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|Articles - January 2013|
|Monday, December 10, 2012|
Page 2 of 2
Strong relationships with banks have been another stabilizing force. “The banks know I’m there,” says Schnitzer, who refinances about $500 million worth of property annually. “We’re very honest, transparent and open.”
About that blocking and tackling: When the housing collapse hit, regional managers were empowered to give “more specials, free rent, more tenant-improvement dollars — anything to get the space full,” Schnitzer says. In 2011 he sold a signature property, the Alameda Towne Centre in the Bay Area, for $181 million. Harsch had purchased the shopping center in 1979 for $13 million, then invested another $75 million in upgrades in 2002. The sale helped Harsch maintain cash flow and pay off short-term debt, says Schnitzer, who also has written down tens of millions of dollars in internal asset values.
The past few years have been tough personally as well as professionally, says Schnitzer, who divorced a few years ago and recently lost his father. Along with the economic downturn, these family trials may help explain why such a powerful and admired member of Oregon’s business community seems a bit equivocal about the future. On the one hand, occupancy rates are up in a couple of cities, and this past October, Harsch made its first postrecession acquisition: an 18,000-square-foot warehouse in Sacramento purchased for $875,000. “We’re doing our best to lead the market up,” says Schnitzer, who recently instituted a program to raise rents by a penny per square foot, an increase that would generate an additional $200,000.
On the other hand, despite the positive indicators, Schnitzer says one big issue still haunts him: the idea that “this was not just another recession” and that the real-estate market may not return to “normal.” In the civic arena, meeting a fundraising goal is cause for celebration, says Schnitzer, who has served on more than 30 boards and, this year, received the 2012 Simon Benson Award for philanthropy. But the business world — you guessed it — requires a little more humility.
“The best deal you’ve done,” Schnitzer says, “is always the next one.”
Friday, March 27, 2015
BY AMY MILSHTEIN
Damian Smith bets on changing himself — and Portland — through consulting.
Friday, March 27, 2015
BY LINDA BAKER
My daughter turned 18 last week, and for her birthday I got her a Car2Go membership. Not to label myself a disruptor, but it felt like a groundbreaking moment. The two of us, mother and child, were participating in a new teen rite of passage: Instead of handing over the car keys, I handed over a car-sharing card — with the caveat that she not use the gift as her own personal car service.
Wednesday, February 25, 2015
BY JASON NORRIS, CFA | OB GUEST BLOGGER
Pets.com, GeoCities, eToys, and WorldCom … blasts-from-the-past that all signify the late 1990s Internet bubble. Yet we believe the dynamics of the market, specifically in technology stocks, are much different today than it was during the late 1990s.
Friday, March 27, 2015
BY JACOB PALMER
Five years in the making, the Portland Mercado — the city’s first Latino public market — will celebrate its grand opening April 11. A $3.5 million public-private partnership spearheaded by Hacienda CDC, the market will house 15 to 20 businesses in the food, retail and service sectors. It has some big-name funders, including the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation and JPMorgan Chase. The project goals are equally ambitious: to improve cross-cultural understanding, alleviate poverty and spur community economic development.
Friday, February 27, 2015
PHOTOS BY JASON E. KAPLAN
Images from the 2015 celebration of Oregon's great workplaces.
Friday, February 20, 2015
BY APRIL STREETER | OB CONTRIBUTOR
Leslie Carlson channels the big idea.
Sunday, February 15, 2015
BY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR
As the investigation against the governor moves forward, those of us in the news business should reflect on our own potential for subverting the democratic process.
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