The Future of N.J.'s Fort Monmouth

Staff | September 28, 2010

High-tech research would continue at Fort Monmouth after the Army leaves in 2011 under a redevelopment plan that envisions nearly $1 billion in construction to add shopping, housing and hotels.

It could take about 20 years, however, to fully replace the 5,500 jobs and billions of dollars generated by the fort. The construction costs, which could be borne by private developers or public entities, do not include the price of acquiring some 1,100 acres from the Army. That price has not yet been set. The draft plan is the first comprehensive blueprint for what might replace the fort since the Army communications and research center was targeted for closing by the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure Commission.

In general, heavy commercial uses are closest to the Garden State Parkway, at the western edge of the fort. A combination of retail and housing is envisioned by the fort's arched brick gates along bustling Route 35. A small hotel and spa is proposed at the eastern edge along the Shrewsbury River.

In between would be nearly 1,500 homes and apartments, with 25 percent of them set aside for low- and moderate-income residents, along with shopping and dining centers, offices and labs. All would be connected by about six miles of bike paths and walkways allowing for car-free commuting and living.

The fort's 18-hole golf course would remain, but under a private developer that could build a 150-room hotel and conference center, according to the preliminary plan.