Blair Williams seems to have a knack for not taking the easy route.
He chose a long, winding road through college on his way to a career in real estate development. At one point, Williams was on a pre-med path. Ultimately, he earned an undergraduate degree in history, a law degree, a master of business administration degree and finally a master of science degree in real estate and urban land use economics, all from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
“He’s uniquely well trained and somewhat of a public policy junkie,” said Allen (Sandy) Williams Jr., a partner at Foley & Lardner LLP in Milwaukee and Blair’s father, who’s accused his son of setting a record for credits earned at UW-Madison.
Perhaps appropriately so, Blair Williams ventured out on his own and formed Winder Real Estate Development Inc. in August 2005 after spending five and a half years at Mandel Group Inc., Milwaukee. Williams’ company does business as WiRED Properties and WiRED Ventures LLC. A third company, WiRED Construction LLC, was formed in January 2007 with partner Jim Wohead, who is also a former Mandel Group employee.
“As I look back, it may have been a less than ideal time to start my own company in 2005 when the real estate market was at its peak,” said Williams, who started his own company when he was 34.
To survive, WiRED Properties has had to share its expertise with other companies to form partnerships that proved mutually beneficial, Williams said.
WiRED Properties has consulted with Steiner & Associates, Columbus, Ohio, on the redevelopment of Bayshore Town Center in Gledale and Steiner’s Peninsula Town Center in Hampton, Va. WiRED has also maintained a consulting relationship with Fiduciary Real Estate Development Inc., Milwaukee, and his former employer, Mandel Group.