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FORT LEE, NJ-Silverstein Properties Inc. and partner Taubman Centers Inc. are among a quartet of development entities proposing to revive a dormant 15-acre site near the George Washington Bridge. The area has been vacant since the Centuria mixed-use went belly up last year.

In addition to the SPI/Taubman joint venture, the other development entities that responded to the borough’s July 31st call for RFPs were: Tucker Development and Acquisition Fund LP; a partnership of Panepinto Properties, CheongWon LG Corp. and the Straus Group; and Fort Lee Redevelopment Associates LLC, an entity comprised of SJP Residential Properties LLC and James Demetrakis, a lawyer and developer in Bergen County. The submissions propose a mixture of uses for all or a portion of the site.

All the proposals are targeted at redeveloping an area that has a long history of busted projects. At one time, Leona Helmsley owned the site. More recently, Town & Country Affiliates of Woodcliff Lake proposed a mixed-use project named Centuria. Yet last year the developer put the undeveloped site up for sale and the project went into foreclosure.

In April, Tucker Development purchased about eight acres in the western portion of the site for $1 million at a sheriff’s auction. “It’s a premier parcel of real estate adjacent to the George Washington Bridge,” Richard H. Tucker, Newark-based president and CEO of Tucker Development Corp., the parent company of Tucker Development and Acquisition Fund, tells GlobeSt.com. “The density and the incomes within the area provide a wonderful opportunity for the uses we are proposing.”

Termed Hudson Lights, Tucker Development’s 940,000-square-foot plan envisions 185,000 square feet of retail, restaurants and a health club in addition to 357 apartments and 170 condominiums. Tucker did not disclose an estimate for the cost to build that project, and conceded all development endeavors today present challenges. He relates that his firm has received several inquiries from other parties about entering into a joint venture on either the development or financial side. “We currently own the site without any debt so we have the ability to be patient and work through the process,” Tucker says.

World Trade Center developer SPI and partner Taubman submitted a plan to build a mixture of retail, including a mall, and residential. Focused on the eastern tract, Fort Lee Redevelopment Associates proposes a three-phased project that features two high-rise rental towers with a total of 800 units, an 18,000-square-foot gourmet food market and ancillary retail; a four-star, 250-key hotel with a banquet facility; and 100 hotel/condominium units.

The Panepinto/CheongWon/Straus master plan, dubbed the Amerea, encompasses a blend of office, retail and residential. Joseph A. Panepinto Sr., chairman and CEO of Panepinto Properties, tells GlobeSt.com that the project appealed to him “because it affects the urban design of the borough.”

PPI has done a number of developments in Jersey City, including ones in Journal Square. “Our projects have to be a benefit to the city as well as the developer,” Panepinto says. “We looked at it from the perspective of the city’s desire to have a town center concept with a 24/7 community.”

Fort Lee borough clerk Neil Grant says town officials will chose a developer by Sept. 15, with a final development agreement scheduled to be in place by Jan. 15. If selected, Tucker says his firm could be under construction “if not next year, then the beginning of 2011.”

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