Equity Office Properties Trust
With approximately 1,571 professionals involved in its operations, Equity Office Properties (EOP) has nearly quadrupled in size since its Initial Public Offering in July 1997. The company is currently the largest real estate investment trust (REIT) in the United States and largest office building owner and manager, and has been guided by Chairman Sam Zell (well-versed and successful in purchasing distressed properties and transforming them into profitable investments), who will soon relinquish the running of the company to the very capable Richard D. Kinkaid (now president and CEO). According to company information, EOP’s portfolio contains 729 office buildings, totaling more than 125 million square feet, and 76 industrial buildings, equaling nearly 6 million square feet.
[Editors’ Note: Nowhere is the entrepreneurial spirit more profound than at Equity Office Properties Trust, the largest REIT in the United States. Persistence, along with smart business savvy (and a good amount of well-planned risk taking), have produced an organization that has grown by leaps and bounds and yet, that maverick quality so unusual in big business is clearly evident. Perhaps it’s the quality of combining the company’s experience and resources with the project management expertise of local development firms? Its new operating initiative, called EOPlus, is being talked about as a “legitimate rethinking of a very parochial business.” This should be interesting … and exciting.]