Firm to add 35 jobs to city

One of the nation's largest owners and operators of apartment housing will be increasing its Augusta operations.

Chicago-based Equity Residential announced Monday that it will be closing its accounting office in Phoenix and consolidating its accounting operations in Augusta.

It will mean 35 new jobs for Augusta when the fall move in complete, according to Equity spokesman Marty McKenna.

Equity Residential has had operations in Augusta since 1998, when the company merged with Merry Land & Investment Company, a local apartment owner. Equity bought Merry Land for $2.2 billion.

The Augusta office supports Equity's more than 160,000 apartment units at more than 600 properties nationwide.

"The company has long been recognized as a leader in the apartment housing industry and we look forward to their long-term presence as a vital part of our city's expanding economy," said Augusta Mayor Deke Copenhaver.

The consolidation of the company's field accounting offices will create an operation with nearly 90 employees in Augusta.

The offices will be in the SunTrust building on Broad Street.

"It is a good thing for downtown Augusta," said Bettis Rainsford, who owns the building. "They're taking immediately most of the 11th floor. They'll have additional offices on the 10th floor."

Reach Tim Rausch at (706) 823-3352 or timothy.rausch@augustachronicle.com.

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