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LOS ANGELES-Investment firm Bentley Forbes plans to spend at least $500 million on commercial properties throughout the US over the next 12 months in a recently launched program to expand the firm’s holdings.

The strategy will involve selling non-core assets–$20.3 million of which are already gone–and using the proceeds along with other investor capital to acquire new holdings, according to Fred Wehba Jr., president of Los Angeles-based Bentley Forbes. He tells GlobeSt.com that the company will buy commercial real estate in the national office, retail and industrial property sectors, with the capital coming from within the company and established relationships with institutional lending sources.

The LA firm has the means to exceed the $500 million target “if compelling opportunities present themselves,” Wehba says. The investment program represents an expansion and an extension for Bentley Forbes, which has traditionally pursued sale-leaseback properties. Now, Wehba says, the firm will also seek trophy multi-tenant office properties, valued in excess of $30 million, and well-leased portfolios of property office, industrial and retail.

Nonetheless, Wehba adds, the firm will continue to stick to its roots in sale-leaseback and net-leased properties, a type of commercial real estate asset that has served the firm well. He says single-tenant leased industrial buildings, for example, will remain a favorite with the firm.

Wehba says part of the new approach calls for restructuring the portfolio through a strategic disposition of smaller assets. The capital will fuel further acquisitions and drive a focus on larger, higher quality assets.

To date, Bentley Forbes has closed two dispositions, collecting $20.3 million for Sunrise Medical and Borders Group buildings. The Sunrise Medical facility is a 218,303-sf corporate facility with two one- and two-story warehouse and manufacturing buildings at 2842 Business Park Ave. in Fresno. The Borders Group facility is a 173,244-sf warehouse on 15 acres at 3900 Gantz Rd. in Grove City, OH. Wehba confides three other properties are under contract at prices ranging from $5.5 million to $16 million.

Privately held Bentley Forbes has been acquiring class A properties since 1993. Its 11-million-sf-plus portfolio, valued at more than $1 billion, includes office buildings, shopping centers and industrial properties, light manufacturing facilities and warehouses.

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