Ohio Merger Forms State’s Largest Affordable Housing Owner

The Wallick Cos. of Columbus, Ohio, and the Cincinnati-based Stern-Hendy Properties today announced that they will merge. The 42-year-old family-owned Wallick, with 625 employees, is one of the largest owner-managers of affordable housing in the state. The Stern-Hendy Properties has 140 full- and part-time associates, specializes in housing for low- and moderate-income residents, and includes both the Hendy Management and The Affordable Housing Construction Co., which specializes in rehabs of existing historic buildings–as well as new construction. The announced merger is expected to be completed by the end of this year and will form the largest single-owner-manager of affordable housing in the state of Ohio. The merger is a result of a long courtship. Tom Feusse (pictured), CEO of The Wallick Cos., told CPN “We started our discussions during the summer of 2007, 11 months ago. Because this is a merger and not an acquisition, and because we’re taking the lead role as the larger of the two firms, it was really important I believe for Stern-Hendy to date us, if you will, before they agreed to the marriage. Dave Hendy built his company over 30 years, so it was important for him to get to know and trust his new partner.” Stern-Hendy now has under management 4,000 units in properties that are located in southwest Ohio , as well as northern Kentucky. Wallick manages more than 8,000 residential units in more than 100 properties, both for its own portfolio, and for third-party owners. The properties are located in Ohio, and also in Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky and Wisconsin. Since inception, Wallick has completed more than 7,000 apartments and 360 developments valued at more than $1 billion in 19 states. The company brings to the merger a stellar reputation. Under the terms of the agreement, the newly combined business will create three companies: The Wallick-Hendy Development Co., The Wallick Construction Co., and the Wallick-Hendy Properties Co. The Wallick management team will take charge of the daily operations arm of the combined property management business, operating out of Columbus, Ohio. David Hendy and Brian Hendy, principals at Stern-Hendy, will join the Wallick development team, but will continue to work from their Cincinnati offices.Noted Tom Fleuss, “For us, this merger is a matter of bringing together the skills and experience of our two organizations. We’ll be able to provide a higher level of experience to our business partners, and that alone will lead to more opportunities in the market. With our size and skill and experience, we believe it will help open doors and provide more access to capital, in spite of today’s difficult financial environment.”