Former CBRE exec starts new real estate firm in Rogers

by Paul Gatling ([email protected]) 2,375 views 

Longtime Northwest Arkansas commercial real estate broker Clinton Bennett resigned as first vice president from the Fayetteville office of CBRE Inc. after eight years to start his own firm.

Bennett Commercial Real Estate officially opened its doors in February. The office is on Southern Hills Boulevard west of Interstate 49 in Rogers.

Bennett, 45, said he felt fortunate to have such a long tenure with CBRE, one of the world’s largest commercial real estate firms, but he had a desire to be more independent in his work.

“I have nothing but good things to say about CBRE. They’ve been very supportive of me,” he said.

Bennett’s work in Northwest Arkansas dates back to 2004. He began his career working for David Dallas (Dallas Real Estate Services) in Fayetteville. In 2007, he and four business partners formed Bentonville-based Solomon Partners, an affiliate of national firm Grubb & Ellis.

Bennett built a successful company at Solomon Partners through the recession, before leaving to open the state’s first licensed CBRE affiliate office in Fayetteville in early 2012. The groundwork, though, was laid several years earlier.

“I had talks with [CBRE] in 2007 about opening an office here,” Bennett told the Northwest Arkansas Business Journal in 2015. “I don’t know what their thought was for why we didn’t do it then, but in 2011 I had a chance run-in with [CBRE vice president] Rich Monaghan. And we started talking about the fact that Northwest Arkansas was really growing up and how it may be time to look here again, and he said, ‘Well, it’s funny we ran into each other because we are thinking of doing that.’”

Bennett was in Tulsa, Okla., the following week to meet with CBRE leadership, and the agreement was reached in February 2012 to open the Fayetteville office.

Clinton Bennett

The affiliate office sold to CBRE Inc. on Jan. 1, 2015.

Bennett Commercial Real Estate has four full-time employees, including Bennett, and one intern. Bennett said the company’s focus is on high-quality deals that put clients in a position to be profitable.

Two examples of those types of deals closed in June. Bennett represented an investment group — of which he is part of — that acquired the Northwest Arkansas Business Center in Lowell for $12.95 million. The three-building office park is 96% occupied.

A $6.5 million all-cash land acquisition in Rogers also involved Bennett. Through its Whitwheel Properties LLC, the Pauline Whitaker family sold approximately 74 acres west of the intersection of West Pleasant Grove Road and South Pinnacle Hills Parkway.

The new owners are Lance Beaty of Fort Smith and Keith Richardson of North Little Rock. The purchase resulted in Richardson owning 65 acres on the south side of West Pleasant Grove Road. Beaty, through his Beaty Family LP, owns 9 acres on the north side of the road. Bennett represented Beaty Family LP in the transaction.