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Oceanport Has Interest In Fort Monmouth Building For New Borough Hall

OCEANPORT: The borough is throwing its name into the pool of those interested in acquiring a piece of Fort Monmouth property.

Mayor Michael Mahon said the borough may respond to the request for offers to purchase (RFOTP) Russel Hall, a 42,300 square foot historic building located in the Oceanport area of Fort Monmouth, for use as the new Oceanport Borough Hall.

"I think in order to keep our options open under site selection, that we need to put in an RFOTP," Mahon said.

A site selection committee is investigating several sites around the borough to act as a new municipal building after the original was severely damaged by Hurricane Sandy in 2012.

Responses to the RFOTP are due to the Fort Monmouth Economic Revitalization Authority (FMERA) by April 13.

Mahon said the borough would withdraw its proposal if a "private enterprise" was in the running for the building.

"There are private entities (interested) and our desire has always been to allow the private sector to precede and bring value to the community in terms of a ratable and we've deferred previously in that respect and I believe we would do the same thing again if there were RFOTPs that were competitive and gave value to the borough," Mahon said.

This is the second time FMERA is attempting to sell the building.

According to the resolution passed by the board on Dec. 17, the FMERA and possible developer Kiely Realty Group, LLC disagreed over the reactivation of the former heliport located on the Russel Hall property and FMERA staff felt further negotiation would not result in a final agreement over business terms.

"Kiely maintains that the operation of the heliport as a commercial enterprise is essential to the financial viability of its project," the resolution memorandum stated. "FMERA staff has concluded, however, that the helipad's close proximity to the Officer Housing parcel makes its location unsuitable for daily commuter service."

A second RFOTP for the property was issued in late February.


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