After 14 years running the company that owns 14 historic buildings in Seattle's Pioneer Square, longtime developer William Justen has started his own real estate fund.

Longtime Seattle developer William Justen has resigned as managing director of Samis Land Co. after 14 years to start a private real-estate investment fund.

At Samis, Justen presided over a portfolio of 500 properties in Washington, most acquired years ago by the late Sam Israel. The portfolio includes 11 historic buildings in Pioneer Square. Samis also owned the Smith Tower for 10 years, renovating it and selling it in 2006.

Justen said his new Cadence Fund will buy, hold and perhaps reposition distressed commercial real estate in the Puget Sound area. In addition to Justen, the firm is led by Marty Goodman, a longtime Justen business partner, and former Bank of America commercial real-estate lending executive Greg Books.