Erich Schultz, a founding partner and top producer at Compass Commercial Real Estate Services, left the Bend firm at the end of the year to hang out his own shingle, Schultz CRE.
Although Compass characterized Schultz’s departure as retirement, Schultz, 55, said he’s still working with a few longstanding clients and looking for new projects.
“I am continuing to work, not at the same pace and same quantity I have been for the past 30 years,” he said. “I am still active.”
Compass President Pat Kesgard could not be reached for comment.
Compass is the largest commercial real estate brokerage in Central Oregon, and Schultz’s name was on most of its for-sale or for-lease signs. He was the company’s top producer for 11 of the last 17 years, according to the firm.
Schultz’s departure from Compass is a loss, even for competing brokers, said Ken Streater, a co-founder and managing partner at NAI Cascade. “It’s important for our industry to have highly regarded, character-filled brokers,” he said.
Schultz, who is in the process of selling his shares back to the firm, said he opted to leave most of his business with Compass. He’ll continue to work as a leasing agent with the owners of the new Crane Shed Commons office building and the owner of Century Park, which is the Century Drive shopping center anchored by Safeway. He’ll also continue to represent the Athletic Club of Bend, which is listed for $22.5 million.
Schultz said he’ll collaborate with Compass brokers Jay Lions and Grant Schultz, his son, who were involved in leasing properties with him. Partners Howard Friedman and Russell Huntamer will pick up where he left off, Schultz said.
With Schultz’s departure, Compass added a new broker, Adam Bledsoe, owner of The Loft, a downtown Bend membership club. Bledsoe said he’s known Schultz since he represented The Loft in leasing its space on Bond Street, and coincidentally, he’s sitting at Schultz’s former desk.
“I would never pretend to wear his hat,” Bledsoe said.
Bledsoe opened The Loft with his brother Drew Bledsoe, a former NFL quarterback who started Doubleback Winery, based in Walla Walla, Washington. Adam Bledsoe previously worked in the mortgage industry. He said he was drawn to commercial real estate brokerage because of the level of property and market analysis it requires on behalf of clients.
Schultz said he’s “extremely optimistic” about Central Oregon’s commercial real estate market. “I think both the local and national economies are doing very well. I don’t believe in the commercial realm there’s been over-building.”
The cost of developing raw land in Central Oregon has held back land sales, Schultz said. He thinks higher rents, applied to all types of property, would encourage developers to move forward with their plans. “I do think rents are going to go up,” he said.
Tanner Halton, a Planet Fitness franchisee who’s opening his first Bend location, said he’s already seeing leases offered at rates 10 percent to 15 percent higher than landlords quoted him a year ago. As he looks for a second location in Bend and one in Redmond, Halton said he expects to pay more for future leases. “We’ll be less picky on price and more picky on location,” he said.
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