SEATTLE-At a cost of $71 million, TIAA-CREF Asset Management’s Global Real Estate Group is the new owner of World Trade Center North. The seller, locally based Wright Runstad & Co., retains the management assignment as part of the deal. Eastdil Secured had the disposition assignment.

The five-story, 133,177-sf office building overlooking the Puget Sound at 2401 Elliott Ave. is fully leased to RealNetworks, Inc., the locally based business and consumer audio and video streaming company. The lease runs through October 2010.

Wright Runstad & Co. developed three World Trade Center-branded buildings beginning in 1998 as part of the Port of Seattle’s central waterfront development project. TIAA-CREF acquired a 75% interest in the 186,912-sf World Trade Center East building in 2004 from Equity Office Properties. The Port of Seattle owns World Trade Center West.

Wright Runstad & Co. has developed approximately 14 million sf of office and mixed-use space, primarily in the Pacific Northwest, and TIAA-CREF has played a significant role in the past as a development and financial partner. Wright Runstad president Greg Johnson was traveling Friday and not immediately available for comment.

Wright-Runstad’s current projects include managing the development of City Center Plaza, a 26-story office tower under construction in Downtown Bellevue, Wash., and working with the City of Bellevue to develop an urban village in the Bellevue-Redmond Corridor that would be home to three million sf of office space and 600 to 1,000 multifamily units.

TIAA-CREF Global Real Estate is one of the largest institutional real estate investors in the nation. It directly owns an estimated $25 billion of office, retail, industrial and multifamily real estate assets in the US, Canada and Western Europe.

TIAA-CREF acquired its stake in World Trade Center East in January 2004 as part of a 3.3-million-sf, 13-building US portfolio purchase from EOP. The $545-million deal involved nine joint venture agreements wherein TIAA and its affiliates acquired a 75% interest in 10 buildings and an 80% interest in three other buildings.

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