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Fort Monmouth Economic Revitalization Authority (FMERA) to Issue Requests for Offers to Purchase (RFOTP) for Multiple Properties

At its December Board meeting, the FMERA Board approved the issuance of RFOTPs for the Expo Theater & Adjacent Properties, located in Fort Monmouth’s Eatontown Reuse Area; the Commissary and Post Exchange (PX), located in Oceanport’s Reuse Area; the Warehouse District, located in Oceanport’s Reuse Area; and the Post Office Area, also located in Oceanport’s Reuse Area.

The Expo Theater, also known as Building 1215, is an 18,883-square-foot entertainment facility built in 1968. The 995-seat auditorium was used previously as a live theater and cinema. Located on the Fort’s main thoroughfare, the 7± acre Expo Theater parcel is conveniently situated near the future Bowling Center and the planned artist live/work space on the Avenue of Memories. The Fort Monmouth Reuse & Redevelopment Plan (Reuse Plan) contemplates the building be reused as a commercial, community theater. FMERA staff has received interest in the Expo Theater for both adaptive reuse as well as alternate uses consistent with or complementing the planned uses in the area. Potential purchasers will have the option to include additional land in their proposal—which could be used for recreation, outdoor seating, passive open space or parking.

“The Expo Theater & its adjacent properties have potential to serve as the center of a vibrant, cultural hub on the Fort,” said FMERA Executive Director Bruce Steadman. “There has been significant interest in the property and we anticipate receiving several strong proposals that are consistent with our vision for the parcel’s redevelopment.”

The Commissary and the PX complex will be put out in a single RFOTP. One of the newer buildings on the Fort, the 53,700-square-foot Commissary was completed in 1998. The PX complex is a series of four circa 1970 wood-frame buildings totaling 45,626± square feet, along with Building 812, a 5,563-square-foot building constructed in 1941 for use by the Army Service Corps.  Recently, FMERA staff has received renewed interest in the Commissary and the PX for reuse as office/research and development (R&D) space, active recreation or for other commercial uses. Originally envisioned as a retail building that could serve the residential and commercial occupants of the Oceanport Education/Mixed-Use Neighborhood, FMERA staff believes the highest and best use of the Commissary & PX area is no longer retail-oriented, as a result of the altered development landscape in Oceanport.

“The reuse of buildings in the area, such as the Patterson Clinic by AcuteCare, and multiple buildings in the 900 Area by the Borough of Oceanport, has lead us to reevaluate the highest and best uses of the surrounding property,” said FMERA Director of Real Estate Dave Nuse. “Broadening the potential uses of the Commissary and PX complex opens the door to attracting a much-needed business or amenity to the community.”

The Warehouse District, consisting of three general purpose administrative buildings (Buildings 909, 910 and 911) constructed in 1943, and two circa 1954 warehouse buildings (975 and 976), totaling 77,589± square feet, the 7± acre Warehouse District is bounded by Razor Avenue, Murphy Drive and the future Monmouth County Emergency Homeless Shelter.  All five buildings are contemplated for demolition in the Reuse Plan and Plan Amendment #2, to be replaced by new housing.

Given the nearby institutional uses, staff believes that the Warehouse District property should be offered for commercial, active recreation or office/R&D use rather than residential use, and the existing improvements should be demolished.

The 6± acre Post Office Area includes the 7,641-square-foot former Post Office (Building 1005), constructed in 1971; Tickets & Tours (Building 1010), a 2,600-square-foot building constructed in 1970; Building 800, a 14,964-square-foot administration and classroom building dating to 1942; and Building 801, the 9,267-square-foot recreation equipment checkout facility built in 1941.

The Reuse Plan envisions the demolition of all four buildings on this site and reuse of the property as a new school location. The Oceanport School District, however, is no longer considering this location for a school use.  Staff therefore seeks to offer the property for an alternate use consistent with its anticipated surrounding uses, namely commercial, active recreation or office/R&D use.

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