Here's something you should know right off the bat: The redevelopment of Fort Monmouth is a slow process. Slow, like Department of Motor Vehicles — pre-Christie Whitman — slow.
There is a lot of filling out of forms and waiting around with a lot of veiled and mysterious movements behind the counter. And that's before any property gets sold or redeveloped. Or before a new job is created there.
The latest bit of bureaucracy that redevelopers need to navigate is the Economic Development Conveyance. The EDC is what we would call a business plan and it's chock full of information about the future of that 1,126-acre ghost town in our backyard. Including how redevelopers intend to replace the almost 10,000 jobs estimated to have been lost when the Army pulled up stakes.
The feds require redevelopers, who are known at the Fort Monmouth Economic Revitalization Authority (FMERA), to submit this business plan for approval before things get rolling.
Patch wants you to be informed so we are linking this story to this business plan that it published on FMERA's Web site.
It's a long read but you can look forward to helpful graphs, charts and maps, which show the properties to be transferred first from the Army.
Before you dive in to the EDC
Here are some things you need to know:
The plan only refers to Phase I of the two-phase process. This is especially important when you view graphs for job creation and you see a blank space next to Oceanport. The majority of the Oceanport properties will be transferred in the second phase of redevelopment.
Phase I includes 565 acres and represents plans for 537 housing units and 1.7 million square feet of commercial space. These acres represent plans for a mix of uses — retail, office, residential, recreation and more.
- Once the EDC is approved the following properties will be good to go on the market:
- The marina in Oceanport
- Parcel E, where Commvault will build their own new headquarters.
- The Suneagles Golf Course
- Howard Commons in Eatontown
- The clinic
- The majority of the Charles Wood area, including the gigantic 670,000 square-foot Meyer Center, in Tinton Falls.
- Parcel B, a chunk of Eatontown that runs along Route 35 north of the entrance of the fort.
Some spending money
There is a plan to generate some quick cash by leasing the more attractive properties that will be sold when Phase II begins. See where the money goes here.
- Russell Hall, the collegiate looking brick and stone building that presides over the green on the Oceanport Avenue entrance.
- The fitness center, which has potential tenants on pins and needles.
- The McAfee Center, which was high tech hub of secret technology when the Army worked there.
- Mallette Hall in Eatontown, which has been the center of political debate.
- Vail Hall, neighbor to Mallette Hall
Rinse and repeat
This whole process — coming to an agreement with the Army over how things will be transferred (that's the MOA) and creating an EDC application — will have to be done again for Phase II. This redevelopment of Fort Monmouth is a long haul, with a 20-year build out plan, but the Phase II agreement could be wrapped up come 2014, redevelopers say.
Once that agreement is in place you can expect to see properties in the interior section of the fort transfer quickly. FMERA Executive Director Bruce Steadman told Patch that FMERA anticipates it will take possession of the individual properties and turn around and close the same day with a buyer. As required by the Army, FMERA has hired a broker to bring in buyers, though Steadman says there isn't a day that goes by where potential buyers don't ring his office.
The official document, all 74 pages of it:
If you have questions about the application, post them here and we will get some answers for you.