Netflix has submitted a bid to redevelop a 289-acre portion of the former Fort Monmouth Army base in Oceanport and Eatontown into one of the largest television and film production hubs in the Northeast, according to numerous published reports today.
Bids for the site, which the Fort Monmouth Economic Revitalization Authority (FMERA) has previously appraised at $54 million, are due on Jan. 12, 2022. Netflix has not disclosed the amount it has offered for the property, and it is unclear if there are any other bidders.
“Governor Murphy and the state’s legislative leaders have created a business environment that’s welcomed film and television production back to the state, and we’re excited to submit our bid,” Netflix said in a statement to NJ.com and The New York Times.
Netflix told the Times it would transform the Fort Monmouth site into a “state-of-the-art production facility” with a mix of soundstages, postproduction buildings and backlot filming areas. The governor, meanwhile, told NJ.com on Tuesday he is “incredibly excited to hear about Netflix’s proposed investment in New Jersey.”
NJBIA President & CEO Michele Siekerka told NJ.com that the Netflix project would bring, “thousands of good jobs, exciting opportunities for new workforce development programming and a flurry of economic activity that will truly transform the surrounding area and the region.
“Netflix’s interest in New Jersey is an exciting development for Monmouth County and the entirety of our great State of New Jersey,” Siekerka said. “Reimagining Fort Monmouth as a production facility for the streaming industry leader would help revitalize the local economy and build a brand-new ecosystem in the state for the film and television industry.”
The Fort Monmouth site would be Netflix’s second-largest production complex behind ABQ Studios in New Mexico, according to the Times. Netflix bought that complex in 2018 and committed to spend $1 billion in the state. Last year it announced plans to expand and invest and invest an additional $1 billion.
The 96-year-old Army base where the first U.S. aircraft detection radar was developed in 1938, was closed due to military budget cuts 10 years ago. FMRA was established to guide the redevelopment of the sprawling 1,126-acre property.
FMERA’s request for proposals for the nearly 300-acre portion of the property known as the “mega parcel” does not state when a decision will be made. However, the RFP says FMERA “will evaluate more highly offers that commit to realistic timelines that seek to expedite the time between submission of their offers and closing on the property.”
Over 80% of the sprawling 1,126-acre Fort Monmouth has been sold, under contract, or under negotiation, according to FMERA’s 2020 Annual Report.