American Invsco, the country's largest condominium converter, has been forced to make a substantial retrenchment and reorganization nationwide and locally because it has overextended itself financially.

One of American Invsco's most controversial projects is the Promenade high-rise in Bethesda, where middle-income tenants are fighting hard against the conversion to cooperatives. Other American Invsco projects in the this area are the 1,500-unit Grosvenor Park condominium, across the street from the Promenade, and the Club House in Baltimore.

Amercan Invsco has had to lay off employes across the country, cut operating costs and renegotiate its financing. A spokesman for the developer, David Varner, said that the number of employes fired nationwide is "less than 100." Locally, three salaried staff persons were fired, and all sales personnel have been put on commission-only status, according to company representatives.

The company and some of its major lenders denied reports that the banks were insisting on the cutbacks but indicated the regrouping was necessary to put the firm back on solid financial footing.

Dorothy Rodnite, second vice president at Chase Manhattan Bank in New York, one of American Invsco's primary lenders, said the changes had to be made because the company "realized it had a substantial sales force that required selling a greater number of units. . . . They had to carry a lot of debts and expenses at rates over prime."

Another source familiar with American Invsco's position said the retrenchment "was inevitable."

"They were far, far overstaffed. They had very expensive ad promotions and overhead. They had to keep sales going at a rapid pace, and once sales dried up, that was it," this source said. "Other major converters are not in the same position, because they were far more conservative."

To buy the Promenade in 1980, American Invsco borrowed $29 million from Chase Manhattan at two percentage points over the prime rate, which meant initially the interest payments alone would be $6 million a year. The interest costs have been reduced as units have been sold, but sales there have been slower than expected.

The company claims that about half of the apartments at the 1,071-unit Promenade have been sold, but Rodnite said there have been only about 400 closings at the building.

Robert Gould, who was project director for the Maryland-Virginia district until he was fired last week, said the project was not able to turn a profit because the developer had a large inventory of unsold units and had to "buy down" mortgages from high market rates to 12 1/2 percent.

"It's not so much the sales; it's whether you're making money," Gould pointed out. The attitude of the developer became one of " 'Let's get rid of the inventory even if we're not making any money on it.' Hanging onto property at two percentage points over prime was costing a lot of money," he said.

The buy-down arrangement was with Washington Federal Savings and Loan, but the commitment hasn't been renewed.

American Invsco says it now has gone to Citibank of New York for continued mortgage financing for potential buyers at terms the company says are not as favorable as Washington Federal's and which one source called "just awful."

Tenant opposition added significantly to American Invsco's problems at the Promenade, particularly since the tenants generally were well-to-do people with resources, and they were able to interest Rep. Benjamin Rosenthal (D-N.Y.) in conducting hearings on the conversion before his consumer and monetary affairs subcommittee.

"We hoped it would happen," said Saundra Hardbower, vice president of the tenants association, about the converter's problems. But the conversion issue still probably will have to be resolved in court, she added.

While the company portrayed the changes as a normal and - Invsco Forced To Retrench, Reorganize --By Sandra Evans Teeley Washington Post Staff Writer

American Invsco, the country's largest condominium converter, has been forced to make a substantial retrenchment and reorganization nationwide and locally because it has overextended itself financially.

One of American Invsco's most controversial projects is the Promenade high-rise in Bethesda, where middle-income tenants are fighting hard against the conversion to cooperatives. Other American Invsco projects in the this area are the 1,500-unit Grosvenor Park condominium, across the street from the Promenade, and the Club House in Baltimore.

Amercan Invsco has had to lay off employes across the country, cut operating costs and renegotiate its financing. A spokesman for the developer, David Varner, said that the number of employes fired nationwide is "less than 100." Locally, three salaried staff persons were fired, and all sales personnel have been put on commission-only status, according to company representatives.

The company and some of its major lenders denied reports that the banks were insisting on the cutbacks but indicated the regrouping was necessary to put the firm back on solid financial footing.

Dorothy Rodnite, second vice president at Chase Manhattan Bank in New York, one of American Invsco's primary lenders, said the changes had to be made because the company "realized it had a substantial sales force that required selling a greater number of units. . . . They had to carry a lot of debts and expenses at rates over prime."

Another source familiar with American Invsco's position said the retrenchment "was inevitable."

"They were far, far overstaffed. They had very expensive ad promotions and overhead. They had to keep sales going at a rapid pace, and once sales dried up, that was it," this source said. "Other major converters are not in the same position, because they were far more conservative."

To buy the Promenade in 1980, American Invsco borrowed $29 million from Chase Manhattan at two percentage points over the prime rate, which meant initially the interest payments alone would be $6 million a year. The interest costs have been reduced as units have been sold, but sales there have been slower than expected.

The company claims that about half of the apartments at the 1,071-unit Promenade have been sold, but Rodnite said there have been only about 400 closings at the building.

Robert Gould, who was project director for the Maryland-Virginia district until he was fired last week, said the project was not able to turn a profit because the developer had a large inventory of unsold units and had to "buy down" mortgages from high market rates to 12 1/2 percent.

"It's not so much the sales; it's whether you're making money," Gould pointed out. The attitude of the developer became one of " 'Let's get rid of the inventory even if we're not making any money on it.' Hanging onto property at two percentage points over prime was costing a lot of money," he said.

The buy-down arrangement was with Washington Federal Savings and Loan, but the commitment hasn't been renewed.

American Invsco says it now has gone to Citibank of New York for continued mortgage financing for potential buyers at terms the company says are not as favorable as Washington Federal's and which one source called "just awful."

Tenant opposition added significantly to American Invsco's problems at the Promenade, particularly since the tenants generally were well-to-do people with resources, and they were able to interest Rep. Benjamin Rosenthal (D-N.Y.) in conducting hearings on the conversion before his consumer and monetary affairs subcommittee.

"We hoped it would happen," said Saundra Hardbower, vice president of the tenants association, about the converter's problems. But the conversion issue still probably will have to be resolved in court, she added.

While the company portrayed the changes as a normal and well-considered response to market conditions, other aspects of the retrenchment made it clear that the plans were made suddenly.

For example, a Washington Post advertising representative said the paper received a call last week to pull large, expensive ads at the last minute, and the firm's previous purchase of $15,000 a week in advertising for the Promenade has been cut to $3,600. well-considered response to market conditions, other aspects of the retrenchment made it clear that the plans were made suddenly.

For example, a Washington Post advertising representative said the paper received a call last week to pull large, expensive ads at the last minute, and the firm's previous purchase of $15,000 a week in advertising for the Promenade has been cut to $3,600.