Wright Runstad

Specialty: Large-scale office building development and management

Management:Jon Runstad, chair and CEO; Gregory Johnson, president

Founded: 1972

Headquarters: Seattle

Current projects: Harborview’s Ninth & Jefferson Building, Seattle; King County Office Building, Seattle; Safeway site redevelopment, Bellevue

Rendering by Ron Lloyd Associates
Wright Runstad’s City Center Plaza will reportedly be the first speculative development in six years in downtown Bellevue.

The dramatic recovery of office real-estate markets in Seattle and Bellevue has made 2006 an exciting year for Wright Runstad, according to company president Greg Johnson.

Capital flooding in

Strong demand for office space enabled Wright Runstad and its partners to start construction on the 26-story City Center Plaza in downtown Bellevue. It is that city’s first speculative development in six years and will be owned by Equity Office Properties.

“The Puget Sound market has risen to be one of the best in the country,” Johnson said.

He said capital is flooding into the market, and he’s not concerned about it running out of steam.

“As long as you’ve got employment growth, you’ll have continued positive pressure on the office markets,” he said. “That’s what we’re banking on.”

Rising costs

Johnson’s main concern is rising construction costs. He doesn’t think investors will be willing to pay for office developments at much more than the prices they’re now paying.

This year, Wright Runstad also completed a new Redmond City Hall, acquired the Seattle Trade and Tech Center together with California-based Shorenstein Properties and signed a contract on a Safeway site for redevelopment on Bel-Red Road in Bellevue. Despite the suitability of the site for a sports arena and rumors that the new owners of the Seattle SuperSonics might move the team to Bellevue, Johnson said he has heard nothing from team management.

The site’s future also depends on whether and how the city of Bellevue rezones it in the coming months. Johnson said he’s confident the rezone will make it through Bellevue’s public process.

Wright Runstad will celebrate its 35th anniversary next year.

Copyright ©2005 Seattle Daily Journal and DJC.COM.
Comments? Questions? Contact us.