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FMERA Tabs Fort Monmouth Theater As Next Development Site

EATONTOWN: Developers will soon have the chance to purchase the Fort Monmouth Expo Theater located along the the Avenue of Memories in the borough.

The Fort Monmouth Economic Revitalization Authority unanimously passed a resolution to make the theater and its adjacent properties available through the request for offers to purchase (RFOTP) process during its Dec. 6 board meeting.

The 18,883-square foot building has a 995-seat auditorium that was previously used as a live theater and also as a cinema.

The future of the building is unknown at this time as FMERA stated in the resolution that it has received interest from developers looking to reuse the building as a theater or demolish it for an alternate use "consistent with or contemplating the planned uses in the area." The theater is located what will be Freedom Pointe, a mixed use development which will include 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 Freedom Pointe.

The developer who purchases the theater will also be given the option to buy the nearby Dean Field and portions of the three landfills and their adjacent green space. The landfills would only be allowed to be capped and used for parking. Dean Field and the greenspace could be used for recreation, outdoor seating or passive open space.

The resolution also states that bidders will be given the option to "purchase the improvements and ground lease the land" so that they could potentially receive a "special concessionaire permit" from the state that would allow the new owner to serve alcohol on the premises. The new owner of the Fort Monmouth Bowling Center in Oceanport chose this option.

The RFOTP for the theater is expected to be released in early 2018.


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