Rendering of proposed Freedom Pointe mixed use development near West Gate of former Ft. Monmouth in Eatontown, NJ
EATONTOWN, NJ—The Fort Monmouth Economic Redevelopment Authority has given the green light to a transaction that, if approved by the state’s governor, would be the first step in redeveloping an 89-acre section of the former military base along its West Gate in Eatontown, NJ, into a $130-million live-work-play mixed use complex.
The “Purchase and Sale & Redevelopment Agreement” approved Mar. 1 for Fort Monmouth Parcel B Redevelopment, an affiliate of Paramount Realty Services, is subject to a 10-day veto period by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.
The 89-acre Parcel B property includes approximately 55 acres that front Route 35 in Eatontown, as well as 34 acres of land that FMERA acquired from the United States Army in November as part of the Phase 2 Economic Development Conveyance Agreement. Much of the parcel contains World War II era buildings used as barracks that once housed troops, and several buildings that had been used as classroom space when the military base served as the Army’s Signal Corps training school for most of its post-World War II life.
Paramount Realty has proposed the creation of “Freedom Pointe” on Parcel B, which it says will include more than 350,000 square feet of commercial development, featuring a mix of unique national, regional, and local specialty uses including entertainment, food, fitness, grocery, office, and service. The commercial component of Parcel B is expected to include a pedestrian-friendly thoroughfare featuring a two-acre park, the best of class amenities and technology, extraordinary landscaping and architectural design, and conveniently accessible parking throughout the development.
“We consider Freedom Pointe to be the crown jewel of the 1,200-acre Fort Monmouth redevelopment and our vision is to create an unparalleled outdoor shopping experience for our community,” Paramount Realty Services and LMS Commercial Real Estate vice president Lee Zekaria says. “We want Freedom Pointe to be a place that people will not want to leave and a central gathering point for holiday and community events year-round.”
The estimated $130 million project will also include approximately 40,000 square feet of office space and a total of 302 residential units, 20% of which will be affordable to low- and moderate-income households.
If approved, it appears it will be the second live-work-play development of significant scale in this Monmouth County borough. As previously reported by GlobeSt.com, The Kushner Companies early last year proposed a $500 million redevelopment of the Monmouth Mall, about five miles from Fort Monmouth, from an enclosed, exclusively retail space, into a similar mixed use town square. Kushner threatened to walk away from the plan when local residents mounted stiff opposition at planning board meetings, but last September, approved an ordinance allowing the redevelopment to proceed, according to news reports.
“Creating a hub of activity where people can live, shop and just relax has been one of FMERA’s goals since the beginning and we’re excited to be taking concrete steps to bring it to fruition,” FMERA deputy director Dave Nuse says.
Founded in 1994, Paramount is a real estate development organization with 60 employees in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. The company owns, manages, and leases approximately 10 million square feet across the country, including 23 successful communities in New Jersey.