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DALLAS-Four months after it bought the 721,351-sf package from Equity Office Properties Trust, the BentleyForbes Group has turned over leasing and management reins to Capstar Commercial Real Estate Services. At the crux of the team change is a plan to use the new alliance as a steppingstone for more acquisitions in and around Dallas.

BentleyForbes’ president and CEO David W. Cobb tells GlobeSt.com that the change from Cushman & Wakefield of Texas Inc. was driven by a need to build a relationship with a local company with an inside track for future acquisitions. “It’s a relationship rather than a deal-specific type of engagement,” he stresses. “We still have a great global relationship with Cushman & Wakefield. This is a local relationship.”

C&W’s Marijke Lantz, managing director of asset services, could not be reached for comment about the assignment loss. Cobb says “once we were under contract and bought it, every broker in Dallas was trying to get the business.” Plus, Capstar gained BentleyForbes’ vote of confidence by recently taking on a 69,300-sf assignment to lease its Budget Center property at 3350 Boyington Dr. in Carrollton and putting the Los Angeles-based buyer at the forefront of yet-another office acquisition.

BentleyForbes and C&W were planning to undertake a renovation of the 418,604-sf Preston Commons, a trio of mid-rise buildings in the 8100 block of Preston Road, and the 302,747-sf Sterling Plaza at 5949 Sherry Lane. Cobb says the renovations are still in the works, with construction possibly ramping up in a month. The property tune-ups will take about three months to complete.

Cobb says the upgrade costs are still being calculated and the plans tweaked for the 98%-leased Preston Center and 85%-occupied Sterling Plaza, where deals are nearing the finish line to push the asset over the 90% mark. “We want to improve the appearance and make them more class A than they are,” he says.

Capstar’s senior management of Brett Bunnett, Johnny Johnson and Glen Benoist will game out property and leasing strategies. Vice president Trey Smith and associate Clint Madison have been assigned to lease the buildings. Kim Heliste, general manager, and Amanda Green, assistant general manager, will manage them.

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