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Sale of Howard Commons Property Expected to be Completed Next Week

The buildings would likely be demolished this year.

By Christopher Sheldon

Eatontown Mayor Gerald Tarantolo said he expects the sale of the Howard Commons are of Fort Monmouth to be approved by the Fort Monmouth Economic Revitalization Authority (FMERA) next week.

The property would be transferred, by way of sale, to HovWest, which has been in negotiations with FMERA for since July, and was chosen to be the developer of the property.

"That's good news, because once the property has been purchased, we can start the process of demolition," Tarantolo said during Wednesday night's Eatontown Council meeting.

The 486 vacant housing units and large general purpose building on the property would be demolished to make way for 275 two- and three-bedroom for-sale townhomes. Twenty percent of the homes will be reserved as affordable housing.

The plan also includes a retail development at the corner of Hope Road and Pinebrook Road and 20.4 acres of open space and public recreation amenities. 

"We're hoping that maybe by the time we get into the late spring that there will be a site plan for planning board here in Eatontown to review and approve the property," Tarantolo said. 

There were concerns that the demolition and construction would not begin until some time in 2015 after FMERA voted to extend its negotiation period with HovWest by 60 days during its November board meeting. However, it is now possible that demolition could occur as early as this spring.

The next FMERA meeting is set for Wednesday, Jan. 15 at 7 p.m. at 502 Brewer Ave., Oceanport.

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