No one knows the woes of repositioning a troubled
property like Jesse Holland, CPM, and president of
Sunrise Management and Consulting, AMO, in Albany
In less than a year’s time during 2010, Sunrise transformed a new 52-unit luxury condominium complex in
Glens Falls, N.Y., that the developer deeded back to its
lender in lieu of foreclosure after not pre-selling or selling a single unit. The project was built and hit the market during the real estate collapse.
Hired by the lender to reposition the property, Sunrise
converted the Mill of Glens Falls into luxury apartments
commanding rent between $1,300 and $3,000. The complex is 95 percent leased with a waiting list in place.
Sunrise’s success was no accident, though, Holland
“It’s not an accident when things go right,” he said.
“Planning and doing the right thing make the difference.”
Just like other troubled assets, the Mill of Glens Falls
required the management team to analyze the building’s
operations, target market and marketing and leasing
plans to determine how to improve the building’s posi-
Converting the condos to apartments was logical
because the building was already designed for living
use, but clearly couldn’t sell as condos. A lack of luxury
apartments in the area also made the conversion a suitable alternative.
Holland said because the Mill was new, operations
weren’t much of a concern. Among other things, the
building’s systems were obviously in good shape, and
tenant relations didn’t need improving because there
were no tenants.
So the management team focused on the target audi-
ence and market and leasing. Evaluating the target audi-
ence led Sunrise to realize it could expand its prospec-
tive tenant pool by marketing to a wider geographic area.
“It was a unique product to the area,” he said. “There
was nothing similar. It was a strong enough product to
pull [residents] from a larger area.”
The management team then increased the property’s
appeal primarily through electronic media marketing
Additionally, the management team struck a deal with
the furniture company that had been renting furniture to
the initial investors for staging purposes. Hauling all the
furniture away would have been expensive for the rental
company, so it willingly sold Sunrise the $25,000 worth
of furniture already on location for $7,000.
To spruce up the building’s hallways, Sunrise teamed
up with local artists and turned the corridors into
art galleries, creating a home-like environment that
appealed to potential renters.
Maybe most important, the company had to address
the stigma attached to the building. The initial condo
project had prominence within Glens Falls: Its failure
did not go unnoticed by local residents.
“We worked very hard with the local community
to make sure we connected with them and had them
invested in the success of the project,” Holland said.
Ultimately, Holland said careful analysis, as well as
experience, are helpful when it comes to repositioning a
“You have to know the strengths of your organization,” Holland said. “We were very comfortable in this
position because we’ve turned around other properties
before. We had a game plan in our play book and confidence in ourselves.”
IN THE LAP OF LUXURY By Kristin Gunderson Hunt
AMO Firm repositions failing luxury condo building as a thriving luxury apartment community