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Fort Monmouth board enters agreement to redevelop fortress

OCEANPORT The Board of Fort Monmouth Economic Revitalization (FMERA) voted to sell and ultimately redevelop approximately 36 acres on the Fort in Tinton Falls.

The acreage, known as Parcel F-1, is situated near the Garden State Parkway, however dilapidated existing buildings on the property have been a significant impediment to its sale. The approved plan includes demolition of the 750,000 square-foot Myer Center and the former Night Vision Lab, according to a prepared statement from the New Jersey Economic Development Authority.

The board’s approval will allow FMERA to enter into a purchase and sale agreement with the authority under which the authority will acquire the property and fund and manage asbestos and lead-based paint abatement and demolition of the former Myer Center, according to a prepared statement.

According to the EDA Communications Department’s Program Manager Virginia Pellerin, the board voted to enter in the agreement on Sept. 20 during its meeting at the FMERA office, located at 502 Brewer Ave.

“This agreement is a critical step in the redevelopment of the remainder of the Fort,” FMERA Board Chairman James Gorman said in a prepared statement. “The EDA’s expertise in large-scale redevelopment will help to expedite the demolition of these obsolete buildings and showcase the very marketable attributes of the property.”

More than two-thirds of the Fort’s developable land area is sold, under contract, or in active negotiations, according to Gorman in a prepared statement.

While FMERA has encountered limited interest in the buildings due to their size and age, it has received inquiries about the site given the property’s convenient location adjacent to the Garden State Parkway, according to prepared statement.

Due to their size and condition, the existing buildings have been a deterrent to prospective developers, as evidenced by a Request for Offers to Purchase issued by FMERA in December 2014, which resulted in no offers from developers, according to a prepared statement.

“The EDA is excited for the opportunity to redevelop this strategically located property that will surely attract one or more developers that recognize its potential,” EDA President and Chief Operating Officer Tim Lizura said in a prepared statement. “Once demolition of these outdated buildings is complete, the momentum taking place throughout the Fort will soon spread to this valuable parcel.”

EDA will have the right, but not the obligation to purchase or assign the property in whole or in part, within 10 years. FMERA agrees to execute a mortgage on the property in the amount of EDA’s $7.3 million board approved budget, and EDA will release the mortgage proportionately upon sale to each redeveloper, according to a prepared statement.

If EDA nets more than the total funds expended under its approved budget, plus out of pocket carry costs, a return of five percent and environmental remediation costs, if any, it will share the proceeds equally with FMERA. FMERA will provide marketing and property management services until the entire property is sold, according to a prepared statement.

The EDA’s board also acted last week to award a $5.1 million demolition services contract related to the former Myer Center buildings to Tricon Enterprises, Inc. of Keyport. Woman-owned Tricon was one of nine companies that submitted demolition bids in July 2017. The contract includes a 10 percent contingency, according to a prepared statement.

FMERA’s objectives include implementation of the Fort Monmouth Reuse and Redevelopment Plan in the next 10 years, creation of up to 10,000 jobs, and overall build out valued at over $1.5 billion, according to a prepared statement.

For more information on FMERA visit www.fortmonmouthnj.com.

Contact Vashti Harris at vharris@newspapermediagroup.com.

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