Army Hands Ft Monmouth Land To FMERA [AUDIO]
The first paperwork has been signed to start the official transfer of property on Fort Monmouth from the possession of the Army to the Fort Monmouth Economic Revitalization Authority.
The signing of the Memorandum of Agreement took place Thursday at Gibbs Hall at the Fort, and was attended by FMERA head Bruce Steadman, several Military officials, and Lieutenant Governor Kim Guadagno.
The first phase of transfer from the military is for 562 acres of property, consisting of the Charles Wood Area and 3 parcels of land from the main post.
Steadman explains that "what it does is to take title from the Army and in a fair competitive open way and then sell it or lease it to people who are going to create jobs and invest in the property."
The ceremony comes as the result of sixteen months of planning on how to best redevelop the 1,100 acre property which straddles the communities of Oceanport, Eatontown, and Tinton Falls.
The Memorandum of Agreement outlines how the money from the sale of the property will be split between the sale and the US Army. The military's share goes into the US Treasury while the state's portion must be reinvested back into the property for a minimum of seven years.
The biggest concern for FMERA is to rebuild the economy that was shattered after the military closed Fort Monmouth and relocated many of its employees to a new base in Maryland.
Oceanport based data management company CommVault was the first company to move into the former base. CommVault is trying to buy a 55 acre property to open a new headquarters as part of their expansion which is expected to create hundred of jobs.
In addition to CommVault, medical company AccuCare also wants to move in and occupy one of the bases hospitals.
Guadagno noted how important Fort Monmouth was not only in terms of military operations but as a central hub for Monmouth County. During the ceremony she pointed out how important it is to not only get jobs back into the area but also to focus on things to strengthen the property overall.
"We know we have to renovate Fort Monmouth, let's figure out how we're going to get there and build that infrastructure out at the same time we try to figure out plans for Fort Monmouth."
Steadman says FMERA is in talks with the Army to transfer over the remainder of the property.