The Fort Monmouth Economic Revitalization Planning Authority is looking for a consultant to help craft a plan to assess the cost of transforming the 1,100-acre Army base in eastern New Jersey into a mixed-use development and create a financing strategy.
The authority anticipates approving a business and operations planning consultant by Nov. 17. The contract will last for one year, with an option to renew. Responses to its request for proposals are due Oct. 22. The agency expects to hold any oral interviews on or about Nov. 9, according to the RFP.
The Army will leave the fort on Sept. 15, 2011. The area will need major infrastructure improvements in order to redevelop the site for civilian use. Officials anticipate the fort will need water and sewer upgrades, electrical renovations, public transportation improvements, and road and sidewalk construction.
Officials in August 2008 released a master redevelopment plan for the fort that includes residential development, office and retail space, hotels, community centers, parks, wetlands, and a golf course. The authority, the outside consultant, and the New Jersey Economic Development Authority will take another look at that plan, since it was created prior to the economic downturn.
The selected consultant will help quantify the infrastructure needs to transform the fort into a mixed-use community and also present a financing plan. In addition, the adviser will help the planning authority and the EDA in its discussions with the Army regarding the initial employment and economic loss that the area must absorb due to the fort’s closing and the estimated property values within the site to determine what price the Army will want for the base. The state anticipates losing 5,000 jobs once the Army departs.
“The business plan will provide a development timeline, including phasing and detailed cash-flow analysis; a refined market and feasibility analysis; the potential for federal funding; and a local investment and financing strategy,” the RFP reads.
The authority expects to review an interim report by March 16, 2011, and a final report by Dec. 6, 2011.
In its search for a consultant, the planning authority will consider the fees, prior experience with the Defense Base Closure and Realignment Commission in redeveloping former military sites, knowledge of the New Jersey market and its laws regarding redevelopment, previous work with developments of similar scope and size, and the qualifications and experience of key team members.
Over the long term, redeveloping the site for commercial and residential use will increase the tax base and generate more revenue for the affected municipalities, including the boroughs of Tinton Falls, Eatontown, and Oceanport.
To help finance the various infrastructure improvements and redevelopment costs, the state earlier this year passed legislation that would enable the planning authority to impose franchise assessments in designated infrastructure districts.
The EDA could potentially issue bonds backed by those assessments. The Fort Monmouth agency, which does not have the authority to sell debt, may also place fees on developments in transportation planning districts. The three boroughs could designate special improvement districts and charge special assessments in those areas.