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BAYONNE, NJ-Local officials have narrowed the list of possible redevelopers down to six, and the focus of the competition are three waterfront sites in this Hudson County city. While officials decline to detail the specifics of the various proposals, mixed-uses are expected to emerge, and as many as three of the six could get the nod for portions of the tract.

The six finalists were culled from a process that began in July with the issuance of an RFP by the Bayonne Local Redevelopment Authority. More than 2,000 companies were contacted, according to Joseph Nichols, BLRA’s director, and more than 70 groups took what he terms “an active interest” in the RFP. “That’s very encouraging,” he says, “especially given the state of the economy.”

The RFP solicited bids for what are called the Loft, Landing and Bayonne Point tracts within Peninsula at Bayonne Harbor, a former industrial area. Altogether, they account for 71 acres within the 430-acre Peninsula redevelopment area–portions of which have already been built out in recent years.

The finalists are an interesting mix, beginning with cruise operator Royal Caribbean International, which already operates a port facility within the Peninsula site. Lutheran Social Ministries, based in Burlington, meanwhile, specializes in developing and operating affordable and market-rate housing.

SSJ Development of Brooklyn, NY–a company that specializes in waterfront development–is also in the mix. So are Lofts Redevelopment of Hoboken, an affiliate of Russo Development that specializes in mixed-uses with an emphasis on industrial; and another Hoboken, NJ-based company–Pegasus Group–which has a track record of turning industrial buildings into residential lofts.

The final contender is Peninsula Developers LLC, which is actually a partnership of three different companies. The New Brunswick-based Boraie Development, which had a mixed-use proposal on the table two years ago that didn’t play out, is joined by the locally based Perone Bayonne and the Coral Gables, FL-based Seaway Group, which operates a portfolio of hotels.

While details of the proposals haven’t been released–subject to ongoing negotiations with the various parties–Nichols expects BLRA’s selection process to be completed by next summer, although some of the specifics may emerge earlier in 2009.

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