A rendering of a 180-unit townhome and apartment project on Signal Avenue in Oceanport, part of the former Fort Monmouth property, by Somerset Development — Courtesy: Cypress Community Development Corp.
By Joshua Burd
Somerset Development and PulteGroup have closed on their purchase of some 15 acres at Fort Monmouth that is now slated to become a mix of new townhomes and restored apartments.
According to the Fort Monmouth Economic Revitalization Authority, a state agency, the parcel on Signal Avenue in Oceanport currently contains eight buildings, two of which are listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Somerset and Pulte plan to raze six of the buildings to make way for 144 new townhomes, while it plans to restore what are known as buildings 270 and 271 to allow for the creation of 36 affordably priced units.
The authority sold the property to the joint venture on Nov. 24, noting that the parcel traded for $15.3 million.
“Somerset’s designs are based on the principles of smart growth, traditional neighborhood design and interactive community living, which is highly complementary to our recently completed projects and those in the pipeline,” said Bruce Steadman, FMERA’s executive director. “With extremely high demand in the residential market, combined with the talents of, and planned investment by, Somerset’s team, we expect this project to be a homerun for Oceanport.”
The development team’s capital investment at the site is expected to be between $25 million and $30 million, Steadman said, while the developer estimates that it will create 231 temporary construction-related jobs in connection with the project. Somerset will also design, fund and construct the portion of the waterfront walkway that is planned for the parcel’s northern boundary along Parker’s Creek.
“We are excited about Somerset’s plans for the Lodging Area,” said Sarah Giberson, the authority’s marketing and real estate development senior officer. “This developer has already made a significant investment in Monmouth County and is known for planning and designing innovative, high-quality projects and creating attractive, livable communities.”
FMERA has been tasked with overseeing redevelopment of the entire Fort Monmouth property, which spans 1,127 acres across Oceanport, Tinton Falls and Eatontown. That historic site has been dormant since being shuttered in 2011 by the federal government, but the authority now says that 80 percent of the fort’s total acreage has been sold or is under contract, in negotiations or entering the request for proposals process.
Corey Wescoe, vice president of acquisitions with PulteGroup, said the developers are “thrilled to be part of the continued revitalization of Fort Monmouth, and are very much looking forward to creating a world class neighborhood in beautiful Oceanport.”
“PulteGroup and Somerset Development have partnered on several award-winning communities in recent years, bringing some of the most transformative real estate projects to life throughout New Jersey,” Wescoe said. “We are confident this neighborhood will not only be a point of pride for the community, but also for our future residents.”