About Cartessa

Led by founder and owner Bill Chalmers, Cartessa Real Estate Company specializes in the development of affordable housing. Bill recently completed the 64-unit Westwood North apartment complex and is currently under construction with the 72u Westwood South complex, both on the Pontiac/Bloomfield border in Oakland County, Michigan. Four years ago, within the same vicinity of the previous two new developments, Bill completely renovated a former dormitory into 26-unit apartment building.

Prior to the apartments, Bill completed a 18,000 square foot building renovation which transformed a vacant single-tenant office building into 44 individual suites that was fully leased within three months of opening to the public. He and his team also completed a 30,000 sq ft building renovation and addition of a former chapel for a regional provider of elder care services, completed the comprehensive redevelopment of the 33,000 square foot office complex now known as “North Greenfield Office Park” and anchored by Ascension Healthcare and the remaining buildings are 100% occupied by executive office users.

Prior to his healthcare work, Bill owned and developed 20 corners and outlots for national retailers like Walgreens, Starbucks, and Regions Bank f.k.a. AmSouth Bank. These developments were in Michigan and Florida and 15 were former gasoline service stations.

During the recession, Bill performed third party construction services for a highly dynamic construction firm, DA Contracting, headquartered in Southfield, Michigan. As project manager, Bill constructed over $50MM worth of ground-up retail and office renovation and always delivered on-time and on-budget. His successful projects include the ground-up construction of freestanding stores for Vibe Credit Union, Advance Auto, Aspen Dental and Vitamin Shoppe as well as retail centers occupied by Potbelly, Qdoba, Chipotle, Sherwin Williams, Visionworks and Supercuts. Additionally, he renovated most of the 100,000 SF River Ridge Office Center in Clinton Township, retrofitted a former fitness facility into a classroom building for Wayne County Community College, and renovated two buildings in Royal Oak’s central business district: one for Vibe Credit Union and a complete retrofitting of the former Barnes & Noble building for tenancy by Vectorform and Buffalo Wild Wings.

Prior to founding Cartessa, Bill was responsible for the commercial real estate investment and development in Florida and Michigan for Pursuit Development Company. Under Pursuit, he was accountable for more than $60MM worth of retail development and he was in charge of acquiring land, performing due diligence, obtaining all entitlements, financing, and overseeing construction and final deliveries. Bill created an ultra-niche for Pursuit’s business by redeveloping 15 abandoned service stations into destinations for national retailers and their customers.

Before Pursuit, Bill produced for one of the nation’s largest commercial real estate firms, Trammell Crow Company (TCC), for eight years. He held numerous positions and his last responsibilities at TCC included the execution of Trammell Crow’s retail development efforts in the State of Florida wherein he delivered build-to-suit developments for Walgreen’s Company. Before that, Bill was in TCC’s brokerage division where his primary responsibility was serving as Real Estate Field Representative for ExxonMobil Corporation. For this account, Bill acquired and disposed of more than 25 ExxonMobil assets while gaining critical experience in environmentally impacted real estate.

Bill is a graduate of the University of Michigan and previously served as a Planning Commissioner for Shelby Township, Chairman of the Zoning Board of Appeals for Rochester Hills, served on that city’s Brownfield Redevelopment Authority and Public Safety and Infrastructure Technical Review Committee, served as Chairman of the Board of Directors for Sacred Heart Rehabilitation Center, and was a guest speaker at the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan in 2019. Most recently, Bill was appointed to the city commission overseeing Pontiac’s five-year development plan.

Billy Chalmers, Real Estate Manager

Billy has worked on Cartessa projects since 2014 and is responsible for leasing and property management of nearly 200,000 sq feet of buildings while studying business at Oakland University.  In 2023, he was responsible for 120 new leases.  Billy resides in Royal Oak, Michigan and his community involvement includes serving on the Board of Directors for Families Against Narcotics.

Carly Chalmers, Real Estate Assistant

Working for Cartessa since 2014, Carly has performed various duties that include administration, demolition, and site cleanup. Currently, Carly is responsible for assisting the real estate team’s administrative needs.  She also attends Oakland University on scholarship and has made the President’s and/or Dean’s List every semester.

Tessa Chalmers, Marketing Assistant

Professionally certified in the Adobe Creative Suite, Tessa manages all website and graphic design responsibilities while attending the University of Central Florida and in the pre-law program. She also assists with property maintenance across the entire Cartessa-owned portfolio.

Marcie Stewart, Assistant Property Manager

Marcie is responsible for all interior design and landscaping vision, having completed over seven interior and exterior renovations for Cartessa Real Estate Company, all while raising her three children.