Detroit District Council of the URban Land Institute Names William Watch as Chair

atch is the president and co-founder of the Southfield-based First Commercial Realty & Development Co., Inc.

Online PR News – 25-August-2010 – – The Detroit District Council of the Urban Land Institute (ULI Detroit) has named William Watch as the new chair of the organization. Watch is the president and co-founder of the Southfield-based First Commercial Realty & Development Co., Inc., a full-service real estate firm offering expertise in the sale, leasing, property management, construction and development of commercial properties in the Midwest.

“As chair, I would like to concentrate on expanding ULI Detroit, both in membership and in reach, to other parts of Michigan,” said Watch. “The purpose of the organization is to present the latest ideas and projects in real estate. As we grow throughout the state, we will be able to provide more information than ever before to our members.”

Watch replaces Jim Bieri, retail consultant and president and CEO of the Detroit-based Bieri Company and Robin Boyle, Professor of Urban Planning and Chair of the Department of Geography and Urban Planning (GUP) at Wayne State University, who served as co-chairmen for the past three years.

Before establishing First Commercial in 1988, Watch served as the Midwest Real Estate Representative for the west coast-based company, Clothestime. He also worked in the real estate department at Perry Drug Stores. In this position he managed a team of site selectors and support personnel; located new stores; renewed and relocated existing stores; and performed market analysis. He eventually became vice president.

Throughout his involvement with ULI Detroit, Watch served as vice chairman, on the executive and programming committees and is the former chairman of the annual University of Michigan/ULI Real Estate Forum. He is also a member of the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC).

Watch earned a Bachelor’s of Business Administration in 1975 and a MBA, with a focus on finance and marketing, in 1981 from the University of Michigan. Recently, the University of Michigan acknowledged Watch, who is a frequent lecturer there, as one of the founding supporters of their Graduate Level Real Estate Program. In 2007, Central Michigan University and the M.J. Bowen Real Estate Development Program presented its Annual Leadership Award to Watch for his work with ULI and the university in helping to establish their Undergraduate Real Estate Program.

“Bill Watch is the essence of a ULI member,” says Bieri. “He has dedicated much of his time and energy to broadening the connection between ULI Detroit and the educational communities by encouraging scholarships of programs at the University of Michigan, Wayne State University and Central Michigan University. He is also a longtime chair of the UM-ULI Forum, heading into its 24th year.”

He resides in Troy, Michigan with his wife Teryl and three children.

The Urban Land Institute is a nonprofit education and research institute that is supported and directed by its members. Its mission is to provide responsible leadership in the use of land and in creating and sustaining thriving communities worldwide. For more information, please visit the Urban Land Institute website at , or the Detroit District Council website at .