Jay Bernstein, a well-known and popular Asbury Park resident and real estate agent, apparently fell to his death Sun., Nov. 24 from outside his ninth-floor penthouse condominium in the Santander, located at Deal Lake Drive and Park Avenue.
Asbury Park Police Chief Mark Kinmon said police and other emergency responders arrived at the scene immediately after the incident was reported by a Santander tenant.
“It happened shortly before noon. At this point we believe it to be accidental but we are investigating, along with the Prosecutor’s Office,” he said.
Kinmon said it is believed Bernstein fell from the fire escape outside his penthouse condominium.
“The details are not known at this point but the windy weather may have had a part in it,” he said.
But Bernstein’s friends, of which there are many, still grappling with the awful news are requesting police look into the matter thoroughly.
“And I think that is being done but I only want to be part of mourning him and missing him right now,” said Sammy Boyd, who worked with Bernstein at the John C. Conover Agency.
Boyd said he is “devastated” by Bernstein’s sudden death.
“I just lost a friend and business partner. We have been working together for nearly two decades. It was Jay who recruited me to come to Conover and I never, ever, had a time when I didn’t enjoy his sarcasm and his strength, especially when I needed it,” he said. “I am so, so sad. He was a great person, a great mentor, and I will miss him forever.”
Councilwoman Amy Quinn, who also lives in the Santander, said Bernstein’s death is a great loss to everyone.
“Jay lived life to the fullest. I am so sorry for his family. I feel terrible for them,” she said.
Bernstein was also president of the Santander’s condominium association.
“His death is a loss to Asbury Park and the Santander. Jay took care of everything. It’s a huge loss. Jay was one of the people who was instrumental in revitalizing Asbury Park and this is a huge loss to the city,” she said.
Bernstein, who was in his 60s, lived in Asbury Park since 1999 and was formerly active in the Asbury Park Homeowner’s Association.
“I think this is tragic- absolutely horrible,” said City Councilman John Loffredo, who is a fellow realtor and was president of the homeowner’s association when Bernstein was involved.
“He was always very pro Asbury Park and he did everything he could to bring people here and show the city in its best light. I can’t express how sorry I am- I was just shocked and he will absolutely be missed. I always enjoyed talking to him- he was just one of those people,” he said.
Bernstein’s opinions were often sought-after by his fellow realtors and even journalists, including The Coaster.
At press time a service was planned in Philadelphia Wed., Nov. 27. Another service will be held in Asbury Park at a later date.
UPDATE: The John C. Conover Agency released details of the Asbury Park memorial service this morning, Wed. , Nov. 27, 2013. They are as follows:
Event: Memorial For Jay Bernstein
Host: Sammy Boyd
Time: Wednesday, December 04, 2013 06:00PM
Location: Berkeley Hotel 1401 Ocean Ave, Asbury Park, NJ | Phone:(732) 776-6700
Jay’s brother-in-law Steve will be hosting the evening and has extended an open invitation for anyone to share a story or memory with the group.
If you have memories, stories or images of Jay – Conover Agency is compiling them to use for the memorial and give to the family. Please send them with your name and any other pertinent information to: firstname.lastname@example.org