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Port Authority deal is imminent.

In an effort to expand the capacity of industrial marine terminals on the Staten Island waterfront, the Port Authority of N.Y and N.J. is considering purchasing the former Procter & Gamble manufacturing plant site near the Howland Hook Terminal.

Officials at the Port Authority said they expect the sale to close within the next several weeks.

"We expect the doubling of cargo traffic in Staten Island within the next ten years," said Allen Morrison, a spokesman for the Port Authority. "The final decision on this deal hasn't been reached yet, but there are plans to use the site for the development of a container terminal, and possibly an intermodar rail yard. In addition, another parcel might be used for marine-related and industrial purposes."

Although the sale is still in the negotiation stage and the Port Authority would not discuss the financial specifics, Colleen Greaney, a site manager with Procter & Gamble, said that the estimated price of the property has been set at $55 million. "Real estate consultants at Procter & Gamble have done a number of studies, and they confirmed that the value of the site is approximately $55 million. And we are very confident that the Port Authority is going to purchase it."

Before the sale if finalized, however, the Port Authority would like to test the property for signs of environmental damage. The Procter & Gamble plant has served as a manufacturing facility for almost a century, so there seem to be some questions about the safety of the site. "For my part, I don't know of any environmental damage," Greaney said. "This has been an industrial property for approximately 80 years -- the Port Authority study is just a normal due-diligence study that would be associated with any industrial transfer."

Although Morrison claimed not to know the details of the study, he conceded that there was some concern on the part of the board of commissioners. "Well, you know, the current status of this is that we are still in negotiations," he was careful to point out. "But we are hopeful that we will be able to conclude an agreement sometime in the next several weeks."

According to Greaney, the site had been put for sale a number of years ago, but has remained vacant so far. Procter & Gamble is confident, however, that the deal with the Port Authority is going to come through. "We would anticipate a very quick closing," she said. "The Port Authority has considered our site as part of their port expansion project, and we are sure that we are going to close the sale."

Staten Island borough officials would not comment on the sale.
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Author:MISONZHNIK, ELAINE
Publication:Real Estate Weekly
Date:Nov 22, 2000
Words:440
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