Editor’s Note: This story was originally reported for our content partner, GlobeSt.com.
FORT MONMOUTH, NJ—(SBN)—From a peaceful riverside restaurant on the Oceanport Creek, to modernized historic housing units in Officers Row that have been turned into luxury multifamily apartments and condos, Fort Monmouth is slowly coming back to life years after being retired as an army base.
Watch a video tour of some of the recent redevelopment activity at Fort Monmouth in the video player below. If you do not see a video player, click here to view the video report.
During the summer, the Fort Monmouth Economic Revitalization Authority tried to drum up interest among tech companies for the McAfee Complex, one of the most highly-anticipated development sites at the Fort.
This fall, Monmouth County received a $100,000 grant in conjunction with the New Jersey Institute of Technology from the New Jersey Economic Development Authority in the pilot round of the NJEDA’s Innovation Challenge. Monmouth County is seeking to facilitate the growth of an emerging technology cluster at Fort Monmouth, which already houses the headquarters of three technology companies, currently employing over 1,000 people on the former Fort.
CommVault, a data protection and information management software firm, relocated its headquarters to the Fort Monmouth Property in 2014, recently expanding the facility to accommodate additional growth.
The approximately 50-acre McAfee Complex, on the part of the fort that overlays Oceanport, features one of the newest buildings remaining on Fort Monmouth, one that is suitable for reuse as a technology park or innovation campus.
The approximately 89,000-square-foot building, constructed in 1997, features a 16-foot loading dock, eight 2,400-square-foot raised-floor dry labs, and an anechoic chamber, useful for testing and analysis of sound absorption and dispersion.
“Fort Monmouth is an ideal location for a technology campus,” FMERA deputy executive director Dave Nuse says. “In addition to our central location and proximity to public transit, Fort Monmouth has a growing community of tech companies and entrepreneurs, as well as established amenities, residential options, and impressive corporate and institutional anchors. These assets, combined with our live-work-play master plan, make us well-positioned to develop the next tech hub at the Jersey Shore.”
The Marina at Oceanport opened at the former Fort Monmouth marina nearly two years ago, under an operator’s agreement between FMERA and the restaurant owner, Mario Criscione of Asbury Park Development Partners. Since its opening, patrons have been flocking to the waterfront restaurant and bar, which occupies the renovated marina building. In July, the FMERA board approved a purchase and sale and redevelopment agreement with APDP for the sale of the marina parcel.
“The Marina is one of the many outstanding amenities existing within Fort Monmouth,” FMERA executive director Bruce Steadman says. “Offering a waterfront dining experience is an excellent complement to residential development and the expanding workforce. We’re excited to see business thriving in the Borough and we expect the economic impact to continue to grow.”
Also in September, FMERA approved the sale of the former Squier Hall to KKF University Enterprises. KKF proposes to renovate and construct a state-of-the-art, satellite campus in the two-story, 76,538-square-foot administration building located on Sherrill Avenue in Oceanport. Constructed in 1935, the building is eligible for the National Register of Historic Places and is slated for office, research and development or educational use.
The redevelopment of Squier Hall and the adjacent property is planned in three phases. In the future, KKF may develop a residence hall and possible future additional academic buildings on site to accommodate the newly established student body of up to 800 students, and potentially use additional land for parking and recreational uses. KKF will invest a minimum of $10 million in renovating approximately 46,000-square feet of Squier Hall and demolishing the remaining buildings.
The post chapel that once accommodated worship services for multiple faiths is now the Triumphant Life Church.
Trinity Hall, a Catholic girls high school on Corregidor Road in the Tinton Falls tract, is expanding its facility as well, with 12 new classrooms, two multi-purpose rooms, and a chapel.
Tech companies are moving into renovated former laboratory and barracks spaces, like Aaski Technologies, which designs highly complex, mission-critical network and systems.
And the most complex redevelopment project on the base is the demolition of the former home of the Electronics Command, once known as the Hexagon. The obsolete, asbestos-contaminated building is being demolished and will be replaced with a new health campus operated by RWJ Barnabas Health that will include an ambulatory care center, a medical office building, and a cancer institute of new jersey cancer center.
Russel Hall, the former command building for the military base, has been acquired by tech firm TetherView, which is using part of the building for its headquarters, and leasing out the rest.