Demolition of Ft. Monmouth buildings should speed redevelopment

Razing some dilapidated buildings at Fort Monmouth is expected to clear the way for redevelopment of the 36-acre tract in Tinton Falls.

A plan approved by the Fort Monmouth Economic Revitalization Authority at the board’s meeting Thursday will clear what the authority said has been “a significant impediment to its sale.”

Now, the 750,000-square-foot Myer Center and the former Night Vision Lab will be demolished.

FMERA’s objectives include implementation of the Fort Monmouth Reuse and Redevelopment Plan in the next 10 years, creation of as many as 10,000 jobs and overall buildout valued at more than $1.5 billion.

The board’s approval also allows the authority to enter into a purchase and sale agreement with the New Jersey Economic Development Authority. As a result, the EDA will acquire the property, while also funding and managing asbestos- and lead-based paint abatement and demolition of the former Myer Center.

“This agreement is a critical step in the redevelopment of the remainder of the fort,” FMERA board Chairman James V. Gorman said. “The EDA’s expertise in large-scale redevelopment will help to expedite the demolition of these obsolete buildings and showcase the very marketable attributes of the property.”

Gorman noted that, to date, more than two-thirds of the fort’s developable land area is sold, under contract or in active negotiations.

Age and size were named as reasons for little interest in the buildings. But, the authority said, there have been inquires about the site itself.

“The EDA is excited for the opportunity to redevelop this strategically located property that will surely attract one or more developers that recognize its potential,” said EDA President and Chief Operating Officer Tim Lizura. “Once demolition of these outdated buildings is complete, the momentum taking place throughout the fort will soon spread to this valuable parcel.”

The EDA will purchase or assign the property within 10 years, but it’s not a requirement. FMERA will execute a mortgage of the EDA’s $7.3 million board-approved budget.

The EDA will release the mortgage proportionately upon sale to each redeveloper.

Last week, the EDA awarded a $5.1 million demolition services contract related to the former Myer Center buildings to Tricon Enterprises Inc. of Keyport.

Woman-owned Tricon was one of nine companies that submitted demolition bids in July. The contract includes a 10 percent contingency.