Fort Monmouth, an army base since 1917, was permanently closed on September 15, 2011, but now major redevelopment spearheaded by the Fort Monmouth Economic Revitalization Authority is underway. Located in Monmouth County along Route 35, the acreage spans across Eatontown, Tinton Falls, and Oceanport and is just 5 miles from the Atlantic Ocean.
Many major players are involved in the proposed plan, but Fort Monmouth Parcel B Redevelopment announced earlier this year they would invest $130 million in Freedom Pointe, the “crown jewel of Fort Monmouth,” as described by parent company Paramount Realty Service’s Vice President Lee Zakaria.
Fort Monmouth Parcel B Redevelopment has been negotiating with the Fort Monmouth Economic Revitalization Authority (FMERA) since October and must execute the terms of their agreement with FMERA, including gaining the proper approvals for development, before officially closing the deal.
Freedom Pointe will be just beyond the fort’s main gate and a recently released rendering reveals a circular plaza dedicated to Fort Monmouth’s military heritage, featuring fountains, flags, and monuments. Beyond the plaza will be an 89-acre, mixed-use development that will include 350,000 square feet of retail, entertainment, restaurants, parks, and residences as well as 40,000 square feet of office space.
Ryan Homes will be developing the residential portion, constructing 302 townhomes. RPM Development Group, who specializes in the renovation of historic buildings including the Hahne & Co building in Newark and Whitlock Cordage in Jersey City, purchased the officer housing buildings in Oceanport’s Fort Monmouth National Register Historic District and plans to ultimately offer 68 residences for sale and 48 residences for rent. And Oceanport’s new municipal complex will likely be located at the new Fort Monmouth.
Fort Monmouth is named in honor of the American Revolutionary War soldiers who died at the Battle of Monmouth and is historically interesting as the base where radar technology was developed. A production model of radar equipment on the site even detected the imminent air attack by the Japanese on Pearl Harbor, but the warning was disregarded. Julius Rosenberg also worked at Fort Monmouth from 1942-1943 as a radar inspector and it was from this base that he stole pertinent plans he then passed on to The Soviet Union.
Fort Monmouth is now open to public traffic for the first time since 2011 and construction is set to begin by the end of the year and hopes to be completed in 2019. The development will be a massive, pedestrian-friendly town center teeming with activity, services, and amenities plus a place developers imagine no one will ever want to leave.