The real deal: Jordan Schnitzer's strategy

| Print |  Email
Articles - January 2013
Monday, December 10, 2012

 

Harsch Investment Properties
President: Jordan D. Schnitzer
Founded: 1950
Headquarters: Portland
Employees: 220
Fact: 20 million square feet under management

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.”



 

More Articles

Playoffs pay off for the Ducks

The Latest
Friday, January 02, 2015
oregon-ducks-logo-helmet-thumbBY JACOB PALMER | OB DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

The University of Oregon football team looked unstoppable on the field Jan. 1 — and the university is reaping the benefits of the new postseason format.


Read more...

Editor's Letter: Power Play

January-Powerbook 2015
Thursday, December 11, 2014

There’s a fascinating article in the December issue of the Harvard Business Review about a profound power shift taking place in business and society. It’s a long read, but the gist revolves around the tension between “old power” and “new power” as a driver of transformation.


Read more...

Legislative Preview: A Shifting Balance

January-Powerbook 2015
Thursday, December 11, 2014
BY APRIL STREETER

Democratic gains pave the way for a revival of environment and labor bills as revenue reform languishes.


Read more...

Free Falling

Contributed Blogs
Thursday, December 18, 2014
121714-oilprice-thumbBY JASON NORRIS | OB CONTRIBUTOR

The implosion of the energy complex: The best thing for low oil prices is low oil prices.


Read more...

Convention Wisdom

February 2015
Monday, January 26, 2015
BY KIM MOORE

After more than a decade of wrangling, construction on a convention center hotel in Portland is slated to start this summer. But debate over project financing continues.


Read more...

Leading with the right brain

News
Tuesday, December 09, 2014
120914-manderson-thumbBY LINDA BAKER

On the eve of the Portland Ad Federation's Rosey Awards, Matt Anderson, CEO of Struck, talks about the transition from creative director to CEO, the Portland talent pool and whether data is the new black in the creative services sector.


Read more...

7 industry trends of 2015

The Latest
Friday, January 09, 2015
covertrends15-thumbBY JACOB PALMER | OB DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

Industry groups identify top trends for 2015.


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS