OCEANPORT – A flurry of activity was on the agenda of the Fort Monmouth Economic Revitalization Authority (FMERA) Nov. 13 for one of their last monthly meetings of 2019. All properties in play are located in the Oceanport section of the former Fort Monmouth. The same evening, FMERA voted to extend Oceanport Partners’ due diligence period on the 14-acre Warehouse/ Post Office parcel for 90 days to complete its investigation of the suitability of the property for redevelopment. Engineering and environmental studies are ongoing, officials said. The firm, which anticipates a total capital investment at that site of over $31.4 million, plans to use it for office, research and related product storage and distribution with a focus on medical, biotechnology and software development within three Class A office buildings. The extension lasts until Feb. 23, 2020. Noting there has been “a lot of trepidation” over the project locally, Coffey said, “RPM has done a lot to assuage our concerns in the past couple of months. We are ready to move forward but will be looking long and hard at it.” OCEANPORT PARTNERS EXPANDS ITS REDEVELOPMENT SCOPE By unanimous vote, FMERA made this 79-acre parcel along the New Jersey Transit railroad tracks and Parkers Creek, within a portion of the Horseneck area, available through its Offer to Purchase Process. Located one-half mile from the Little Silver Train Station, the site is designated for redevelopment as the borough’s “town center” community hub, with mixed uses including residential, retail, commercial and civic/institutional. NURSES QUARTERS 400 AREA Fort Monmouth’s Commissary is among the key former U.S. Army buildings developer Oceanport Partners is in the process of acquiring for redevelopment.Photo courtesy FMERA RPM Development, LLC will invest a minimum of $6.69 million to renovate and reuse the fort’s former 24-unit Nurses Quarters following last week’s unanimous approval of a Purchase and Sale Agreement for the 3.75-acre site. RPM, which purchased and renovated the fort’s former Officers Housing area as the East Gate residential project, now nearing completion, proposes to turn the Nurses Quarters into 24 one- and two-bedroom rental apartments. In addition, 10 three- to four-bedroom owner-occupied townhomes will be constructed. Seven of the apartments will be designated as affordable housing. The plan is subject to FMERA’s mandatory conceptual review and Oceanport’s Planning Board review. By Laura D.C. Kolnoski The bid package should be released next month with a deadline for submissions in late March. IN OTHER NEWS “It’s a fairly major development,” said Bruce Steadman, FMERA executive director. “We are making the Request for Offers to Purchase very broad. We want Oceanport’s approval.” Developer Oceanport Partners, an entity of Denholtz Management Corp., has entered into a Purchase and Sale Agreement to redevelop the fort’s former Commissary and PX (Post Exchange) complex, along with a 6-acre parking area. The firm, which will pay $3 million for the property, is already working toward redeveloping the adjacent former Post Office area and Warehouse District. Oceanport Partners will be responsible for all demolition and associated costs, and its total capital investment will be no less than $23 million, officials said. The Commissary building is slated for rehabilitation. Intended uses include retail, office, recreational, entertainment, craft production, research and development and culinary-related. The company estimates creating 111 part-time and/or full-time permanent jobs within 24 months of the project’s completion or pay a penalty of $1,500 per job not created as per FMERA rules. FMERA has said the parcel is well-suited for the development of “a vibrant, transit-oriented development” with 234 residential units and a Main Street character. Sixty-three buildings on the site, which the U.S. Army used for residences, administrative buildings, warehouses, research and development, and general purpose, are deemed obsolete. Alternative development scenarios will be considered, but all proposals must embody the transit-oriented development concept. “Oceanport can see the finish line at this point,” said Mayor Jay Coffey, a voting FMERA member. “This has been subject of a great volume of discussion in our town. There is no train station here. Horseneck Point residents are anxious to see what comes in and what transpires.” “I reached out to (RPM CEO) Ed Martoglio and tried to outline Oceanport’s concerns,” Steadman said. “Ed was 100 percent willing to take responsibility.” The project is expected to create a minimum of 38 part-time or full-time temporary construction related jobs and a minimum of one full-time or part-time job upon completion, or pay a penalty of $1,500 for each job not created. FMERA bid adieu to its director of real estate development of seven years, David Nuse, but not really. Nuse is returning to the New Jersey Economic Development Authority in Trenton, where he previously worked for 25 years. The EDA oversees FMERA operations. Nuse will remain a presence at FMER A’s monthly meetings, taking on the role of the EDA’s voting representative to the authority’s board. “Our time with Dave has been outstanding,” Steadman said. “He is a man of integrity, character and has legions of fans. He’s done great work here and we’ll miss his daily input.” Nuse said that he plans to stay “deeply involved” in the fort’s redevelopment.