Two companies join venture to develop Maxwell House Gans and Vallone to remain principles in 832-unit project

Two nationally respected development heavyweights announced on Jan 21 that they have entered into a joint venture to develop the Maxwell House luxury condominium project on Hoboken’s central waterfront.

Toll Brothers Inc., one of the nation’s largest developers of luxury homes, and Pinnacle Downtown Ltd., a company based in Millburn N.J., will be overseeing the funding of the $500 million project.

Throughout the entire planning process, the spokesmen for the project have been local developers Daniel Gans and George Vallone. While they have been minority partners, they guided the project’s application through the Planning Board, and will remain principals in this development.

Originally, Gans and Vallone were partners with Gotham Partners, the now defunct Manhattan-based hedge fund that controlled 80 percent of the shares in the 24-acre waterfront property. This agreement was struck when they purchased Maxwell House with Vallone and Gans for $18 million in 1998.

In April of 2000, Gotham announced its intention to sell the property. Now that deal is finalized and Toll Brothers and Pinnacle Downtown have purchased the property for $76 million.

The project, located at 11th and Hudson streets, will include a combination of high-rise and mid-rise luxury condominiums, approximately 1,500 parking spaces, and approximately 206,000 square feet of commercial space. The project has also been approved to contain a nearly 6-acre park that will be fully accessible to the public.

Included in the open space will be the restoration of Elysian Fields, the site of the first baseball game; a waterfront park that will be a quarter-acre larger than Pier A park, and the renovation and reopening of a sliver of beach that has rarely been used in half a century.

The construction and future upkeep of the new parks will be funded entirely by the developers and eventually by the building’s tenants and condo owners.

The project is designed by Hoboken-based architect Dean Marchetto.

Big profit

According to the developer, revenues from the sale of the condominiums are expected to be approximately $500 million. Demolition of is slated to begin in the next couple of weeks, and pre-sales are anticipated to commence this summer.

Toll Brothers designs, builds, markets and arranges financing for single-family detached and attached homes in middle- and high-income residential communities in 22 states.

Its common stock is listed on the New York Stock Exchange and the Pacific Exchange under the symbol “TOL.” The company serves move-up, empty-nester, active-adult and second-home home buyers. In the fiscal year 2003, the company reported $2.78 billion in revenues and reported a net income of $259.8 million, according to Forbes Magazine.

Robert I. Toll, chairman and chief executive officer of Toll Brothers, expressed his eagerness to develop the Maxwell House property last week.

“We are very excited to have joined together with Pinnacle Downtown to develop what we believe is one of the finest parcels of waterfront real estate in the United States,” said Toll. “The project represents another major step for us as we expand our presence in affluent urban areas where our brand name reputation and success in high barrier-to-entry markets can add value to our buyers, our partners and our shareholders.”

“We view the urban development market as one with tremendous opportunity in the 21st century,” he added.

Pinnacle is a real estate development and investment company in the New Jersey and Connecticut markets. Since the company’s founding in 1984, Pinnacle has built in excess of 3,000 luxury attached and detached homes. Gans said Tuesday that after six years of pre-planning and leg work, he is ready to begin demolition and then construction.

“We’re part of a very exciting team,” said Gans. “Everything is moving along quickly and we look forward to stepping out of the blocks.”


© 2000, Newspaper Media Group