OCEANPORT - The first steps toward redeveloping 36 prime acres of Fort Monmouth land, just off the Parkway in Tinton Falls, begin as the Fort Monmouth Economic Revitalizaton Authority (FMERA) approves plans to tear down the old Myer center and Night Vision Lab.

Myer Center (courtesy FMERA)
Myer Center (courtesy FMERA)

FMERA Board members this week opened the door for a purchase and sale agreement (PSA) with the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (EDA), which would buy the tract and oversee asbestos and lead-based paint remediation, and demolition of the 750,000 square-foot Myer Center.

FMERA Board actions are subject to a 10-day period in which Governor Christie, if he sees fit, can veto them.

According to infomation from FMERA, EDA will have the right, but not an obligation, to buy or assign the property, in whole or part, within 10 years. FMERA executes a $7,300,000 mortgage, the size of EDA's budget approved by the Board. EDA will release the mortgage in proportion, upon sale to each redeveloper.

Any EDA net profit that exceeds expenses under the approved budget, plus out-of-pocket carry costs, a five-percent return and environmental remediation costs, is to be split with FMERA, which supplies marketing and management support until the property is completely sold.

Board members said that potential investors eagerly sought the location and the acreage, but the buildings, which they describe as aging and dilapidated, are a deterrent. They cited their December 2014 Request for Offers to Purchase, which produced none.

Keyport-based Tricon Enterprises, Inc., won the $5,100,000 contractto raze the former Myer Center buildings. FMERA members pointed out that the female-owned firm outbid nine companies. The contract has a 10-percent contingency.

FMERA Board Chairman James V. Gorman notes that more than 66 percentof the former military base's developable land is sold, under contract, or in negotiations. He places high confidence in EDA's ability to move the Myer Center job along.

"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," Gorman said in prepared remarks.

EDA President and Chief Operating Officer Tim Lizura exuded confidence that the agreement will raise the tract's development potential.

"Once demolition of these outdated buildings is complete, the momentum taking place throughout the Fort will soon spread to this valuable parcel," he said.

FMERA aims to implement its Fort Monmouth Reuse and Redevelopment Plan within 10 yeaers, create an anticipated 10,000 jobs, and realize a $1,500,000,000 property value for the reconstituted base.

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