Blair Williams branches out

Last updated on May 13th, 2019 at 02:42 pm

Blair Williams, who left his job as vice president of development for Milwaukee-based Mandel Group Inc. about 1-½ years ago to start his own real estate development company, has added some partners to his firm, plus multi-family development consulting and construction services to his repertoire.

The additional services have resulted in the creation of WiRED Properties, which includes: Winder Real Estate Development Inc., his boutique urban real estate development firm; WiRED Construction; and WiRED Ventures LLC.

WiRED Properties’ office is at 1818 N. Hubbard, Suite 100, Milwaukee, above Roots restaurant.

"We are at this point more of a group of companies banded together," Williams said.

Williams is a co-owner of WiRED Construction along with James Wohead, the former vice president of construction for Mandel Group, and Greg Norman, a former vice president of condominiums at Mandel Group. Williams and Elan Peltz are co-owners of WiRED Ventures, which they formed to develop high-quality residential and retail concepts.

While he was still with Mandel Group, Williams worked with Columbus, Ohio-based Steiner + Associates on residential development with the Bayshore Town Center project in Glendale. After leaving Mandel Group, Williams continued to consult for the project.

Williams developed a relationship with Steiner, and now Williams’ firm is providing consulting and construction services for the multi-family residential development portion of Steiner’s Peninsula Town Center project in Hampton, Va.

In addition, Williams and his partners are providing consulting services for Steiner’s multi-family business plan and they are providing consulting for the multi-family residential development portion of Steiner’s Glorypark development in Arlington, Texas, near the Texas Rangers’ baseball stadium.

Through their work with Steiner, Williams said he and his partners discovered that mixed-use developers such as Steiner that are experts in retail development lack expertise in multi-family residential development.

"What I identified in the market is that multi-family is a different kind of business," Williams said. "What we do as multi-family developers is different from what other developers do. What we do as a multi-family construction company is different from what other construction companies do."

WiRED Properties is also handling the multi-family residential portion of the Pabst Farms development in Oconomowoc. That project consists of 144 condominium units in 72 duplex buildings. Half of the duplexes will be in a suburban-style layout facing a stormwater detention pond, the other half will be built in an urban-style layout with front doors facing the street and the garage doors in the back. They will cost $269,000 to $389,000 and have 1,300 to 2,000 square feet of space.

"(Pabst Farms) didn’t have anyone in house that did multi-family development," Williams said. "We’re teaming with Pabst Farms to general contract and build the condos at Pabst Farms, which will allow Pabst Farms and us to ensure quality."

Williams and his company are still also doing some of their own developments.

In the Village of Shorewood, WiRED Properties plans to build a four-story building in the 4500 block of Oakland Avenue with 6,000 square feet of retail space, 23 condominiums and 40 underground parking spaces. The condos will be priced between $200,000 and $400,000 and will have between 850 and 1,700 square feet of space.

"This is exactly the kind of project I’ve been trying to pursue," said Williams. "Our goal is to do a very high-quality building. This is going to be a benchmark for us in how we approach urban infill midsize developments. We believe that communities can be changed effectively with small increments of quality."

The property is owned by the village, and village officials still must approve Williams’ plans. Williams hopes to start construction later this year or early next year.

Williams also has acquired a vacant lot and a duplex at 1530 N. Jackson St. on Milwaukee’s east side. He plans to tear down the duplex and use that property and the vacant lot to build a six-unit condo building. The condos will be priced between $200,000 and $400,000.

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