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HOBOKEN, NJ-The Pinnacle Group was an also-ran in 1998 when it was outbid by New York-based Gotham Partners and two local developers, who paid almost $20 million for the 24-acre former Maxwell House coffee plant here. But times, and prices, change. According to a published report, Pinnacle has agreed to pay $76 million for a controlling share of the Hudson River waterfront site.

The two locals, Daniel Gans and George Vallone, remain part of the mix as minority partners in the joint venture to redevelop the site. Pinnacle, meanwhile, is putting its stake in the project in the hands of one of its subsidiaries, Pinnacle Downtown.

At an estimated cost of $500 million, the venture is proposing to build an upscale mixed-use project that would include more than 800 residential condo units, along with a commercial component of more than 200,000 sf of retail and office space. The site would also include 1,500 parking spaces.

The redevelopment will be all-new construction. Pinnacle officials say they will begin razing the existing buildings comprising the former coffee factory early next year, with actual construction expected to begin later in the year. The project, which officials expect to take five years to complete, will also include waterfront beach and pier restoration and a park.

Pinnacle has been involved in a number of downtown redevelopment projects in such communities as Millburn, NJ and Montclair, NJ, with the latter being the redevelopment of the former Hahne’s department store building. More recently, the company announced it had formed a joint venture to redevelop the Epstein’s department store site in Morristown, NJ, a $75 million project that will mix retail and residential uses.

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