It became apparent during the first year of business that there was a better way to approach engineering projects. Bentley’s management style quickly gained recognition among clients, which prompted several requests to start managing the total design of projects and all the design professionals involved.
In response, Bentley hired its first architect, Robert Jones, and started its first combined architectural and engineering project, an 86,000-square-foot shopping plaza for a private developer, anchored by an 18,000-square-foot Kmart in Kissimmee, Florida. This was Bentley’s largest project to date, and a pivotal one, introducing Bentley to the Kmart Corporation, leading to much more work in the future.
As more projects were awarded, the company grew and moved into its first office in Orlando at 200 E. Robinson Street. The company name was changed to Bentley Engineers + Architects, Inc. to reflect the new comprehensive design services.