The General’s House at 19 Allen Ave. in Oceanport, part of the former Fort Monmouth property — Courtesy: RPM Development
By Joshua Burd
RPM Development Group has inked the sale of a historic five-bedroom home in Oceanport, part of a collection of upscale dwellings that it has been marketing at the former Fort Monmouth.
The firm announced Monday that Diane and Bob Baxter, a local couple, have purchased the so-called General’s House for an undisclosed price. Located within RPM’s East Gate development, the property at 19 Allen Ave. is the largest and considered to be the best-known residence within a complex that once housed high-ranking military officers.
The Baxters now plan to modernize while preserving the historic character of the 4,500-square-foot unit, which sold as is.
“We were attracted to the formality of the home design, as well as the solidness of the brick structure,” the couple said in a prepared statement. “The archways, high ceilings, crown moldings, French doors and the beautiful staircase all stood out. Most important were the two sun porches off the back of the house and the beautiful view overlooking Parker’s Creek. While many of these features may require restoration, we will keep what we can and replace what we have to.”
According to RPM, upgrades will include air conditioning and modern heating systems, along with the addition of a functioning kitchen and renovated bathrooms. The couple also plans to replace the windows and gutters as part of its initial work, but will ultimately focus on preserving other aspects of the brick-exterior dwelling.
Other plans call for a mural on the dining room wall and converting certain rooms to fit the couple’s needs. For instance, the general’s office is slated to become a library, a bedroom will be transitioned to a home gym, the attic utilized as a game room and additional storage space and a portion of the basement targeted to become a wine cellar.
“We’re aiming to have an eclectic mixture of a historic and structured layout with modern and relaxed feel,” Diane and Bob Baxter added. “For example, if you can imagine walking into a Connecticut farmhouse that retains its historic country charm, but is still fully up to date and livable, or a Parisian apartment where modern furniture and fixtures seem to be dropped into an 18th century building with its retained crown molding and paneled walls.”
The General’s House sits within a group of repurposed luxury homes sold by RPM Development, one of several builders that are bring new life to the historic installation. Other homes at East Gate are move-in ready, with modernized systems and remodeled, contemporary interiors.
CB New Homes of Florham Park is marketing the complex, which also includes the larger section of single-family attached homes known as Officers Row. The collection, which includes the General’s House, is priced from the upper $700,000s for its three-bedroom units.
RPM noted that East Gate is also home to the Baxters’ son and his wife, who recently purchased their first residence at the neighborhood.
“Our children bought here, and after spending much time at East Gate, we have grown to love the quiet community,” the couple said. “We also love being able to walk and ride our bikes here without having to deal with much thru-traffic. We wanted to be closer to our son and the General’s House is a great project for us to restore.”