Fort Monmouth Begins More Focus On Development [AUDIO]
After sitting unoccupied since it’s closure, Fort Monmouth will begin seeing activity as construction is well underway for its first major tenants.
The 1100 acre military base, which occupies Oceanport, Eatontown, and Tinton Falls and was closed down in 2011, will be seeing more businesses and development projects, according to the Fort Monmouth Revitalization Authority.
During a presentation and tour of base given to business members of the Monmouth Ocean Development Council, the state-created group, which is tasked with returning businesses to the one time military instillation, says the initial years after the bases closure were spent negotiating the sale agreements with the military and creating a fundamental legal framework.
Data management company CommVault was the first to lease land within the base, and is currently building it’s headquarters in the Oceanport section ready for 2014. Bruce Steadman, Executive Director of FMERA, notes they have more prospects on the horizon.
“We’ve got a purchase and sale agreement executed for the 16 acre former hospital parcel in Oceanport. That would be a minimum $5 million project with 200 brand-new jobs. I think we have five other parcels out for bid.”
After Sandy, the base served as a location for FEMA housing for displaced residents. Currently 100 families still live within the property and are expected to remain for roughly a year.
While housing displaced residents slows down the sale of certain land, Steadman says the storm also forced them to consider their plan for residential space within the property.
“It’s helped us pull resources together so we can get some of the residential projects underway a couple of years faster than we normally would have.”
Steadman notes they hope to have 80 percent of the former base in some stages of development within 10 years. A tall order, but one he feels they are beginning to gain momentum on.
“It’s an 18-hole golf course, we’re probably still in the fourth hole but we’re making some putts and it’s a good front nine.”