Just months after the successful opening of The Asbury Hotel, Asbury Park’s first new hotel in half a century, real estate firm iStar prepares to open Monroe. Construction on the luxury condominiums have recently reached completion, garnering warm reception from the local community. It’s the latest step in the company’s multi-billion-dollar waterfront revitalization plan.
“Asbury Park had been down on its luck for quite a period of time,” iStar Senior Vice President Brian Cheripka said. “I think everyone was pretty familiar with Bruce Springsteen and his rise to fame, singing about this downtrodden city of the 1970s and the 1980s. So I think the initial investment made by iStar was an opportunity to help create a vibrant city once again.”
Following their original investment with the previous developer in 2006, iStar acquired the equity in 2010 and became master developer. It was a chance to breathe life back into a once-thriving community. With approximately 35 acres making up for over 75% of the palpable waterfront property, there’s an opportunity to preserve the city’s cultural history while ushering it into a new generation.
The Asbury Hotel is a perfect example of that mission. Originally built in the ‘50s, it sat vacant since 2004. Following its reopening this summer, it’s become a hub for young professionals seeking an escape from New York. With a rooftop bar, an outdoor movie theater, and a biergarten, it’s also become a popular attraction for Asbury locals.
Expanding on the hotel’s presence in the waterfront revitalization is Monroe, a new luxury residence helmed by world-renowned architect Chad Oppenheim. A New Jersey native who grew up just 20 minutes outside of Asbury Park, he was the perfect choice to design the property.
“An opportunity to connect with someone like Chad and bring him back to his roots, it’s just something you don’t pass up,” Cheripka said. “He gets the Jersey Shore experience. And for us, it’s about elevating the architectural style. So that’s why Monroe is very different.”
For Oppenheim, the architectural style is something he wanted to preserve. Having gone on to design structures in 23 countries, he wanted to put a unique touch on the Asbury Park waterfront without straying from the Asbury aesthetic. He even took inspiration from local materials, paying tribute to the wooden planks from the boardwalk and stones from old local buildings to create an elegant reference to the city’s vibrant architectural history.
“We really wanted to make it fit in, be a good neighbor,” Oppenheim said. “We didn’t want to overdo it in terms of making a contextual statement. The statement was more that Asbury is special already, and how can we just add to that instead of revolutionizing it? It was more evolutionary rather than revolutionary.”
In addition to commuters and locals, the luxury condominiums at Monroe have attracted a new kind of resident, second home buyers from New York looking to be part of Asbury’s thriving community. With access to the Asbury Hotel’s amenities, the luxury experience is elevated to revive the city’s once rich culture.
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