Developer of Beachfront Luxury Condo Project in N.J. Says He Slashed Prices, But Continues to See High Demand

By Anuradha Kher, Online News EditorDiamond Beach, N.J.–Chester, Penn.-based development company, Mita Management, is nearing completion on its 125-unit first phase of The Grand at Diamond Beach, a luxury condominium project located on Diamond Beach, the last piece of property that can be developed on the southern Jersey shore.This phase will be ready in the summer of 2009 while the other two phases are expected to be complete in the next 10 years. “We initially thought we would complete all three phases in seven years,” Eustace W. Mita, chairman of Mita Management, tells MHN. “But we had to change the timelines due to current economic conditions.”That wasn’t the only aspect of the project that Mita had to alter due to the downturn. When plans for the project were finalized, the one, two- and three-bedroom condos in the first phase were priced from $1 million to $4.5 million. “After taking the economy into consideration, we slashed the prices down to a range of $600,000 to $4 million,” says Mita.However, Mita argues that there is still enough demand for condos and they aren’t thinking about converting The Grand at Diamond Beach to a rental project. “This project is a scarce commodity in this part of New Jersey. We are on the last piece of land that can be developed in this area. We also don’t have the zoning restrictions that some of the other properties here have,” Mita says. In an area where most building cannot be higher than five stories, The Grand at Diamond Beach is 12 stories high. Currently, 28 percent of the project has been sold to either people wanting to invest in this area or people wanting to live here.The town of Diamond Beach is located in a six-block area next to Wildwood Crest on the southern Jersey shore. Mita bought the beachfront property, which housed a lackluster hotel called The Grand since the 1980s. The beachfront has traded hands over the years, but due to a 1908 land deal with the federal government, has always remained private, while beaches along this coast are public. Apart from luxury furnishes in the condos, the Grand at Diamond Beach buildout also includes a beach club exclusively accessible to residents of the project. Members will be able to enjoy their private beachfront surrounded by luxury outdoor furnishings and a beachfront infinity pool in season, and will enjoy exclusive access to shared common areas with beachfront views during the cooler months, making this a year-round destination. The first floor of each of the three buildings has a retail component.In addition, Call on Jack, a concierge service, will attend to each resident’s lifestyle needs. Call on Jack was developed by The Carlyle Group to give practical assistance in just about every facet of each owner’s life, from arranging the initial move-in to booking travel and flight arrangements to scheduling dinner reservations.