Irvine, Calif.-based Western National Properties, a member of multifamily firm Western National Group, has held an initial closing of its Western National Realty Fund II, L.P. (Fund II) with over $200 million of equity commitments from “several top-tier institutional investors,” according to CEO Michael K. Hayde.

This is the firm’s second private equity fund, and Hayde expects Fund II’s final close to take place in 2008 with at least $300 million of equity commitments.

Fund II is focused solely on multifamily acquisitions and development projects. Current investors include primarily major state employee pension funds, life insurance companies and investment banks, but also include many of Western National’s long-term high-net-worth investors.

“While institutional demand for multifamily in Southern California remains steady, the institutions are more selective, seeking vertically integrated multifamily firms with strong track records, long-term, multi-cycle experience by management, and a focus on quality assets in top-tier markets,” says Hayde. “This environment bodes well for our firm as we match these requirements very well.”

Following its initial close, Fund II acquired a site for a ground-up development in the Warner Center-area of Woodland Hills, Calif. The investment will consist of a 195-unit, four story apartment complex wrapped around a five-and-a-half-story parking structure.

Western National Group is a 44-year-old, fully integrated multifamily acquisitions, development, construction and property management firm. Western National Property Management manages about 28,000 multifamily units in California and is the second-largest owner of multifamily housing in Orange County, Calif.