Boom Busted Recession Stalls Condo Development

 From 2002 to 2007 and beyond, condo construction in New Jersey reached heights  never seen before. Much of it was in the “Gold Coast,” in towns like Hoboken and Jersey City and up into Bergen County. Indeed, a New  York Times article by Antoinette Martin from July 31, 2009, stated that condos  make up about 80 percent of Hudson County housing stock, and parts of the state  also saw accelerated development.  

 But since the mortgage crisis and the recession, things have been quite  different. The economic situation has seemed to hit luxury condos the most, as  in June, “there wasn’t a single signed contract for a condo in that price range [$1 million and  above] in Hudson County although 86 were listed,” according to the same New York Times article.  

 Some Examples

 Similar reports of suspended sales and development have come from other areas in  New Jersey. Take Asbury Park, for example. Daniel DiBenedetto, local attorney  and head of the Asbury Park Chamber of Commerce, reports that one beachfront  condo development, the Esperanza, stopped construction after only two stories  were completed, although the developer, Metro Homes, plans to resume  construction when the economy improves. Ironically, the Esperanza is on the  site of an earlier unfinished building, whose skeleton was demolished in 2006.  

 The developers of another unfinished condo development in Asbury Park, he said,  persuaded the city to bend the rules and allow them to use a deck of the  Esperanza as a parking lot until the market turns around. “People usually buy these beachfront condos as second homes,” DiBenedetto said, “and it’s hard to ask people in these times to shell out large amounts of money for a second home.”  

 In yet another part of the state, Clara Ryan, association president of the  242-unit Falcon Ridge Condo in Hamburg, Sussex County, recently talked to the  New Jersey Cooperator about her development’s experience with problems brought on the recession.  

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