EATONTOWN: A developer has purchased 6 barracks at the former Fort Monmouth and plans to repurpose them to create art space.
Kenneth Schwartz has signed a purchase and sale and redevelopment agreement with the Fort Monmouth Economic Revitalization Authority (FMERA) to purchase the land, which is located in the Main Post area of the fort in Eatontown, for $200,000.
Schwartz is local entrepreneur and the owner of World Auto Group, which has several dealerships in Monmouth and Ocean County. He also recently opened the Detour Gallery, a contemporary art gallery in downtown Red Bank.
The World War II era barracks are located on a 4.4 acre property across the street from the old Fort Monmouth Bowling Center. Schwartz will renovate and retrofit the structures for commercial arts-related uses, including studio, performance and gallery space as well as short-term residential units for artists. He will spend about $500,000 to complete the project.
The agreement states that the deed for the property will include a restriction limiting residential uses on the property to 30-day rental terms for artists, which can be renewed for a maximum of 6 months.
The agreement also calls for the nearby 2-acre Soldiers Park to be maintained as open space by the new owner.
Construction of the artist space will begin no later than 45 days after Schwartz closes on the property and will be completed within 12 months.