At the start of the new year, FMERA announced that approximately 74 percent of the Fort is now sold, under contract, in negotiations, or entering the Request for Offers to Purchase (RFOTP) process.
Numerous projects are underway in the Oceanport section of the Fort’s Main Post, including:
- The Fitness Center, purchased by FM Partners and planned for reuse as a fitness and health club;
- The Dance Hall, purchased by Regional Development Group and planned as a microbrewery and event space;
- The Lodging Area, under contract with Somerset Development for a walkable, luxury townhome community of up to 185 units;
- The Allison Hall parcel, under contract with Tetherview for the development of office, retail, and other neighborhood amenities;
- Squier Hall, under contract with KKF University Enterprises, LLC for use as a satellite New Jersey City University campus featuring academic buildings and other university support facilities;
- Barker Circle, in negotiations for the reuse and redevelopment of historic barracks for residential and office uses, in addition to other dining and entertainment uses in the former firehouse and museum buildings;
- The Commissary, for commercial reuse and redevelopment as a craft production and retail space; and
- The Post Office area and the Warehouse District, collectively, for development as an office, research and development, and flex space complex, among others.
FMERA is also planning to make two of its most desirable, remaining properties available through the RFOTP process in the first half of the year—the McAfee Center and the 400 Area. The McAfee Center is envisioned for reuse as the anchor of a larger technology campus and the 400 Area is planned for a mixed-used, transit-oriented development that could serve as Oceanport’s neighborhood town center. Overall, FMERA’s obligation is to oversee the installation and sale of 720 new homes in Oceanport, twenty percent of which would be affordable.
Oceanport’s February 7 Council meeting included a lengthy discussion about the Plan Amendment for the Squier Hall parcel, and references to other FMERA projects in the Oceanport section of the Fort, including the Lodging Parcel. FMERA is pleased to see residents in Oceanport engaged in the discussion and welcomes any constructive comments.
Redevelopment of the Fort provides for significant long-term improvements for the Borough, most notably tax revenue. FMERA estimates $300 million in investment during the next 10 years in the Oceanport section of the Fort, including the Squier Hall, Lodging, McAfee, and 400-Area projects, which could translate to $12 million in net tax revenue for the Borough and as much as $20 million for Oceanport schools, for a total of $32 million.
“A windfall 10-year tax proceed stream of $32 million for Oceanport would be a game-changer and would fund any increases in Borough costs for streets, the police department, and school-aged children,” said FMERA Executive Director Bruce Steadman. “In the last three years, we have seen significant interest in the Fort property, and that interest is resulting in some outstanding redevelopment potential, with high-investment totals that yield high assessment values, pulling all real estate values upward. This is an exciting and important time to be in Oceanport. Accordingly, FMERA will continue to provide the Borough with the Cowan Park building for Oceanport’s Police Department as long as it is needed.”
Additional activity progresses Fort-wide, as FMERA continues negotiations for a variety of parcels including the Bowling Center, planned for reuse as a bowling and entertainment destination and Parcel B, planned for a mixed-use town center featuring retail, residential, and community amenities in Eatontown.
In Tinton Falls, FMERA continues to work in partnership with the New Jersey Economic Development Authority on a planned Robert Wood Johnson Barnabas Health campus, and intends to release two new RFOTPs, the Pulse Power building and Building 2719, for commercial redevelopment.
“Our stated mission is to facilitate the creation of jobs,” said FMERA Deputy Executive Director and Director of Real Estate Dave Nuse. “However, a more measurable and lasting by-product of the Fort’s redevelopment is the tremendous impact that the incremental tax revenue for each Borough will have. There will be millions of dollars to pay for needed services, and to fund necessary amenities, accruing to each town.”
For more information, please visit the FMERA website at www.fortmonmouthnj.com.