FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Q: How do I find out about FMERA’s public offerings?
A: As part of its Sales/Leasing Regulations (see below for more information), FMERA advertises a notice of each solicitation for sealed bids on our website and on the New Jersey Business Portal, as well as Public/Legal Notices in the Star Ledger and Asbury Park Press. Sign up for FMERA’s public offering email list or newsletter today to stay informed!
Q: Who do I contact if I am interested in Fort property and would like more information?
A: Please visit our Properties page for more information on available properties and contact information. In addition, FMERA holds monthly Board Meetings open to the public. Please contact FMERA at (732)720-6350 for additional information.
Q: What is FMERA’s procurement process?
A: FMERA adheres to its published rules regarding the sale and lease of personal and real property; these rules comply with the FMERA Act as well as the rules governing New Jersey’s procurement process. All real and personal property sales and leases by FMERA must comply with applicable laws and regulations, in tandem with the Army’s rules concerning “competitive” sales and leases for Army-owned property. This includes:
- A public solicitation for sealed bids or offers to purchase is advertised in a manner that ensures potentially interested, qualified firms receive appropriate and timely notice of the solicitation and have a fair and transparent opportunity to submit their offers and qualifications.
- Sealed bids and offers are submitted to the Authority in written form (i.e. sealed envelope, container or carton).
- Subsequent to the receipt of bids or offers, all responsive bids or offers shall be evaluated according to the criteria identified in the public solicitation.
- FMERA may negotiate with one or more of the entities that submitted an advantageous bid or offer to obtain terms that are in the best interests of the Authority and the redevelopment plans for Fort Monmouth.
- FMERA staff shall recommend to the Board bids and offers to purchase, which may have been modified through negotiations that will provide purchase agreements which are in the best interests of the Authority and the redevelopment plans for Fort Monmouth, in accordance with the criteria identified in the public solicitation.
- As a State entity, all FMERA Board action is subject to a ten day veto period by the Governor.
- Bid/offer to purchase response documents may be made available for review by bidders or parties who submitted an offer to the particular solicitation.
- Documents submitted shall be considered public information as follows: after FMERA’s issuance of notice of intent to award a purchase agreement for the sealed bid process, and after a purchase agreement has been signed by the Authority and a purchaser for the offer to purchase process.
Q: What is the process for evaluating and selecting winning bids through the Request for Offers to Purchase (RFOTP) process? Are the submitting bidders made public? How are the impacts to local communities evaluated?
A: FMERA adheres to its published rules regarding the sale and lease of personal and real property; these rules comply with the FMERA Act as well as the rules governing New Jersey’s procurement process, in tandem with the Army’s rules concerning sales and leases for Army-owned property. As such, a public solicitation for sealed bids or offers to purchase is advertised in a manner that ensures potentially interested, qualified firms receive appropriate and timely notice of the solicitation and have a fair and transparent opportunity to submit their offers and qualifications. Sealed bids and offers are submitted to the Authority in written form (i.e. sealed envelope, container or carton). On the publicized due date for the bids, the bids are opened in a public process, and the names of responding entities are available to the public; the proposal details and price submittals remain confidential as they are considered contract negotiation materials. These materials are considered public information after FMERA’s issuance of notice of intent to award a purchase agreement for the sealed bid and after a purchase agreement has been signed by the Authority and the purchaser. The bids are evaluated by a team of independent evaluators according to criteria identified in each public solicitation. These criteria are determined by FMERA’s mission to create jobs and encourage investment, and include impact to the host municipality, planned capital investment, and compliance with the Fort Monmouth Redevelopment and Reuse Plan as three of the heavily-weighted criteria. Often, these criteria are characterized by specific preferences of the host municipality.
Q: What are FMERA’s Sales/Lease Regulations?
A: FMERA adheres to adopted and published Sales and Lease Regulations, approved by the FMERA Board, and developed with oversight and approval by the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office. These regulations: (1) establish strict procedures for the sale of real property within the former Fort Monmouth, and accompanying personal property; and (2) establish strict procedures for the leasing of real property within the former Fort Monmouth, and accompanying personal property.
These regulations require: (1) publically advertised Requests for Offers to Purchase (RFOTP) or Request for Sealed Bids on any real property within Fort Monmouth before a sale may take place; and (2) publically advertised RFP on any real property within Fort Monmouth before any lease may take place.
The regulations have been reviewed by the U.S. Army, and have been accepted as satisfying the Army’s requirement for competitive bidding and transparency related to the sale and lease of any Fort Monmouth real property.
The Sale and Lease Regulations can be found in total here, and the process by which parcels are offered for sale and lease is described in detail. FMERA may not deviate from these regulations for any sale or lease of former Fort Monmouth real property. FMERA’s adherence to the Sale and Lease Regulations is reviewed by the Attorney General’s office.
Q: What is the Open Public Meetings Act – “The Sunshine Law”?
A: FMERA adheres to New Jersey’s Open Public Meetings Act, known as “The Sunshine Law,” which is designed to ensure that decision-making government bodies in the state conduct their business in public except in specific circumstances where exclusion of the public is needed to protect the privacy of individuals, the safety of the public or the effectiveness of government in ongoing contract and real estate negotiations.
Every public body may publish its meeting schedule by January 10 or within seven days of its annual organization meeting, which is later.
A 48-hour written notice must be given for any regular, special, adjourned or unscheduled meeting not contained in any annual meeting schedule giving the time, date, location and as complete an agenda as known at time of notice. The notice must be delivered to at least two newspapers. Exceptions include emergency meetings and meetings consisting entirely of a closed or executive session.
Closed or executive sessions may be held provided that the subject matter is covered by one or more of the legal exemptions, including the discussion of an ongoing negotiation of lease or acquisition of property, setting of bank rates, or the investment of public funds if disclosure would harm the public interest.
In the interest of full transparency, FMERA includes two standing agenda items for Public Comment – one allows the public to comment and question the items on the Meeting’s Agenda in advance of the Board’s attention to each item; the second allows the public to comment and question any information provided by the Executive Director and committee reports to the Board, which also occur at each meeting.
FMERA also posts the full agenda, including all Board memos from its public session, to its website following each Board meeting.
Q: What is the Open Public Records Act?
A: FMERA adheres to the rules governing New Jersey’s Open Public Records Act (OPRA) statute, which governs the public’s access to government records in New Jersey. OPRA was enacted to give the public greater access to records maintained by public agencies in New Jersey by balancing the public’s interest in government records, respect for personal privacy, and the efficient process of government. The law is compiled in the statutes as N.J.S.A. 47:1A-1 et seq. In general, under OPRA, government records must be made public upon request unless as a specific exception applies.
Additionally, a requestor may also request certain government records under the common law. If the information requested is a “public record” under common law and the requestor has a legally recognized interest in the subject matter contained in the material, then the material must be disclosed if the individual’s right of access outweighs the State’s interest in preventing disclosure.
Questions received during FMERA’s public Board meeting on August 26, 2015:
Q: Please provide more information on the homeless shelter currently under discussion for placement in Building 901 in Oceanport.
A: The federal Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) Act stipulates that a Homeless Assistance Submission (HAS) be part of the Redevelopment and Reuse Plan (Reuse Plan) for each base closure community. Fort Monmouth’s Reuse Plan, approved by FMERA’s predecessor, the Fort Monmouth Economic Revitalization Planning Authority (FMERPA) in 2008 and HAS were prepared with input from the Fort’s host municipalities – Oceanport, Eatontown, Tinton Falls, as well as Monmouth County in 2007-2009, and submitted to the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). HUD approved the Fort Monmouth Reuse Plan and HAS in 2010. The approved plan called for a Homeless Shelter to be operated by the County and to be located in the Oceanport section of the Fort. It should be noted that the County operated a Homeless Shelter in an Army building in the Oceanport section of the Fort for several years. That building was flooded and rendered unusable during Superstorm Sandy, causing the County to search for other locations within the Oceanport section of the Fort. FMERA is working with Oceanport officials to identify the most suitable location for the facility. More details will be made available as discussions continue.
Q: How is economic revitalization of Oceanport occurring? What are the economic benefits for Oceanport?
A: Community Impacts are discussed in Chapter 8 of the Fort Monmouth Reuse and Redevelopment Plan. At the time of the Plan’s publication, Economics Research Association (ERA) conducted fiscal impact analyses and determined that over 437,000 square feet of office and research & development would be developed in Oceanport, as well as over 112,000 square feet of retail and 360,000 square feet of civic space, over the first 10 years of redevelopment. Eventually, an additional 200,000 square feet of office/R&D and 70,000 square feet of hotel/conference center space would be developed, in addition to the 294 residential units. ERA estimated over $1 million in net positive fiscal impact, accounting for the estimated public service costs. Since the publication of the Reuse Plan, several parcels are actively in the redevelopment process, although they are Phase 2 parcels subject to an Economic Development Conveyance Agreement with the Army. These parcels are detailed in the Executive Director’s Report provided at each public Board meeting, and are included below. Several of these parcels involve tax revenue generating projects, including Officer Housing, the Marina, Russel Hall, the Fitness Center, Dance Hall and Nurses Quarters.
- Officer Housing – FMERA staff issued an RFOTP for the Officer Housing in the Historic District of the former Fort in January 2013, and two proposals were received. The Officer Housing is intended for residential reuse consistent with the Reuse Plan. At the April 2014 meeting of the Authority, the Board approved the recommendation to enter into exclusive negotiations with RPM Development Group in accordance with the Authority’s Sales Rules. The Authority approved extensions to the exclusive negotiations period through April 2015. The property is located outside of the Fort’s Phase One project area, so FMERA’s ability to sell the property is contingent on execution of a Phase 2 EDC Agreement with the Army. At the May 2014 meeting of the Authority, the Board approved FMERA staff entering into a Lease with the Army and a Sublease with RPM for the property, enabling RPM to undertake due diligence and pursue financing and project approvals in advance of FMERA’s execution of the Phase 2 EDC Agreement. The Officer Housing project has received preliminary and final major site plan and subdivision approval from the Oceanport Planning Board. The Board approved a Purchase and Sale Agreement and Redevelopment Agreement (PSARA) with RPM at the June 2015 meeting, and the PSARA was executed on July 29th.
- Marina – In October 2013, an RFOTP was issued for the Marina Parcel in Oceanport. The Marina Parcel consists of 3.9 acres located at Oceanport and Riverside Avenues. The Property includes a 71-slip marina and boat launch ramp on Oceanport Creek, a 2,600 square-foot boat house constructed in 1986 and associated off-street parking. The Reuse Plan contemplates a marina/public boat ramp/restaurant on the property and the reuse of the existing boat house. Proposals were due in January 2014 and two were received. At the August 2014 meeting of the Authority, the Board approved entering into exclusive negotiations with the one compliant proposer, AP Development Partners, LLC (APDP). FMERA staff released a Request for Proposals (RFP) for a Marina Operator in the interim, at the request of the Borough in order to renew activity at the site, and received one proposal from APDP. The operator opened the marina for boat traffic in June 2014. Marina operations for the 2015 season have begun and the boat house restaurant opened on July 29th
- Russel Hall – Russel Hall is a 42,300 square-foot, four-story administration building located on Sanger Avenue in the Oceanport Reuse Area of the Fort. The property is located outside of the Fort’s Phase One project area, so FMERA’s ability to sell the property will be contingent on execution of a Phase 2 EDC Agreement with the Army. FMERA staff issued an initial RFOTP for Russel Hall in September 2013, with proposals due in November 2013. At the January 2014 meeting of the Authority, the Board approved the recommendation to enter into exclusive negotiations with the sole proposer, Kiely Realty Group, LLC, in accordance with the Authority’s Sales Rules; the Board subsequently approved extending the exclusive negotiations term a total of 75 days. At the May 2014 meeting of the Authority, the Board approved a Lease with the Army and Sublease with Kiely, although the Sublease was never finalized or executed. FMERA and Kiely disagreed over the reactivation of the former heliport, and the Authority voted to end negotiations with Kiely, terminate the RFOTP and issue a new RFOTP at the December 2014 Board meeting. On February 13, 2015 FMERA issued an RFOTP for Russel Hall that includes a 4.6 acre parcel of land and excludes the former heliport. Proposals were due on April 13, 2015 and FMERA received 3 proposals. An evaluation committee scored the proposals and negotiations with the leading bidder have begun. FMERA staff hopes to bring a purchase agreement before the Board at an upcoming meeting.
- Fitness Center – On March 14, 2014 an RFOTP was issued for the Fitness Center in the Oceanport Reuse Area of the Fort. The property consists of 7.75 acres of land and three buildings, as well as all of the fitness equipment located within Building 114. FMERA set $1,950,000 as the minimum bid amount for the property. Proposals were due May 28, 2014, and one proposal was received. The property is located outside of the Fort’s Phase One project area, so FMERA’s ability to sell the property is contingent on execution of a Phase 2 EDC Agreement with the Army. At the May 2015 Board meeting, the Board approved entering into a Lease with the Army and a Sublease with FM Partners, LLC for the property, so the potential purchasers can begin site work and renovations in advance of a 2015 closing with the Army. The Board approved a Purchase and Sale Agreement and Redevelopment Agreement (PSARA) with FM Partners at the June 2015 meeting. The PSARA was executed on August 11th.
- Main Post Chapel – In March 2014 an RFOTP was issued for the Main Post Chapel in the Oceanport Reuse Area of the Fort. The property encompasses 5 acres of land and a 16,372 square-foot structure, consisting of a 600-seat chapel, an administrative wing, a classroom wing, and a kitchen. The property is located outside of the Fort’s Phase One project area, so FMERA’s ability to sell the property is contingent on execution of a Phase 2 EDC Agreement with the Army. The Chapel is intended to be reused as a house of worship, per the Authority’s Reuse Plan. The Property is in the Oceanport Horseneck Center and the Historic District, although the structure is not considered historic. Proposals were due on May 9, 2014, and two proposals were received. The compliant proposer decided to retract its proposal. As there were no compliant proposals, FMERA proceeded to issue a second RFOTP on February 20, 2015 in accordance with the Authority’s Sales Rules. Proposals were due on June 26, 2015, and one proposal was received. An evaluation committee scored the proposal and discussions have begun with the sole proposer.
- Dance Hall – On March 13, 2015, FMERA issued an RFOTP for Building 552, the former recreation center in Oceanport referred to as the Dance Hall. Located on an approximately 4.2 acre parcel, the 16,420 square-foot former recreation center was constructed circa-1941, and is adjacent to the Fort’s Historic District. The property is located outside of the Fort’s Phase One project area, so FMERA’s ability to sell the property is contingent on execution of a Phase 2 EDC Agreement with the Army. Although the Reuse Plan contemplates demolition of Building 552, the unique design features of the building and its central location near the planned tech center at the McAfee building, the renovated Officer Housing and Fitness Center, and the Main Post Chapel, lead FMERA staff to believe that the property has great potential for reuse as a restaurant, café, coffee house, microbrewery, gallery and/or performance space, serving small entertainment and recreation uses as it once did when the Fort was in operation. Green space could be maintained in the adjacent park space, which includes two memorials. Although permitted uses include office/research, institutional/civic or open space/recreation, FMERA will review offers that propose alternative uses. Proposals were due on June 26, 2015 and two proposals were received. An evaluation committee reviewed the proposals and discussions have begun with the leading proposer.
- Nurses’ Quarters – On March 13, 2015, FMERA issued an RFOTP for the Nurses’ Quarters in Oceanport, Buildings 1077 and 1078, located on an approximately 3.75 acre parcel along Main Street and Stephenson Avenue. Built in 1962, the buildings contain 24 one- and two-bedroom units that were formerly used as apartments for Army nurses. The property is located outside of the Fort’s Phase One project area, so FMERA’s ability to sell the property is contingent on execution of a Phase 2 EDC Agreement with the Army. The Reuse Plan contemplates the reuse of the buildings as mixed-income apartments, but FMERA will review offers that propose alternate uses. Proposals were due on June 26, 2015 and five proposals were received. An evaluation committee reviewed the proposals and discussions with the leading proposer will begin shortly.