“No matter where I hit the ball or how far I run, I’ll always have a place to come back to, which is this city,” said Mike Epps.
Comedian, actor, and Indianapolis native Mike Epps returned to Indianapolis with his Image Award-winning TV producer wife, Kyra Epps, to rehabilitate the neighborhood where he was raised.
Epps grew up on 21st and Carrollton Avenue at his grandmother Anna Walker’s house in the 1970s. Instead of selling the house, Epps, his wife and an HGTV team worked diligently to remodel the home to embody the late Walker’s characteristics.
Epps not only remodeled his grandmother’s home; he also bought five other homes and remodeled two. For Epps, buying back his childhood block was about family and legacy.
“Indianapolis is a beautiful town. It’s a beautiful city with beautiful people in it. It has its drawbacks like every other city, but I have always thought a lot about this city and the people in it. I love representing it. Even though it’s a small town, I still think about Indianapolis because it’s home base for me,” said Mike Epps.
The Epps partnered with HGTV after seeing the progress of buying back the block.
“While we were working, things were turning out great. So, we decided to reach out to HGTV so they can follow our story. Turns out, they ended up loving it, and here we are,” said Kyra Epps. “I can honestly say that we could not have done this alone because what people don’t really understand about construction is that it really does take a team effort.”
The Epps also partnered with GANGGANG, a creative advocacy firm in Indianapolis, because they wanted these homes to further represent Indianapolis by showcasing various artwork from Indianapolis artists.
“Mike, we love you. You have poured so much into our city. You’re a pride of Indianapolis. It’s one of the things that we take joy in just knowing that you give back to this extent. You want to invest in your city and set an example for others,” said Alan Bacon, co-founder of GANGGANG.
The Epps’ goal in buying back the block was to make these houses affordable for the Indianapolis community. Kyra Epps said Mike Epps is a firm believer in his city and will always strive to be a hometown hero.
“You are the epitome of loyalty. You love Indianapolis. I have never met anyone who loves Indy more,” said Kyra Epps.
Contact staff writer Braxton Babb at (317) 762-7854. Follow her on Twitter @BLIEVESHEWRITES.