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BAYONNE, NJ-First, the Bayonne Local Redevelopment Agency agreed to sell a choice waterfront site to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey for $50.5 million. That was in September, and earlier this month, the agency voted to break that contract, citing violations of the state’s Open Public Meetings Act by the Port Authority.

Now, over the P.A.’s objections, BLRA commissioners voted this week to sell the site to Ports America, an Iselin-based company, for $90 million. The site has been variously reported as anywhere from 126 to 153 acres within the 437-acre former Military Ocean Terminal. Ultimately, it involves approximately 90 acres of dry land and 60 underwater acres, and what Ports America has in mind is an automobile import terminal. “It would handle approximately 250,000 vehicles a year,” says a company spokesman.

Ports America won the deal over contenders Fortis Group and Worldwide Group/Shaw. The latter actually offered more money, $110 million, but BLRA commissioners opted for the Ports America deal, citing concerns about Worldwide’s funding.

Ports America’s financial backing comes from AIG Global Investments, and its offer includes a $35-million deposit, payable when the contract is actually signed, according to BLRA commissioner Anthony Chiappone, who recently joined the agency. Worldwide had declined to identify its financial backer prior to the BLRA’s vote this week.

“The commissioners agreed at the meeting that they took Ports America’s offer because the financing was in place and the company’s money was already on the table,” says a city spokesman. But the Port Authority is not out of the picture, at least on the legal front. The bi-state agency has already filed suit in State Superior Court in Jersey City, charging the BLRA with breach of contract. Both sides declined comment on the complaint, citing the pending legal action.

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