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LOS ANGELES-BentleyForbes, owner of a $3 billion portfolio of commercial real estate, plans to expand the privately held firm’s holdings to $12 billion by the year 2014 through an investment and growth program. The company says that it will grow via a focus on strategic capital alliances, expansion into international investments, acquisitions, new construction and other avenues.

Fred Wehba Sr., chairman and founder of BentleyForbes, says that the company has laid the groundwork for the expansion through efforts like its focus over the past 12 months on asset management and property improvement within its existing portfolio, refining operating procedures and attracting key personnel to prepare for the next phase of growth. Its existing holdings include class A office, luxury hotel and resort, and single-tenant corporate properties in markets across the US.

BentleyForbes “is now correctly positioned to move forward from a well-capitalized, well-prepared foundation on a strategic five-year plan that targets the significant expansion and growth of our portfolio of owned properties,” Wehba said in a statement. Wehba, in conjunction with BentleyForbes’ executive committee–which also includes vice chairman Fred Wehba Jr., president and CEO David Cobb and chief operating officer Bert Dezzutti–charted a four-point plan for growth during the next five-year period. The plan will include strategic capital partnerships with institutioinal fund and private equity sources, entry into international markets, property acquisitions and new developments or redevelopments of property.

According to Cobb, BentleyForbes “is in a unique position within today’s market environment.” He explains that all of the company’s growth to date has been through the management and redeployment of internally generated capital resources. The company’s portfolio of properties is funded with stable, long-term debt and maintains healthy occupancy levels and cash flows, he says, adding that a key to future growth will be “to align our internally generated capital with that of joint venture capital partners seeking to leverage the strength of our investment, operations, and management expertise.”

Since the founding of BentleyForbes in 1993, BentleyForbes has grown to a total of 102 employees working in six offices companywide, including its Los Angeles headquarters at Century City’s MGM Tower. Among its trophy assets are the Four Seasons Resort and Club Dallas, the 2.2-million-sf Prudential Plaza office complex in Chicago, the 1.3-million-sf Bank of America Plaza in Atlanta, the 469,000-sf Las Olas Centre in Fort Lauderdale, FL, the 261,000-sf Watergate Building in Washington, DC and three Dallas office properties: the 419,000-sf Preston Commons, the 303,000-sf Sterling Plaza and the 236,000-sf Park Center.

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