OCEANPORT: The Fort Monmouth Economic Revitalization Authority (FMERA) did not submit a bid to bring Amazon's new corporate headquarters to New Jersey to the former fort.
FMERA Director of Real Estate Development David Nuse said during the October FMERA board meeting that while there was interest from the authority, ultimately the decision was made not to submit a bid.
"FMERA did in fact, express interest in the Amazon opportunity and had identified two sites on the fort that were of sufficient acreage to meet their requirements, however the state did make it clear it was looking to identify a site that best met with Amazon's requirements, one of which was ready access to an international airport," Nuse said.
Oceanport resident Matthew Zieniewicz said he was disappointed that FMERA did not submit a bid and said it would have helped replace many of the jobs lost once the fort closed in 2011.
"Even if Amazon said 'sorry this doesn't meet our requirements for this reason or that reason' it would have given this property the visibility that it would need to possibly attract a different high tech from the west coast that was looking for an east coast presence," Zieniewicz said.
Nuse said that FMERA could still be in the running for a similar type of operation in the future.
"The state does recognize that Fort Monmouth is a world class live, work and play destination, but there were other sites that more readily met Amazon's requirements," Nuse said.
If Amazon comes to New Jersey, Nuse said there would likely be "spin-off" project and other opportunities to provide space for suppliers and people in Amazon's "supply chain."
He added that job creation is still the top priority for FMERA and that 10,000 permanent jobs are still expected to be created once the fort is entirely built in the future.
Amazon is the largest internet-based retailer in the world is planning a $5 billion investment with its new HQ. If the Garden State is lucky enough to lure in the company, the most likely landing spots would be either Camden or Newark. Gov. Chris Christie endorsed Newark as the best fit.
Amazon announced today that it received 238 proposals from cities and regions in the United States, Canada and Mexico but did not specifically state which cities submitted bids.