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Fort Monmouth's Howard Commons Sold to Developer

Demolition of the old buildings will likely take place in the next few months.

By Christopher Sheldon

The final step in the sale of Howard Commons to developer HovWest has been completed by the Fort Monmouth Economic Revitalization Authority (FMERA) board.

The board passed a resolution during its Jan. 15 that approved a purchase and sale agreement and redevelopment agreement with HovWest. This marks the completion of the sale of Eatontown Fort Monmouth property.

The 486 vacant housing units and large general purpose building on the property will be demolished to make way for 275 two- and three-bedroom for-sale townhomes. Twenty percent of the homes will be reserved as affordable housing.

The plan also includes a retail development at the corner of Hope Road and Pinebrook Road and 20.4 acres of open space and public recreation amenities. 

FMERA Executive Director Bruce Steadman said once the sale is closed, the site plan will go before the Eatontown Planning Board. Once the board approves the site plan, demolition of the old buildings on the property will begin in 60 days.

Steadman said he believes this will all hapen within the next few months.

"Neither HovWest nor FMERA has any interest in letting the grass grow beneath our feet while this is going on, so we're full speed ahead," Steadman said.

HovWest will pay nearly $7.23 million for the property. If the developer does not complete the project within 7 years of closing, FMERA will have the option of repurchasing the uncompleted portions of the property for the greater of HovWest's initial purchase price plus its improvement costs or its then-current appraised value, the resolution states.

Dominick Palermo January 16, 2014 at 08:45 AM
Put the open 20.4 acres of open area and recreation -----------on the other side closer to the 2 schools -------- Vetter and Memorial
Bob English January 16, 2014 at 05:20 PM
If you plan on attend FMERA meetings and board members are not speaking into the mikes, you had better think twice before saying you can't hear and requesting that speakers use the mikes. Last night, after a frequent critic of FMERA asked twice for speakers to speak into the mikes (noting that he is hard of hearing and could not hear the speakers.....I could not hear those not using mikes either,) he was approached by two members of the State Police who seemed intent on removing him from the room. I yelled out that I could not hear either and after a minute or so of the gentlemen apparently being threatened with removal by the State Police, they were ordered to back off......
Dominick Palermo January 17, 2014 at 09:53 AM
Not the happiest about the 20% "affordable housing" stipulation Seems Eatontown has more than its share of "affordable Housing " We have vast amounts of Section 8 apts ie ---------Country Club ----- Lake view ect -plus Pan American and Crystall Brook-- and up to a few months ago Sands Motel
Bob English January 17, 2014 at 10:35 AM
Hi Dom...The 20% affordable/COAH requirement on new construction is the state law so we can't do much about that. What a lot of people don't realize though is those affordable units pay a much smaller portion of taxes then how everyone else's property is accessed. So the reality is that everyone else pays more to make up for the lower taxes paid on affordable units. An area that I have even greater concern with would be Parcel B on the Fort Monmouth property. Even though Eatontown's comments on the reuse plan indicated they did not want anymore rental housing, the RFOTP for Parcel B states 302 apartments. The Eatontown governing body sent a letter to FMERA last year reemphasizing that (it does not want any more rental units) and in a public FMERA meeting I brought up the comments made on the reuse plan (stating Eatontown wanted owner occupied housing/ownership.) Nothing against rentals but but 50% of Eatontown's dwellings already are rentals. Contrast that to the Monmouth County average of 25% with many towns in the County far below that number. The reason having even more rentals is a great concern is that property taxes paid by rental complexes do not even come close to the services needed....which means that a much higher cost of the tax burden is paid by homeowners and commercial property owners.
Dominick Palermo January 17, 2014 at 01:50 PM
Bob ------- Agree entirely -------As a member of 1st aid and Fire in Eatontown --I know where most of the calls are from
Dominick Palermo January 17, 2014 at 01:55 PM
Bob --------- I have been told I am a very mean guy -----but I think if you are not a taxpaying resident --ie (homeowner ) you should have to (donate) for your services -------- I am not saying pay what MONOC charges but a 50- 100 dollar donation billed to you isn't a lot -- and would help defray costs to run the squad
carl pinto January 19, 2014 at 03:22 PM
Where does the 7.23 mil go it should go to the tax payers of eatontown to lower there taxes,not hiring more cops........
Dominick Palermo January 20, 2014 at 06:54 PM
Carl----------The 7.23 million goes to the Federal coffers --- so they can give it in foreign aid to countrys that hate us and want to kill us ---------- Don't be silly lololololol
Bob English January 22, 2014 at 12:37 PM
The proceeds from the sale are split between the Army (which is the owner of the property) and FMERA. I'm not positive but I think the split is 50-50. FMERA will reinvest their share in upgrading other sections of the Fort. For instance the utilities, new roads etc.

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