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Developer Hopes To Create 'Crown Jewel' Of New Jersey In Eatontown

EATONTOWN: A developer says his plans for a parcel of land on the borough's side of Fort Monmouth will make it the "crown jewel" of the state.

Paramount Realty Services and LMS Commercial Real Estate Vice President Lee Zekaria spoke during a Fort Monmouth Economic Revitalization Authority (FMERA) press conference about plans to redevelop Parcel B into "Freedom Pointe," a walkable lifestyle town center, including approximately 350,000 square feet of retail space and 302 residential units. The parcel fronts Route 35 near the main gate and currently contains 89 acres with 13 buildings that will be demolished to make way for future development

Fort Monmouth Parcel B Redevelopment LLC, an affiliate of Paramount Realty, located in Lakewood, signed an Exclusive Negotiations Agreement with the Fort Monmouth Economic Revitalization Authority (FMERA) in early 2016 for the redevelopment of Parcel B.

Zekaria said two-thirds of the property will be retail and the other third will be residential with 302 townhomes that will be built by Paramount's partner, Ryan Homes.

"After being really involved with the project and working on putting our plan together for about 12 months now, I truly believe that this will be the crown jewel for the entire state of New Jersey," Zekaria said.

He said Freedom Pointe will not be a "traditional shopping center" and that it will be an experience for customers. He said there are already commercial tenants on board for the property, but would not specifically say which stores will be there.

"Our tenants will be a mix of uses including entertainment, food, fitness, grocery, service, office, hospitality and others," he said.

The main entrance to Freedom Pointe will be main gate of Fort Monmouth at Route 35 and that customers will be able to park on the outskirts of development.

The site plan will also include an ice skating rink, open lawn areas for shows, concerts, exercise classes, seasonal community and holiday events including a Christmas tree lighting. Jogging and bike trails, a high-end playground, a spray park for kids, miniature golf, pop jets, bocce, street performers, and movie nights will be held in the summer. The concept also includes public space with a park with smaller pocket parks.

"We truly want this to be a place where people don't want to leave," Zekaria said. "We want this to be a second home for the community."

Zekaria said construction of the project should begin by the end of 2017 with work ending in the spring of 2019.


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