About Us

Founded in 1984 by Sunil Puri, First Midwest Group is engaged in real estate development, redevelopment and property management throughout the Midwest and internationally.

FMG's willingness to approach new projects as a long-term owner distinguishes us from other real estate companies.

Intrinsic to that approach is our commitment to high construction and design standards in our office parks, shopping centers, hospitality properties, and industrial buildings. Our expertise in site selection within the markets we serve is unsurpassed, and we pride ourselves in establishing strong client and community relationships. As a result, we offer the most visible, attractive, and best-maintained sites in the region.

Under Mr. Puri's leadership, we steadily have grown both our portfolio and areas of expertise. A natural extrapolation of our core real estate proficiencies is the inception and acquisition of operating businesses. These include a fuel and convenience store chain, hotels, restaurants, and family entertainment parks. Our diverse business involvement further exemplifies the breadth of knowledge and resources upon which we can draw to serve our clients.

Executive Team

Sunil Puri

Founder and President

Sunil Puri, President and FounderBorn in Bombay, India in 1960, Sunil Puri immigrated to the United States in 1979 to attend Rockford University, where he graduated in 1982 with a B.S. in Accounting.  He pursued further graduate work at Rockford University and London Business School, and in 2013, he graduated from the ten year Program of Management and Leadership of the Harvard Business School. Mr. Puri co-founded the real estate development firm of First Midwest Group, formerly First Rockford Group, in 1984.  Today he is the President and sole owner of First Midwest Group. The company develops retail, office, and warehouse projects, owns and operates restaurant and hospitality properties, and currently has over 350 tenants.  Mr. Puri has helped start multiple businesses, acted as a consultant for myriad more, and, mentored and guided local tenants through the extended economic crisis.



Bharat Puri

Director of Finance & Commercial Development

http://responsive.propelmarketing.com/media/site_assets/cfa60bb951d034a0da7e307bfb052933/assets/bharit.jpgMr. Puri has been with First Midwest Group since 1998.  His responsibilities include marketing and leasing First Midwest Group’s office and industrial properties; managing its financial arrangements and developing resources; and evaluating the acquisition and disposition of income-producing assets.  He holds a B.S. in Finance and Economics from Rockford University and served as a senior commercial credit analyst with First of America Bank in Chicago prior to joining First Midwest Group.



Doug Beale

Chief Financial Officer

Mr. Beale first joined First Midwest Group in 1998 and since that time has been involved with establishing and overseeing the accounting and financial operations of all of the company’s projects.  Previously, he spent several years as a senior accountant with Wilcop, Shelton & Strakeljahn, CPAs.


Marvin Keys, Tom Reidenbach, and Tim Muldowney

Marvin Keys

Mr. Keys has been with First Midwest Group since 2004 and provides counsel on the full range of legal matters stemming from First Midwest Group’s real estate development and leasing activities.  Prior to joining First Midwest Group, Mr. Keys was an attorney with Diamond & LeSueur, P.C. in McHenry, Illinois, where he specialized in land use and zoning, municipal, commercial and residential real estate development and contract negotiations.  Mr. Keys also was City Attorney for the Villages of Prairie Grove and Port Barrington.

A graduate of Northern Illinois University College of Law, where he obtained a J.D., and from Florida Southern College, where he earned a B.A., Mr. Keys was admitted to practice in the State of Illinois in November, 1998.

Mr. Keys currently serves on the Golden Apple Foundation’s Puri Family Outstanding Principal Award and Investing In Excellence: Assistant Principal Development Program selection committee.

Tim Muldowney

A Rockford area native, Tim Muldowney joined First Midwest Group in 2013. Mr. Muldowney handles various matters for First Midwest Group including the purchase and sale of commercial real estate, writing and negotiating commercial leases, advising on corporate/business transactions, and working with communities to achieve greater development opportunities.

Prior to joining First Midwest Group, Mr. Muldowney worked as an Assistant State’s Attorney for Winnebago County performing bench and jury trials and prosecuting misdemeanors, DUI, and juvenile abuse and neglect cases. Mr. Muldowney earned his Juris Doctor Degree from Loyola University Chicago School of Law and Bachelor of Science Degree in Economics from Illinois State University. Prior to pursuing his undergraduate and law degrees, Mr. Muldowney attended Hononegah High School in Rockton, Illinois.

Marc Strauss

Marc Strauss began his employment with First Midwest Group in 2001 as General Counsel where, in addition to having charge of the legal department, he oversaw construction, maintenance, lease administration, and company investments for over a decade. After five years in private practice in Sycamore, IL, Mr. Strauss returned to First Midwest Group's legal team. He has a total of over 30 years of legal experience. Strauss is also a residential and commercial real estate managing broker. Strauss graduated from Northwestern University where he earned Juris Doctor, MBA, and Bachelor of Arts degrees.

Fred Heichman

Fred Heichman has been a shopping center deal maker working on the Landlord side since 1987 when Urban Investment Development Company (later acquired by JMB) elevated his role as the Asst. Property Manager at Old Orchard Center in Skokie, IL to Retail Leasing Rep of regional malls and community centers. He has been a leader at the international Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) since 1997 where he has services as Illinois State Director and the current Illinois Operations Chair. Fred has personally completed over 350 transactions and has a collective portfolio of over 26 million square feet throughout the Midwest. 

Arti Shah

Sunil Puri, President and FounderArti Shah grew up in Rockford and moved to Chicago to peruse higher education. Shah earned her Bachelors from DePaul University and went on to earn her master’s from Booth College of Business at the University of Chicago. Shah’s 10+ year career spans in Healthcare administration, finance, and consulting. Prior to her employement with First Midwest Group, Arti worked in Financial Valuation for 4 years at Deloitte and 2 years in Healthcare Consulting at Chartis Group.