The Schuster Story

Over the course of three decades the firm grew from a one-man shop into a multi-faceted group of companies, and one of the most successful private equity investment and development firms in the Pacific Northwest. Having developed several of Seattle’s most admired residential developments in the past decade, The Schuster Group now leverages its experience, brand, and reputation on behalf of private equity partners and third-party clients.

In 1989, at the age of 22, Mark Schuster formed The Schuster Group. At its origins, the firm was focused on third-party management, and real estate partnership syndications with value-add components. Through these efforts the company owned and managed small to mid-size properties throughout five counties in the Pacific Northwest, including: multi-family, retail, office and mixed use. The company focused on re-tenanting, re-branding, and updating these assets to maximize value and they were extremely successful, both for the communities in which the properties resided and financially for the investment partners. In 2000, the firm then expanded into private equity to create portfolio-based investments for groups of experienced high net-worth real estate investors. These portfolios included some of the firm’s first ground-up high-rise developments which went on to become nationally acclaimed assets, and established the firm as one of the most respected real estate companies in the Seattle region.

What makes us different

As Charles Eames once said “The details are not the details. They make the design.” The entire essence of The Schuster Group’s culture is focused around the concepts of design and attention to detail. We believe that it is the small, seemingly intangible details that, when combined to form the full fabric of a community, create value and lasting quality. However, as Steve Jobs said: “Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works” therefore at The Schuster Group, we combine good design with effective functionality for our end-use customers, taking our projects to the next level of extraordinary.

Reputation and performance: three ways that make us distinct.

  • Brand

    The Schuster Group has one of the strongest and most respected real estate brands in the region: Quality, visionary design, flawless execution, financial stewardship. We begin every project with a discussion on vision and brand, orienting everything we do around strengthening that brand to create innate value. We then leverage that reputation and experience on behalf of our clients to create distinctive brand recognition and ensure projects meet the highest level of success and quality in the industry.

  • Execution

    We bring proprietary processes, agreements and systems to each project maximizing performance during design, construction, and management. We pride ourselves on our ability to create a unique vision and then execute flawlessly upon that vision to significantly de-risk development and ensure project success. No other development firm in this area has consistently reset the market and achieved record-setting financial and economic performances like our team has.

  • Trust and integrity

    For nearly thirty years, the firm has built its reputation as a company that does business with the utmost fiduciary commitment and determination of success for its clients and strategic partners.

A Powerhouse of Experts.

The executive team at The Schuster Group is a powerhouse of experienced, disciplined, analytical experts.

  • Mark R. Schuster

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    Founder & Chairman

    Founder and Chairman of The Schuster Group, Mark is a recognized expert and leader in the real estate and green building industry.

    Mark began his real estate career when he was only 18 and formed The Schuster Group at the age of 22. Over the next two decades, Mark grew the one man shop into a multi-faceted group of companies and one of the most successful private equity investment and development firms in the Pacific Northwest.

    A passionate entrepreneur and philanthropist, Mark created a formula for success that connects successful business practices with community enhancement. This approach has served as the catalyst for several of the company’s landmark projects over the past twenty years, establishing an exceptional track record within the real estate and private equity industries along the way.

    Mark’s visionary leadership led to the creation of Mosler Lofts, the first LEED® Silver (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified high-rise condominium building in Seattle. Mosler Lofts ultimately became the most nationally acclaimed “green” residential high-rise building of 2008. Noted for its exceptional design, Mosler Lofts received over 60 forms of awards, recognition and accolades, including top awards from the National Association of Home Builders and sweeping the Gold Nugget awards at the Pacific Coast Builders Conference.

    Since Mosler, Mark has built The Schuster Group reputation as one of the premier residential developers in Seattle with the development of Joseph Arnold Lofts, Muriel’s Landing, and Walton Lofts. His talent for visionary design has redefined Seattle’s definition of downtown living and created communities that thrive and maintain unprecedented value for generations to come.

    Mark’s personal commitment to community enhancement extends beyond environmental practices.  He has served on several non-profit Boards including the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF), MAZON-A Jewish Response to Hunger, and is a founding member of the Seattle Advisory Council for UNICEF. Mark has been recognized on numerous occasions by the community for his business acumen and civic involvement, and is the recipient of several regional and national awards. Published in 2010, Mark is the author of the business memoir, Lofty Pursuits—Repairing the World One Building at a Time. Lofty Pursuits was the recipient of the Eric Hoffer Book Award and Reader Views Choice Award.

    Buy Mark’s Book

  • Holly Gardner

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    President

    As President of the company, Holly oversees the general operations of The Schuster Group and its affiliated investment companies. In this capacity she is responsible for asset and development management, acquisitions and dispositions, corporate and project marketing, finance and private equity, and public relations. Over the past ten years, Holly has played a key role in the company’s renowned developments, successful private equity investment performance, award-winning building marketing campaigns, and leading the team to one of the most successful levels of building financial performance in the industry.

    As a LEED® Accredited Professional, Holly not only assisted in the certification of Mosler Lofts (the first LEED residential high-rise in Seattle), but led the team responsible for the LEED certification of the State of Washington’s first dual certified office building in 2008 – the company’s former headquarters. Holly directed the marketing and leasing program, as well as the management of Muriel’s Landing and Joseph Arnold Lofts, of which both properties won numerous awards and set a new benchmark for financial success in performance. As Project Executive for Walton Lofts, the development was completed on time and on budget, and achieved the highest rents per square foot in the city of Seattle.

    Holly serves as the Vice President of the Board of the Millionair Club, one of Seattle’s oldest non-profits that is dedicated to helping Seattle’s at-risk population by removing barriers to employment and helping them become job ready. She also volunteers with the Seattle School District, where her daughter attends and is actively involved in the organizations supported by Schuster Foundation for which she serves as an officer. Holly is a graduate of Pacific Lutheran University.

  • Howard Mills

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    Chief Financial Officer

    Howard has two decades of experience in real estate accounting and finance management, working with clients ranging from institutional funds to individual investors. As Chief Financial Officer, Howard is responsible for the oversight of all financial matters related to the company’s various entities, properties, private equity funds and lending relationships. As fiduciaries, Howard’s stewardship and systemized approach to financial management continues to provide the company’s investors and strategic partners with the highest level of confidence. Prior to joining The Schuster Group Howard worked for Trammel Crow Company overseeing a portfolio of 150 projects totaling over 20 million square feet. He has a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration from Seattle University.

  • Scott Bevan

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    Senior Development Manager, LEED® AP

    As Senior Development Manager, Scott is responsible for oversight and coordination of the development team and construction management. Most recently, he successfully oversaw and managed the development of Muriel’s Landing, in the University District, and the award-winning and highly-acclaimed Joseph Arnold Lofts and Walton Lofts in Seattle’s Belltown neighborhood.

    Scott has over 35 years of construction and development management experience in single-family, multi-family, commercial and resort development in the Western United States and Japan. Prior to joining The Schuster Group, Scott served as the Senior Development Manager for Wyndham Vacation Ownership, developing multi-family residential resort projects in California, Colorado, Idaho, Utah, Oregon and Washington. He is well respected within the industry for his experience and construction management acumen.

  • Dawn Uppinghouse

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    Executive Associate

    As Executive Associate, Dawn is actively involved in numerous areas of the company, including: project development, property accounting, property management, investor relations, and customer service. Dawn’s knowledge and experience at the firm are invaluable and she is integral in maintaining a high level of organization to the company’s operations and strategic partner relations. She is actively involved in property management and accounting and specializes in customer service and vendor management. As a project assistant Dawn leads much of the operational and post-development coordination. At both Joseph Arnold Lofts and Walton Lofts she was involved in the management of the Green Globes certification process, managed the vendor contract negotiation and set-up, assisted in FF&E sourcing, managing, and installation, and oversaw the start-up management of the on-site management team. Dawn is a legacy LEED® Accredited Professional.