Eva Stevens, president of United Properties Investment and its chief operating officer, will retire at the end of the year after 17 years at one of the region’s leading commercial real estate companies.

Stevens, 63, has led United Properties with Bill Katter, president of United Properties Development and the chief investment officer, since 2015, but she said she wanted to step down and let the firm get an infusion of new energy.

“I have gotten older and I looked around at my team and said, ‘You know, everybody is ready. I can go,’ ” Stevens said in an interview Friday.

Stevens was responsible for portfolio and asset management of the company’s 7 million square feet of owned property. She also oversaw company operations, including accounting, financial analysis and human resources, among other departments.

The commercial real estate industry is evolving as technology changes how spaces are used, Stevens said. The tenant experience is critical to real estate asset managers and United Properties’ leaders will need to respond to building tenants seeking a healthy balance of work and personal lives, she said.

United Properties plans a search for Stevens’ replacement.

Stevens began her commercial real estate career in 1978, when few women held leadership positions at such firms. As an active member of the NAIOP commercial real estate development association, in which she has served on several boards and committees, Stevens was honored by the Minnesota chapter of NAIOP with the 2014 President’s Award, the association’s highest award for individuals.

“Eva has been an outstanding leader in our organization since day one,” Bert Colianni, chief executive of Marquette Cos., the Pohlad family company that owns United Properties Investment, said in a statement. “We look forward to her continuing leadership and guidance as we move into the second half of an important year for United Properties. And, when the time comes, we will wish her well in her retirement.”

Stephens, a breast-cancer survivor, said she plans to spend more time with her family and continuing her nonprofit board work.

“I’m not running from anything,” she said. “I’m running to something.”