COLUMBUS-Two multifamily firms, the locally based Wallick Cos. and Cincinnati-based Stern Hendy Properties, have merged. The new firm, under the Wallick umbrella and led by Wallick CEO Tom Feusse, will have a affordable housing property management portfolio of 12,000 units in the Midwest, including properties in Ohio, Kentucky, Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin.

The main firm will be split into three companies with about 765 employees: Wallick-Hendy Development (project development), Wallick Construction and Wallick-Hendy Properties (property management). David Hendy and his son, Brian, will join the development arm of the firm. “We haven’t sorted out their titles yet,” Feusse tells GlobeSt.com. “We were limited to what we could do on the development side, and we are strong on the property management side, where they lacked depth.” Hendy brings 4,000 units of property management to the company, Feusse says.

In a statement, Dave Hendy said he looked forward to joining Wallick. “The opportunity for Brian and I to once again fully focus on development is something we have wanted,” Hendy said. Neither company would divulge the merger cost.

Feusse says that multifamily hasn’t been as affected by the economic downturn that was led by single-family residential foreclosures. “They have to live somewhere, and they’ll go to apartments,” he says. “The credit markets have hurt our business. There are a number of new transactions that we’ve wanted to do that require capital that is difficult to access.”

Wallick was founded in 1966 by Jack Wallick and is owned by his children, Howard and Julie Wallick. The company mostly focuses on Midwest redevelopment, Feusse says. “A lot of other developers are going to other states, to warmer weather,” he says “We’re staying focused here. There’s a lot of properties built in the 1960s, 70s and 80s that need redevelopment. We really think that makes the most sense.”