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PORTLAND-With over 10 million sf in the Puget Sound market and close to four million sf in the Portland area as a result of its merger with Spieker Properties yesterday, Equity Office Properties Trust officials yesterday focused on the unprecedented opportunity it will give clients to fulfill their space needs without leaving the company’s portfolio.

Along with the portfolio additions, EOP is hiring 106 former Spieker employees — nearly 100% of the field personnel that managed buildings in the region. Spieker’s Lynda Clarke and Scott Coombs will handle overall management duties for EOP in Portland and Seattle, respectively.

In the Greater Seattle area, EOP’s 10.4 million sf is spread amongst 64 buildings. In the Portland area, its 3.8 million sf equates to 42 buildings. In Seattle, the EOP’s highest concentration is in Downtown Bellevue, where it owns just over 50% of the office space. In Portland, it’s easily Kruse Way, a high-rent suburban submarket just a few miles south of Portland on the east side of Interstate 5 wherein Spieker holds at least an 80% market share for class A office space.

As a result, says Pat Callahan, EOP’s Northwest regional director, more than ever the company has a diverse array of space options for its clients. “If a tenant has to grow, contract or relocate, at any given moment we can make that happen,” said Callahan during a conference call with the media. “A single asset landlord can’t do that.”

As for the market conditions, there’s exponentially more sublease space on the market than there was when the pending merger was announced in February. But Callahan says that things will be fine on a long-term basis, and that is what the acquisition was about. Meantime, “We are aware of market conditions and will respond accordingly,” says Callahan.

Prior to the merger, Spieker completed an 8.3-million-sf, $400 million staged disposition of industrial properties to Rreef, which made the purchases on behalf of CalPERS. More than half of the space was located in Portland. The approximately 12.2 million sf of industrial that Spieker did not sell went to EOP in the merger. EOP says it will likely sell off the portfolio to one or a few buyers, but hasn’t yet made a final decision in that regard.

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