Corner property changes hands
Local realtor managing partner in new ownership
It’s Big Sky’s doorstep and current home to the Big Sky Chamber of Commerce and destination marketing organization Visit Big Sky. In April, the Dolan family sold it to Michael Schreiner and his partners, organized under a pair of LLCs— Winchester Holdings and Western Mountain Investments.
Schreiner, a broker at the Big Sky Real Estate Co., said, “We’ve been thinking about that property for a couple of years and it’s just been sitting there. We had a little windfall and thought that’s where we should put the money.”
As the managing partner, Schreiner will oversee future development of the property, which was listed by L&K Real Estate for $3.24 million.
“I’ve lived out here since 1989,” said Schreiner. “My family has been part of Big Sky—my sister (Martha Johnson) got here in ’88. We actually used to have a business on the property.”
It was called Serendipity’s and it had locations in the Mountain Village and in the smaller, currently unoccupied building upfront on the corner property. Johnson’s LinkedIn profile fondly recalls how Serendipity’s boasted the “first espresso machine in Big Sky!”
Schreiner said he and the other owners want to support non-chain, local businesses and sees the property being developed to create more commercial space at the community’s entryway.
“It’s got to be done with stewardship for the community in mind. We’re not going to slap something up,” said Schreiner.
The Big Sky Chamber and Visit Big Sky have floated the idea of a large visitor center on the corner property. Schreiner said he has not been involved with that plan, but emphasized his support for having the chamber and VBS stay put.
“I think that’s a perfect marriage,” said Schreiner. “They should be part of the property.”
Uncertain about how ownership of the corner property would shake out, VBS submitted two funding requests to the resort tax board. One included $600,000 “to improve and/or enhance the corner property,” but VBS Director and Big Sky Chamber CEO Candace Carr Strauss informed the resort tax board VBS will move forward without the $600,000 request.
“We were planning for multiple futures and that’s why we did put in two applications,” said Carr Strauss, who is pleased her organizations still have a home on the corner property.
During the June 4 resort tax Q&A session, Carr Strauss noted the new arrangement will come at a price.
“With our new landlord, we’re experiencing a 50 percent increase in our rent,” said Carr Strauss. “He (Schreiner) is friendly to the Big Sky community. So, we’ll be working with him in the months ahead.”
Schreiner confirmed this, saying the chamber and VBS were paying $3,000 a month and now face a rent hike.
“However, they are under market as far as commercial rents go,” said Schreiner. “They’re still in a very cost-effective space.”
The new rent is $4,500 per month with no lease.
“They are month to month, but I have no intention of asking them to leave,” said Schreiner. “We are going to develop the property with what they’d like to see in mind.”
Faure Halverson Architects in Bozeman is currently working on plans for the corner property, while a landscaping crew spruces up the grounds.
Carr Strauss said she believes Schreiner purchased the corner property in part, “So it doesn’t become a Flying J or something. I appreciate how he’s being thoughtful and intentional.”