OCEANPORT: One of Fort Monmouth's most recognizable sites has officially bee sold to a developer looking to create a "technology hub" in the borough.
The Fort Monmouth Economic Revitalization Authority (FMERA) sold the Russel Hall parcel to private cloud computing company TetherView on June 23. The company, which moved to Fort Monmouth from Staten Island, NY, has been subleasing the 42,300-square-foot Russel Hall building since January 2016.
Russel Hall is a 42,300 square foot, historic building located on Sanger Avenue that was built in 1936 to serve as the Army's Garrison Headquarters.
The closing marks the end of a lengthy attempt by FMERA to sell Russel Hall. Kiely Realty was originally looking to purchase the building, but according to a resolution passed by the FMERA board on Dec. 17, 2014, the parties disagreed over the reactivation of the former heliport located on the property and FMERA staff felt further negotiation would not result in a final agreement over business terms. TetherView has chosen not to purchase the heliport, which will be deactivated.
TetherView, which paid FMERA $1.3 million for the property, currently resides on the third floor of the building, and spent most of last year renovating. They plan on finishing the remaining renovations in phases to accommodate new tenants who will be leasing space throughout Russel Hall.
TetherView Chief Executive Officer and Oceanport resident Michael Abboud said the Fort's history and "phenomenal opportunities" are key factors in his decision to relocate.
"The TetherView team enjoys the work, live, play environment the Fort has to offer," Abboud said. "Being an hour from New York and Philadelphia allows us to attract great talent and provides easy access to clients."
TetherView announced in January that it had entered into a joint venture with co-working organization vi Collaboration Hub to cultivate talent and community involvement. Vi Collaboration Hub, which is already established at Bell Works in Holmdel, plans to expand its operation into Oceanport by leasing 5,000 square feet within Russel Hall.
FMERA says this partnership will bring additional jobs and opportunities for local entrepreneurs to the Fort.
"When we acquired the balance of the Fort in November, we said that we would be accelerating the rate of redevelopment on Fort Monmouth," FMERA Executive Director Bruce Steadman said. "The closing with TetherView for the Russel Hall parcel marks the fourth parcel sold in 2017 with more expected in the coming months."
So far this year, FMERA has also closed with two other new tenants in Oceanport; Triumphant Life Church for the Main Post Chapel and RPM Development Group for the Officer Housing parcel.