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FORT LAUDERDALE, FL-Los Angeles-based BentleyForbes enters the market with the acquisition of 350 and 450 Las Olas Centre, two towers with 416,696 sf of office space and 52,503 sf of street-front retail space.

The acquisition price was not released, but when the trophy property was placed on the market, it was expected to exceed $466 per sf. The sellers of the property were Birmingham, AL-based Colonial Property Trust and a fund managed by New York City-based DRA Advisors LLC. The sellers were represented by Mark Gilbert, Adam Feinstein and Jay Caplin, of Cushman & Wakefield of Florida Inc. BentleyForbes was represented internally by managing director of acquisitions C. Shane Cates and senior vice president of portfolio management Hans Mumper.

BentleyForbes president and CEO David Cobb tells GlobeSt.com that the acquisition with the company’s strategy of acquiring class A properties in growth markets. “We feel this is the best asset in the Fort Lauderdale market,” he says.

Cobb adds that the company will seek to bring the property’s occupancy level to 100%. “We plan to continue to operate it as a first-class asset as part of a long-term hold,” he says. “We definitely plan to acquire more assets in the Fort Lauderdale/Miami area.”

Las Olas Centre occupies two city blocks, or 3.4 acres, and consists of an 18-story tower, a 15-story tower, and two multi-level parking garages with 1,309 spaces. It is currently 95% leased to tenants including Akerman Senterfitt & Edison; Wachovia Corp.; HCA Inc.; Huizenga Holdings Inc.; Berger Davis & Singerman; Merrill Lynch; Solomon Smith Barney; City National Bank; and Morgan Stanley, among others. It was designed by architects Cooper Carry & Associates.

The acquisition is consistent with the company’s strategy of acquiring trophy properties in high barrier to entry markets. In September 2006, the company acquired the 1.25-million-sf Bank of America Plaza in Atlanta. In May 2006, it acquired the 2.2-million-sf Prudential Plaza in Chicago and in 2006 acquired the 400-acre Four Seasons Resort and Club Dallas at Las Colinas in Irving, TX.

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