John R. Watson, Principal
As a Managing Partner of Fourth River Development, John R. Watson oversees Fourth River Development's brokerage, leasing, property management, marketing and accounting departments. He prepared for the administrative responsibilities of his position by working in public accounting for five years and by owning and operating a concert promotions company for three years. John joined Pittsburgh's real estate community in 1990 as Director of Marketing and Leasing for The Rubinoff Company. In that capacity, he assumed a portfolio totaling more than 200,000 square feet and promptly increased its average occupancy to a level of 98 percent and maintained that occupancy performance as Rubinoff's portfolio grew to an aggregate of more than four million square feet. John, who was also responsible for Rubinoff's property management operations, was named Vice President of Leasing and Marketing for the firm in 1999. In 2006 John, together with Mark Schneider and Sally Flinn started FRD in an effort to expand their opportunities in commercial and residential real estate. During his 20-year real estate career, John has negotiated approximately one-quarter of a billion dollars in real estate deals, varying from lease transactions to build-to-suit agreements with 15-year obligations and asset sales. His clients included the Alcoa, UPMC, GE Capital, Xerox, Federal Express and Campbell's Soup organizations as well as the United States Postal Service. Currently, John is responsible for Fourth River Development's brokerage, property management, marketing and accounting, which includes the exclusive assignment to provide leasing and brokerage services for Starpointe Business Park, a 1200-acre job creation project commissioned by the Washington County Council on Economic Development. His industry service includes a position on the BOMA PAC Board, Public Affairs Committee of the National Association of Industrial and Office Parks and he served as a member of the Board of Directors of St. Francis Medical Center. John received his accounting and business training at Duquesne University and the University of Pittsburgh, respectively.