EATONTOWN — Streaming giant Netflix says it will bid on a site at the former Fort Monmouth in order to build a production facility.

The 1,126-acre Army base was closed by the Base Realignment and Closure Commission in 2005 and taken out of service in 2010. The Fort Monmouth Economic Revitalization Authority was charged with selling the property and facilities for commercial use via a bidding process.

Bids on the 289-acre property known as the mega parcel are due by Jan. 12.

In a statement to several media outlets, Netflix noted that the first movie studio in history was in New Jersey while many talented people in the entertainment field have called the state home.

"Gov. Murphy and legislative leaders have created a business environment that’s welcomed film and television production back to the state and we’re excited to submit our bid to transform Fort Monmouth into a state-of-the-art production facility," the company said.

Netflix recently opened a new facility in the Bushwick section of Brooklyn.

Fire at a former movie studio in Fort Lee in 1958
Fire at a former movie studio in Fort Lee in 1958 (AP Photo)

New Jersey back in the spotlight

In 2021 alone, spending related to film and TV production in New Jersey will exceed $500 million, according to the New Jersey Motion Picture and Television Commission.

The Murphy Administration attributes the boost in action to the governor's reinstatement three years ago of the film and television tax credit program, which he later expanded.

Among the recent projects filmed in New Jersey were Steven Spielberg's "West Side Story," "The Sopranos" prequel "The Main Saints of Newark" and the first season of the CBS series "The Equalizer" with Newark native Queen Latifah.

Thanks to its proximity to New York City and open spaces, Fort Lee was once considered the "Hollywood of the East" in the early 20th century, according to the documentary "Fort Lee, The Champion: A Story of America's First Film Town." At least 10 studios based there made silent films.

Netflix on Wednesday morning did not respond to New Jersey 101.5's request for more information.

Previous reporting by Dino Flammia was used in this report.

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