“Are you going to miss your one last golden opportunity?”
The Towers at Monmouth Beach, N.J.

Merchandising Rx for a sick condo
It took strong medicine to bring this luxury high-rise back to life.
Bailout specialists JPS Associates achieved the cure with liberal doses of marketing, redesign, promotion and merchandising.
The twin 2-story towers had languished on the sands of Monmouth Beach, N.J. for four years. When the Washington-based consultants arrived in April, only 38 of the foreclosed project’s 132 flats had been sold.
Today the Towers at Monmouth Beach is virtually sold out. Moreover, five price increases have boosted units by an average of $18,000 each since the take-over. (Four plans, sized from 1,033 to 3,000 sp. Ft., are selling from $52,000 to $170,835.)
“That’s an increase of roughly $9 a square foot,” says President Jack P. Studnicky of JPS. “It has enabled the lender to recoup all of its capitalization dollars plus $400,000 in profits.”
Bailout plan. The consultants began by redefining the market. They found that there were ample buyers in the area – mostly empty nesters – who were looking to leave expensive houses for luxury apartment condos.
“These people should have been attracted to the Towers,” says Studnicky, “but the units had been presented so poorly that prospects were turned off.”

So JPS got $1.4 million from the lender to repackage the project. The outlays included:
More than $600,000 to improve amenities. A boardwalk was built between the two buildings, recreational facilities were refurbished and a new lobby was designed.
Another $40,000 to move the sales center and model units from the second to the two top floors for a better ocean view.
More than $270,000 to upgrade the units. This included giving one and two-bedroom flats more lavish fixtures and cabinets and combining some upper-floor units to make three and four bedroom layouts.
And $300,000 for advertising and promotion. Ads stressed the fact that recent New Jersey environmental legislation forbade the construction of any more high-rise buildings along the area’s shoreline.
Use of Realtors. “We also gave local Realtors a 3% commission on units their prospects purchased,” says Jerry Kaufman, the JPS vice president for marketing and sales. “They’ve been responsible for almost 20% of our weekly traffic.” -JGC