Fort Monmouth news New plans for golf course lot and bids for major parcel

By Coleen Burnett
At the May 16 meeting of the Fort Monmouth Economic Revitalization Authority (FMERA), two actions were taken — one affecting Eatontown, and the other affecting Oceanport.

The first act was to create what is called by FMERA an “Additional Development Scenario” for the Suneagles Golf Course in Eatontown. When the property, which also includes Gibbs Hall and the Megill Housing Area, first went out for bid in 2015 it was envisioned as being reborn as a conference center, golf course, and a lifestyle-mixed use area for use by technology concerns.

Included in the concept was a municipal complex and up to 577 residential units which to be built on the site. Despite what FMERA thought was a good model, the idea drew no bids.

A second RFOTP (Request For Offers to Purchase) was issued in 2016. This proposal allowed for alternate uses for the Megill Housing area, which in turn generated multiple bids. The new Reuse Plan amendment that was approved at the May meeting permits the possible creation of 171 acres at the Suneagles Golf Course for development and crafts 75 additional housing units on the property.

Approximately 60 units would be constructed at the 10 acre Megill Housing area, with approximately 15 units permitted along the property’s Maxwell Road frontage. Twenty percent of those 75 total units would be low- to- affordable moderate income housing as required by the FMERA Act.

The new scenario creates the possibility of 635 total housing units for Eatontown, which also include 302 at Parcel B and 258 at the Howard Commons sites.

“This is an example of how the {overall} plan changes over the course of ten years,” said Robert Lucky, the vice-chairman of FMERA said.

Eatontown Mayor Dennis Connelly was pleased as well. “Eatontown is very excited about this project,” he told the FMERA board. “This is one of those wins {for the borough}.”

The other news concerned Oceanport. The FMERA board approved a PSARA (Purchase and Sale And Redevelopment Agreement) for the Borough’s so-called Lodging Area Parcel to Somerset Development, LLC of Lakewood.

Located on a little over 15 acres of land on Signal Avenue in the Main Post Area in Oceanport, the location contains 8 buildings, most of which will be torn down. Buildings 270 and 271 are located within the Fort Monmouth National Register Historic District and will be preserved.

The Fort Monmouth Reuse plan had originally envisioned the property be redeveloped as a boutique hotel and spa, but has since said that a better plan would be to have the hotel at Allison Hall.

One of the structures, Building 360, would be converted into mixed income apartments. Building 270 would be moved off-site to another location on Oceanport Fort property and would be used to satisfy FMERA’s obligation to the homeless as ordered under BRAC law.

There is also a plan for a waterfront walkway for the northern boundary of the property along Oceanport Creek.

Somerset LLC paid $17,500,000 for the property.