At the time of its closing, Fort Monmouth was home to five million square feet of existing buildings and developable land. Since its inception in 2010, Fort Monmouth Economic Revitalization Authority (FMERA) has worked diligently to revitalize the former U.S. Army Fort and establish a thriving, live-work-play environment that would bolster the local economy and enhance the community. Following the seventh anniversary of FMERA marked by the September Annual Board meeting, nearly two-thirds of the Fort’s 1,127 acres have been sold, are under contract or in active negotiations.
In its early stages of redevelopment, Fort Monmouth attracted companies reflective of the Fort’s history—innovative tech companies and those which serve the military. In 2014, the data-security giant, Commvault, opened its 275,000-square-foot corporate headquarters, followed by AASKI, an information and communications technology defense-contractor, in 2016. Shortly thereafter, private-cloud business solutions expert, TetherView, renovated and relocated to historic Russel Hall. With several anchors at the Fort, FMERA’s vision for a dynamic, live-work-play community began to take shape, attracting mixed-use developers who’d conceptualized elaborate town centers, experienced home builders with a vision for reinvigorating the Fort’s historic district, and community-centric organizations that contribute to the diversity of assets and amenities available at Fort Monmouth.
With seemingly endless development underway, FMERA looks forward to the completion of several large-scale projects including the addition of new housing units in Tinton Falls, Eatontown, and Oceanport; a Neighborhood Retail Center featuring convenience, food and beverage, and specialty retail in Tinton Falls; a walkable, Lifestyle Town Center featuring public art, specialty shops, restaurants, and outdoor activities in Eatontown; and the opening of other essential community organizations such as Family Promise. FMERA also expects several highly-anticipated facilities to open for business in the near future, including the Fort Monmouth Fitness Center; artist live-work space with an accompanying sculpture garden; the expanded Fort Monmouth Bowling Center, which proposes bowling, arcade games, outdoor entertainment and dining; a microbrewery and event space in the Dance Hall; a veterans’ services office; and the renovated pistol range.
Fort Monmouth still has significant available land primed for development and several key sites, such as the former Myer Center parcel, that are suitable for large commercial projects, as well as others suitable for office, recreation, or other civic uses. Extensive interest in the Expo Theater, Commissary and the McAfee Center gives promise to expanding the presence of the arts, developing a technology or R&D park, and attracting businesses that will create jobs in a variety of sectors.
While the majority of Fort Monmouth’s projects are not readily seen when passing through the former Army base, the property is bustling with development activity that will activate spaces, ignite innovation, and build a sense of community. While much of the Fort is still under construction, FMERA prides itself on the progress of its redevelopment as a world-class, live-work-play community. Monmouth County residents can already enjoy several new (or newly renovated) properties, including the Marina Bar & Grill in Oceanport, Suneagles Golf Course in Eatontown, the Monmouth County Recreation Center in Tinton Falls, and Triumphant Life Church (former Army Chapel) in Oceanport. Other community amenities, such as Trinity Hall school and AcuteCare Health Systems, are also operational.
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