(Read more on the multifamily market.)

IRVINE, CA-Western National Property Management, the multifamily real estate management arm of Western National Group, has won a contract to manage two apartment complexes totaling 459 units for BH Properties, a Beverly Hills-based firm. The contract marks the second time in recent weeks that Western National has won a new assignment from a property owner based in Los Angeles County.

The two BH Properties assets that Western National will manage include one in Orange County and one in Los Angeles County. The Orange County property is the 288-unit Ocean Breeze Villas at 6401 Warner Ave. in Huntington Beach, three miles from the ocean and the 405 Freeway. The Los Angeles County property is Marine View, a 171-unit complex at 2905 Cabrillo Ave. in San Pedro, close to the beach and near the 110 Freeway.

Craig Rooney, regional vice president of business development for Western National Property Management, says that BH Properties sought to hire an institutional management company that would reduce operating inefficiencies and take a more aggressive approach to renewals and market rent increases. According to Steve Jaffe, executive vice president and general counsel at BH Properties, the firm is also seeking to maintain increased occupancy and reduce turnover at its complexes.

The other recent contract that Western National won was an assignment for leasing and management of a new luxury complex being developed in Downtown L.A. by G.H. Palmer Associates, one of the premier builders of apartments in the Downtown area. The new Western National assignment is the 571-unit Orsini complex at 505 North Figueroa St., one of 18 G.H. Palmer multifamily properties now under management by Western National.

According to Rooney, Western National this year has added 10 new properties totaling 1,971 units to increase its total portfolio of properties under management to approximately 156 properties and 27,500 units. In 2006, the company landed management contracts for 31 properties totaling 9,300 units.

Besides its role as a property manager, Western National is the second-largest owner of multifamily housing in Orange County, behind the Irvine Co. Western National Property Management is one of three entities under the umbrella of the 43-year-old Western National Group, which also includes Western National Construction and a development and acquisition arm called Western National Realty Advisors.

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