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FORT LEE, NJ-A seven-acre parcel that was part of the failed Centuria project has been sold to one of the entities bidding to redevelop the site. Palisades Regional Investment Fund II LLC, which gave the original $48-million loan on the property to Town and Country Developers, took back the paper at a Bergen County Sheriff’s Foreclosure Sale last month. Subsequently, Palisades Financial, which sponsors the fund, entered into an agreement to sell the parcel to Fort Lee Redevelopment Associates LLC. No other details of the sale agreement were released.

FLRA, a JV of SJP Residential Properties LLC and James Demetrakis, a lawyer and developer in Bergen County, is one of four entities that have submitted bids to redevelop the 15-acre site. The other three include: Silverstein Properties Inc. and partner Taubman Centers Inc.; Tucker Development and Acquisition Fund LP; and a partnership of Panepinto Properties, CheongWon LG Corp. and the Straus Group. The submissions propose a mixture of uses for all or a portion of the site.

Ira Bergstein, principal of Palisades Financial, tells GlobeSt.com that the firm met with all the firms that submitted bids. “It is our belief that Fort Lee Redevelopment Associates has prepared the most comprehensive plan to address the varying needs of the Borough of Fort Lee, and is the development team best equipped to ensure the success of this project,” he says. “I am confident that we have entered into an agreement to sell the east parcel to the development team that has the experience and wherewithal necessary to obtain the approvals and successfully complete the redevelopment of this important property. We believe that FLRA’s plan, the Center at Fort Lee, will be a driving force in generating significant ratables for the borough and an enhanced quality of life for the Fort Lee community, and will be a success for Palisades and our investors.”

In April 2007, Palisades Regional Investment Fund II made a $48-million loan to Town and Country Developers for its Centuria mixed-use project. A year later, the loan went into default. At the time of the Sheriff’s sale, the indebtedness–including default interest and fees–totaled $60 million.

At the auction, the highest cash bid was $1 million, according to Bergstein. PRIF II credit bid $100 over that bid and the foreclosure was complete. However, the fund did not pay $1 million. “As the lender, it can credit bid and no funds, besides sheriff’s fees, get paid,” Bergstein says. The mayor and council have set up meetings with all the development entities and plan to hold public hearings on the future of the site this month.

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