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QBE Hires Jones Lang to Market Office Campus Near Microsoft

May 1 (Bloomberg) -- QBE Insurance Group Ltd., Australia’s biggest insurer, hired Jones Lang LaSalle Inc. to sell a 46-acre (19-hectare) office campus just south of Microsoft Corp.’s headquarters near Seattle, the brokerage said.

The property in Bellevue, Washington, encompasses nine buildings with 326,384 rentable square feet (30,320 square meters) that are 62 percent occupied, Jones Lang said in a statement. QBE, based in Sydney, has a 10-year lease for 67,370 square feet in one of the buildings.

The seller is aiming to fetch more than $80 million for the property, formerly known as the Unigard campus, said a person with knowledge of the proposed deal, who asked not to be identified because the information is private. Office rents and occupancies are rising in the region amid hiring by local employers including Amazon.com Inc. and Boeing Co.

“This offering should receive intense interest from both institutional investors around the globe, as well as local development firms,” Ann Chamberlin, a Seattle-based managing director of Jones Lang, said in the statement.

Bids are expected the week of May 21, she said.

Paula Symons, a spokeswoman for QBE in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin, declined to comment. QBE’s North American headquarters is in New York.

QBE shares have fallen 26 percent in the past year amid record natural disaster claims, including for floods in Thailand, 19 U.S. tornadoes, earthquakes in New Zealand and Japan, and Cyclone Yasi in Australia’s Queensland state.

To contact the reporter on this story: Hui-yong Yu in Seattle at hyu@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Kara Wetzel at kwetzel@bloomberg.net

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