Netflix takes big step (but not final step) toward opening studio at Fort Monmouth

Company says it has been selected as ‘preferred choice’ for 293-acre parcel, but agreement on use is still work in progress

Netflix has been selected as the “preferred choice” among four bidders competing for the 293-acre parcel of land at Fort Monmouth, the video streaming company announced Wednesday.

The announcement means Netflix is one step closer to bringing a massive state-of-the-art production studio to Monmouth County. A deal to do so, however, is far from complete. Nexflix said as much in its statement.

“This is a key step, but the deal is not final,” the company said. “The next few months include a due diligence period, an examining of the fort and finalizing economic terms.

“And, if the deal becomes finalized in the next few months, with a signed sale agreement, there is then an additional period of due diligence along with various state, county and local approvals.”

State officials did not immediately return calls for comment. But, due to the fact that this is an open-bid event, they are not likely to do so until agreement is finalized.

That being said, Gov. Phil Murphy has stated repeatedly in the past that bringing more production studios to the state is a major initiative of his administration.

The Fort Monmouth Economic Revitalization Authority, which would have made the selection, did not release a statement.

Netflix offered cautious optimism that it will be able to bring a production studio to the location.

“While there is still work to be done with the Economic Development Authority and local leadership to finalize the deal, we are thrilled that FMERA’s preferred choice for the Fort Monmouth development project is our proposal for a state-of-the-art production complex,” the company said in its statement.

“If our plans are approved, we hope to build a facility that will create significant economic impact and job growth for New Jersey, a state loaded with creative talent and technical expertise.”