At its April meeting, the Fort Monmouth Economic Revitalization Authority (FMERA) Board approved the Authority’s 2016 Comprehensive Annual Report. The report is a combination of the results of an independent audit of FMERA’s financial progress and a narrative of the Authority’s accomplishments last year.
Upon completing its annual audit of FMERA, the independent accounting firm of Clifton Larson Allen, LLP has issued an unmodified opinion about the 2016 financial statements which is their highest opinion.
“That’s auditor speak for ‘job well done’,” said FMERA Audit Committee Chairman Dr. Robert Lucky. Dr. Lucky added, “FMERA’s Chief Financial Officer Jennifer Lepore and the entire FMERA staff have done a great job of managing our finances and reporting them in a transparent and understandable manner.”
FMERA Board Chairman James V. Gorman echoed the auditors’ sentiment regarding redevelopment efforts last year.
“FMERA made significant progress in 2016 as it worked to restore lost jobs and economic vitality in this region,” he said. “The Authority continued to engage the communities of Eatontown, Oceanport and Tinton Falls in the cooperative redevelopment process to the benefit of each of our communities. The Annual Report reflects these successes.”
FMERA marked a major milestone in November when it closed on $33 million in financing from the Monmouth County Improvement Authority (MCIA) and purchased the balance of Fort Monmouth from the U.S. Army. The purchase followed extensive negotiations between FMERA and the Army for the Phase 2 Economic Development Conveyance. The MCIA provided the funding through two series of notes. FMERA now owns or controls the entire 1,126 acres of the Fort.
Furthering its mission of spurring jobs, and its plan to create a live-work-play environment on the Fort, FMERA acted in all three host boroughs in 2016 to redevelop 238 acres of the Fort.
FMERA completed the sales of two parcels in Tinton Falls in 2016. Not-for-profit corporation Trinity Hall purchased the 20,000-square-foot Child Development Center and RADAR Properties purchased Building 2525, where it has leased 30,000 square feet of space to its affiliate AASKI Technology, a defense contractor and communications engineering firm with offices around the United States. Together, these two sales are expected to bring 230 jobs to the Fort.
FMERA also entered into Purchase & Sale and Redevelopment Agreements with the following companies/agencies:
- Kiely Realty (for the Pistol Range and the Fire & Police Training Area as well as the adjacent Satellite Road Parcel in Tinton Falls);
- AP Development Partners (for the Dance Hall in Oceanport);
- Monmouth County Park System (MCPS) (for Parcel F-3 in Tinton Falls). FMERA also negotiated a Purchase and Sale Agreement (PSA) in February for the 6.5-acre teen center and adjacent swimming pool parcel with the MCPS.
In addition, FMERA issued the following six Requests for Offers to Purchase (RFOTPs), one Request for Bids (RFB) and one Request for Proposals (RFP).
- Redevelopment opportunities made available through an RFOTP issued in April for the Squier Hall Complex include educational and office spaces.
- FMERA sought proposals to redevelop the Charles Wood Fire Station property in Tinton Falls for civic/institutional or commercial/retail uses through an RFOTP issued in May.
- An RFOTP issued in July for the Eatontown Barracks, which included the adjacent Soldiers Park, sought proposals for the redevelopment of six former World War II-era Barracks (Buildings 1102 through 1107) into a cultural center that promotes the arts.
- In September, FMERA issued a RFB soliciting parties interested in purchasing the Main Post Chapel parcel in Oceanport. FMERA sought bids consistent with the Reuse Plan, which calls for the chapel to be reused as a house of worship. In February 2017, Triumphant Life Assembly of God Church purchased the Main Post Chapel parcel from FMERA.
- FMERA issued an RFOTP for the Suneagles Golf Course and Megill Housing area in Eatontown in October, calling for the maintenance of the golf course and the development of a hotel/conference center in the 10-acre Megill Housing area. FMERA also accepted offers that include residential uses that complement the golf course, which could include age-targeted or age-restricted units.
- In December, FMERA issued an RFOTP for the Allison Hall Complex in Oceanport, seeking proposals for historic Allison Hall, the largest of the buildings, that would redevelop the 36,665-square-foot building as a boutique hotel. Proposals are also sought for the remainder of the parcel to be redeveloped as retail, office/research, and/or open space.
- Also in December, FMERA sought proposals through an RFOTP for the Lodging Area in Oceanport, a 15-acre parcel slated for residential, institutional, or mixed-use waterfront redevelopment.
- FMERA issued an RFP in December for security guard services for the property. The services will supplement the ongoing patrols carried out by the Oceanport and Eatontown Police Departments, along with the County’s placement of a security camera system which provides video documentation of questionable activity. In March 2017, the FMERA Board approved Marion Security Agency, of Red Bank, to patrol the property.
FMERA heads into its seventh year filled with optimism, confident that the coming year will build upon the successes and milestones achieved in 2016.
The 2016 Comprehensive Annual Report will be submitted to the Governor’s Authorities Unit, the State Treasurer, and the Federal Audit Clearinghouse. A copy of the annual report can be found at https://www.fortmonmouthnj.com following the expiration of the Governor’s 10-day veto period.