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CHICAGO-Damage from Hurricane Katrina has cost two local REITs about $15 million. Equity Office Properties Trust’s lone holding in New Orleans, the 1.2-million-sf Lakeway complex in suburban Metairie, LA, sustained $12.5 million in damages, including $1.9 million in lost rental income, company officials recently disclosed.

Meanwhile, Equity Residential had $3.7 million in expenses related to Hurricane Katrina as well as two fires during the third quarter. Equity Residential has more than 1,200 units in markets hit by Hurricane Katrina.

“Some of our expenses may be recoverable,” says chief financial officer Marsha C. Williams. However, the company’s insurance coverage includes a $50-million per-occurrence deductible, with a $75-million cap.

Equity Office Properties Trust abated rent for Lakeway tenants beginning Aug. 29. Tenants were able to move back into Lakeway I last month, but only portions of the other two buildings were ready for tenants to return last week, according to the company.

Without the expenses related to hurricane and fire damage, Equity Residential’s portfolio would have seen a more modest increase of 4.1% in expenses rather than 6.2% during the third quarter, while net operating income would have increased 4.4%, rather than 3%.

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