Marquette University Alumni Association Alumni National Awards Weekend
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Peter P. Bell, ENG '71

Peter Paul Bell is chairman of First Realty Company, a family-owned, full service real estate firm founded in Chicago in 1856. In his 30-plus year career, Peter has managed over 4,000 multi-family units and several million square feet of retail, office and commercial space.

Peter also is involved in land planning and development projects. He currently leads Pabst Farms Development, a mixed use land plan encompassing 1,500 acres of residential, retail and commercial properties. It will be the largest project of its kind in Southeastern Wisconsin and one of the finest master-planned communities in the country. 

After graduating from Marquette, Peter served in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. He then worked as a real estate asset manager before joining the family business.

When he assumed the chairmanship of First Realty, Peter followed in the footsteps of his father Robert, who previously had led the company. “One of the fundamental principles my father taught me was that you build to the land and not on the land,” Peter says. 

Peter brings the same sense of stewardship to his alma mater.  Peter and his family endowed the Robert B. Bell, Sr., Chair in Real Estate Studies at Marquette in 2001, a tribute to his father who passed away last year that will benefit countless generations of students.  

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