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SEATTLE-Equity Office Properties Trust is taking over management of its office properties in the region, a task Wright Runstad & Co. has been charged with since 1997.

Equity Office, which owns a minority interest in Wright Runstad, will assume management responsibility for most of its 16-building, 6.2-million-sf Pacific Northwest portfolio next year. In doing so, Equity is expected to hire virtually all of the 125 employees who make up the existing property-level management staff at Wright Runstad.

Wright Runstad spokesman Alex Pietsch tells GlobeStcom that Equity’s decision in no way impacts the strong strategic relationship the two companies have developed, or their ability to work together on future development projects. “Being a public company and a national company, it makes sense for them to manage their properties here the way they do all over the country,” notes Pietsch. “When we signed an agreement with them in 1997, we knew there was a three-year deadline and knew this was a possibility.”

According to Pietsch, Wright Runstad will continue to perform management services at the Amazon.com Building, World Trade Center West and North, King Street Center in Seattle and the ODS Tower in Portland, all buildings in which Equity Office has no ownership interest. Wright Runstad will also continue to manage the Washington Mutual Tower, which it owns in partnership with Equity Office.

Wright Runstad has developed 14 million sf of office space in Seattle, Bellevue, Portland and Boise since being founded in 1972. While the move by Equity Office significantly reduces the number of properties Wright Runstad manages, Pietsch says his company remains committed to the development/property management approach it has taken over the years.

Wright Runstad currently has four Puget Sound projects under development. They include the Amazon.com North Building, the [email protected]/90 project, Southport in Renton, and Four Bellevue Center in Bellevue, which will provide more than two million sf of office space when all buildings are completed.

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