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DALLAS-BentleyForbes, with more Dallas/Fort Worth buys on its agenda, has named a local veteran as senior vice president of asset management for the Southwest portfolio. The search and signing went full circle in less than two months.

Gary A. Horn, co-founder of Ashwood Co., has taken the Southwest helm for BentleyForbes, effective immediately. Horn’s partners, Buddy Jordan and David Gruber, aren’t dissolving the five-year-old Ashwood Co., but they are selling all assets in Texas and a 550,000-sf tech park in Tulsa. With that under way and no replacement product in sight, Horn tells GlobeSt.com that it was time to part. “I was looking for more of a challenge,” says Ashwood’s former senior vice president and portfolio manager, “and go with a growing entrepreneurial company.”

This year, David W. Cobb, president and CEO for the Los Angeles-based BentleyForbes, has seated asset managers in Los Angeles, Washington, DC and now Dallas. He’s also hired the 10-employee team for his latest purchase, Prudential Plaza in Chicago.

“We have a strong belief in Dallas/Fort Worth,” Cobb says, adding Horn’s hiring “is a continuation of BentleyForbes’ expansion and a strong indication of that support.” The firm is planning to spend $1 billion this year on class A space in the nation’s Top 20 markets. Not only does Cobb expect to hit the goal, he’s also close to snagging yet another Dallas high rise while looking hard for his first deeds in Houston and Austin.

Horn, with 20 years in the business, has been tasked with getting the Dallas portfolio to 100% occupancy and mining the Southwest for additional acquisitions. Capstar Commercial Real Estate Services will continue to lease and manage BentleyForbes’ local portfolio, but Horn is stepping in as overseer. “I don’t foresee any change,” Cobb says. “It’s a pretty hard revolving door and Gary will oversee that not only to get us to 100%, but to keep us there.”

The BentleyForbes Southwest portfolio consists of Preston Commons, a three-building, 418,604-sf office campus, and 302,747-sf Sterling Plaza, both located in the Preston Center submarket; 236,000-sf Park Center in Plano; and a 250,000-sf, net-leased office building in Arlington. Cobb says there are more North Texas deeds on the way, but he can’t say just how many. “There’s no exact number,” he adds, “but as long as we achieve good risk-adjusted returns, we’ll buy in Dallas. The Dallas market is fairly deep and there are a lot of good assets, just like in Houston.”

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