At its April meeting, the FMERA Board approved the Authority’s 2014 Annual Report. FMERA made great strides in 2014 as it worked to restore jobs in the region and engage the impacted communities in the redevelopment process.
“Last year, FMERA took significant steps to enhance operations and stakeholder outreach; attract investors, developers and employers to the Fort; expand housing opportunities; and enhance community amenities and the quality of life for local residents,” FMERA Board Chairman James V. Gorman said.
FMERA reached a major milestone in June when it received the deed from the Army for the Phase 1 properties. This marked the conclusion of several years of negotiations, as well as the beginning of new responsibilities, obligations and opportunities for FMERA.
Two major companies spent 2014 setting down roots at the former military base.
Technology-giant CommVault focused on advancing Phase 1 of its three-phase project following its acquisition of a 55-acre parcel of land in 2013. By December of 2014, CommVault had moved approximately 900 of its employees into its new headquarters.
FMERA closed with AcuteCare Health Systems, LLC in March 2014 on the 16-acre former Patterson Army Health Clinic parcel. The Clinic is a 98,000-square-foot medical facility located on Main Street in the Oceanport Reuse Area of the Main Post. AcuteCare has undertaken multi-million dollar renovations to reuse the former Clinic as a state-of-the-art healthcare facility to improve access to health and wellness services for the region and plans to create up to 200 new jobs in the area.
FMERA also issued numerous Requests for Offers to Purchase (RFOTPs) in 2014 to attract additional investors, developers and employers to the Fort. They include:
- Satellite Road Parcel 1, a 1.5-acre parcel in the Tinton Falls Tech/Office Campus development district. The Reuse Plan reflects the area as open space; however, in an effort to attract more businesses, FMERA is considering an amendment to the Reuse Plan to also allow for commercial or institutional uses or to allow this parcel to be used for off-street parking in connection with an adjacent commercial use.
- The Charles Wood Fire Station, situated on a 2.25 acre parcel of land in the Tinton Falls Tech/Office Campus development district. This property can be used for office, research, institutional, civic or recreational uses.
- Parcel F-2, consisting of approximately 15 acres along Satellite Drive in Tinton Falls. The FMERA Board showed its continued support for veterans at its September Board meeting, approving the issuance of an RFOTP for this parcel with the goal of developing a residential community for veterans.
- Howard Commons, a 63.67-acre tract on Pinebrook Road in the Fort’s Charles Wood Area. FMERA worked diligently to reissue an RFOTP for Howard Commons after negotiations with the previously contracted purchaser were terminated. The Reuse Plan calls for the construction of 275 new residential units, and up to 15,000 square feet of retail/commercial space.
Details about all RFOTPs can be found on the FMERA website at https://www.fortmonmouthnj.com.
In addition to issuing the RFOTPs, FMERA also furthered redevelopment efforts by entering into negotiations with developers for multiple parcels, including the 11,110-square-foot Pistol Range, Parcels C and C1, and Pinebrook Road Commerce Center in Tinton Falls, as well as the Officer Housing in Oceanport.
FMERA’s master broker, Cushman & Wakefield, continued to market the former Fort Monmouth property to attract businesses and investors. To support this effort, the Cushman & Wakefield team showcased available properties via its website at www.fort-monmouth-marketing.com, which launched in early 2013. The site includes information that assists prospective purchasers in evaluating Fort Monmouth properties as they are brought to market.
Through FMERA’s small business initiative, the Authority has met with over 100 small businesses interested in relocating to the former Fort, with strong interest from the light manufacturing and technology sectors. Cushman & Wakefield has also provided ongoing assistance to FMERA’s small business attraction efforts.
Additionally, a series of five auctions throughout October and December resulted in a total of $855,776 in sales. The Auctioneers Group conducted the auctions to sell off personal property contained within the former FBI Building, Military Prep School, Buildings 1201-1203, and the Myer Center, as well as the 20,000-square-foot sports dome in Eatontown. Net proceeds from the auctions will be invested in the Fort’s redevelopment, per federal requirements.
FMERA looks forward to its fifth full year with optimism, invigorated by 2014’s successes and with the confidence that 2015 will be a pivotal year in the Fort’s redevelopment.