NJ closer to Hollywood: Netflix ‘top bid’ for Fort Monmouth land
Nearly 300 acres in Monmouth County are a big step closer to being transformed into a Hollywood-style production studio, as Netflix has announced itself as the top bid for a sprawling tract at the shuttered Fort Monmouth property.
The New York Times was first to report the development on Wednesday, which a Netflix spokesperson then confirmed to New Jersey 101.5.
"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,” according to a written 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,” the Netflix spokesperson continued.
Netflix competition for the property
Back in June, four bids were accepted by the redevelopment panel.
In late September, at least one of the other bidders said there had been no feedback.
Extell Acquisitions — an arm of New York-based real estate company, Extell Development — recently shared some of its own mixed-use proposal for the site at the decommissioned base.
Aside from Netflix, the other three bidders all confirmed a multi-use approach in their visions.
Mega Parcel Development previously shared plans online for a five-district site spanning nearly 300 acres — including two residential neighborhoods, one each in the Eatontown and Oceanport sections of the property.
RDR Partners reportedly has pitched three districts, according to the Asbury Park Press, with residential units, as well as space for tech and innovation companies and retail, plus movie and film production companies.
Opposition to Netflix development
Also in recent weeks, a grassroots campaign was launched against the now officially top bid.
“No 2 Netflix” began public efforts in September against the streaming giant’s submitted bid to use the entire mega-parcel as Netflix's second-largest production facility behind a New Mexico property, as previously reported.
The next few months include a due diligence period, an examining of the Fort and finalizing economic terms, according to Netflix.
A “state-of-the-art production studio” has been the extent of details shared by the streaming giant for the land in Oceanport and Eatontown, should the deal become finalized “in the next few months, with a signed sale agreement.”
If a deal is signed, there would also be an “additional period of due diligence along with various state, county and local approvals.”
The U.S. Army base closed in September 2011 and many buildings on the site have fallen into disrepair.
A spokesperson for FMERA also confirmed that the top scoring bidder was contacted, saying the process could take "several months."
"FMERA can confirm that it has identified and contacted the highest scoring proposer for the Mega Parcel; however, FMERA will make no further representations relative to the potential purchase of property until such time as the staff is prepared to recommend the approval of a fully negotiated Purchase and Sale Agreement and Redevelopment Agreement to the FMERA Board."
"FMERA remains excited about the future of the MEGA parcel and is eager to see the inevitable economic impact that will result from its future redevelopment," a written statement also said.