Directors for Uptown Columbus, Inc. He also serves on the Board of Trustees for Columbus State University Foundation, Historic Columbus Foundation, Inc. and is Chairman of The J.W. & Ethel Woodruff Foundation.
Chris has a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Colorado-Boulder, Master's in Real Estate Development from Auburn University, Master's of Business Administration with an emphasis on Entrepreneurship and Innovation from Clemson University. He is a licensed Georgia Real Estate Sales Person and holds the Commercial Real Estate Industry’s coveted designation as a CCIM Member.
J. Martin Huff
In 2021, Martin Huff joined The Cotton Companies as a principal in the firm where he jointly oversees the company’s development pipeline, investments, and strategic partnerships. A Columbus native, Martin spent 13 years in Spartanburg, SC where he served as the Director of Operations for Morning View Communities a manufactured home property management company. Prior to his role at Morning View, Martin spent 9 years working for The Johnson Group, a family office based in Spartanburg. While at the Johnson Group, he helped lead the self-storage team in its strategic efforts across the nation with over 60 + ground up developments. Previously at The Johnson Group, he served as a business and financial analyst for American Credit Acceptance, a capital solution firm in the sub-prime auto finance industry. Martin also served as an intern for OTO Development in Operations during the summer of 2010 and winter of 2012. He received a Bachelor of Arts from Wofford College.
He is a community advocate, volunteer and leader. While in South Carolina, Martin served on the board of directors for several non-profit organizations. He is a 2016 graduate of Leadership Spartanburg and in that same year accepted the Walter S. Montgomery Young Leader of the Year award.
Martin is actively involved in the Columbus community and others, serving on the Board of Directors for Columbus Technical College and The Foundation Board for his alma mater Christchurch School in Christchurch, VA. You can find Martin and (Lilly) his yellow lab walking through downtown or in an adventurous outdoor setting.