PHILADELPHIA-Locally based Berwind Property Group has acquired 17 multifamily properties encompassing 5,037 units for an aggregate of approximately $241 million. The move expands BPG’s reach to the West.

The seller is Dublin, OH-based DEC Investment Group. The properties are in nine metro areas in the western and southwestern states of AZ, CO, KS, MO, AK and TX. The acquisition occurred in phases with 13 of the properties closing last month and the remaining four scheduled to close in the middle of this month.

BPG’s multifamily management affiliate, Madison Apartment Group Inc., will manage the portfolio. With completion of the final phase of the transaction, Madison’s multifamily holdings will exceed 18,000 units in 20 states.

“Like many markets throughout the US, these particular markets are currently weakened by an oversupply of apartments and weak job growth,” Joseph F. Mullen, Madison’s president, said of the DEC portfolio. “These conditions were factored into the underwriting of the portfolio, and we believe long term that these markets will experience a rebound, making this a sound long-term investment.”

When BPG began investing in the multifamily sector, it focused on the mid-Atlantic states and expanded its search to the Southeast in 2000. As a result, it acquired a 12-property multifamily portfolio in early 2001. Since then, it has acquired single assets in established markets and in new areas of the Midwest, including OH and MI.

The DEC purchase was made in behalf of BPG’s Investment Partnership VI LP, a fully discretionary fund started nearly a year ago with total commitments of $384 million. “After this acquisition, the fund will have $250 million in equity remaining to be invested,” said Arthur Pasquarella, BPG’s CEO.

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