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Developer Seeks To Build Microbrewery, Cafe, Coffee Roaster At Fort Monmouth

OCEANPORT: A developer and the Fort Monmouth Economic Revitalization Authority (FMERA) have reached a purchase and sale and redevelopment agreement for a former fort parcel in Oceanport.

The FMERA Board unanimously adopted a resolution approving the agreements between itself and AP Development Partners, LLC for the Dance Hall. The 6,420 square-foot former Dance Hall, also known as Building 552, includes Van Kirk Park Memorial in an approximately two-acre park to the south of Building 552 and is included in the Fort's Green Tech Campus development district. The building is located across the street from the FMERA headquarters on Brewer Avenue.

Building 552 was planned for demolition and the property was envisioned as open space in the Fort Monmouth Reuse Plan. However, given the unique design features within the circa-1941 Community Center, the Fort Monmouth Economic Revitalization Authority (FMERA) has said the property has potential for reuse as a community space, serving small entertainment and recreation uses as it once did when Fort Monmouth was in operation.

A request for offers to purchase (RFOTP) the parcel was issued in March, 2015 and two proposals were received by FMERA later that year. The other proposal by Ken Schwartz was withdrawn and AP Development Partners was also scored higher as it was compliant with the RFOTP. The developer will pay $120,000 for the property, but will make upgrades to the interior of the building and refurbish its exterior that once completed could cost nearly $1.4 million.

AP Development plans to use the property for commercial and retail uses including entertainment and restaurant purposes, according to the resolution.

"Potential users of the facility include a restaurant/cafe, microbrewery and coffee roaster," the resolution states.

The nearby Van Kirk Park will be retained as open space and will host entertainment events throughout the year. Outdoor dining will be allowed in the adjacent lot as well as a shared parking scenario in the parking lot across the street, which currently serves as parking for the FMERA headquarters.

Read more from: Oceanport

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