William begins work with older first cousin, Bill Drost, in single-family home construction business. William borrows $5,000 from his father, Joseph Risman, to buy house-building franchise in Cleveland, Ohio, area. William quickly learns construction business, building and selling approximately 5,000 single-family homes principally in Cleveland and Akron, Ohio; and Pittsburgh, Penn.
Through various partnerships, corporations and joint ventures, William works as general contractor providing design-build services for apartment and commercial buildings for his own account as well as on turnkey basis for municipalities and non-profit organizations.
Company experiences expansive growth through construction of approximately 6,000 apartment units, ranging from garden types to high-rise structures in Cleveland, Ohio; Akron, Ohio; and metropolitan Detroit, Mich. Company performs most of its own carpentry work and supervises jobs.
This hands-on involvement is direct result of William’s learning business from the ground up. Apartments are constructed to stand test of time. Typical construction consists of solid masonry buildings with pre-cast floors and ceilings, fireproof stairs and two to three hours of fire ratings within each unit. This far exceeds standard typically used and is reason that many of these properties are in excellent condition in the 21st century and perform far better than newer product.