OCEANPORT – Netflix has made an offer on the Fort Monmouth Mega Parcel, ending nearly a year of speculation that the streaming giant wanted to set up a production studio in New Jersey.
The Mega Parcela large 292-acre parcel located in parts of Eatontown and Oceanport on the former US Army base, was auctioned off in March by the Fort Monmouth Economic Revitalization Authority, the state agency that redevelops the fort with mainly private investors.
Netflix made headlines last October when it announced it wanted the site for a production studio, after Governor Phil Murphy made a pitch filled with incitement with tax breaks to attract major production companies, including Walt Disney Co., Warner Bros. and Netflix, New Jersey.
The FMERA opened the auction on Monday at 12:30 p.m., 90 days after the site went on sale. The agency did not specify the amount of the offer from Netflix, listed as Netflix Studio Fort Monmouth.
Netflix spokespersons declined to comment on the offer.
Netflix was feared to pull out of the Mega Parcel tender after the company announced it had lost 200,000 subscribers in the first quarter, causing its stock value to drop sharply. However, the the company still announced a 10% increase in profits in the first quarter compared to a year ago, as it raked in $1.6 billion in profit.
Three other investors have also made an offer on the property. The FMERA has also not released details of these bids to protect the integrity of the bidding process.
The first offer came from Extell Acquisitions, a subsidiary of Extell Development, which built The Lofts at Pier Village luxury condominiums.
The second bid came from RDR Partners, which is made up of Russo Development, Dinallo Construction Co. and River Development – the latter of which is based in Red Bank. The three have teamed up on previous industrial and commercial site redevelopment projects, such as a former flag factory in Verona that has been converted into apartment lofts.
A final offer was made by Mega Parcel Development LLC. The main one is Joseph Saadia, who works from New Brunswick and Manhattan and invests in former industrial sites.
It will still be several weeks, if not months, before the public knows if Netflix actually gets the site, as FMERA will take that time to evaluate and score each offer. After that, he will establish the terms of a draft contract, known as the Contract of Purchase and Sale and Redevelopment, or PSARA, with the selected bidder.
“We are delighted to have multiple bids for the property. It never hurts to have multiple options. It will be up to the details of the bids to see which bid is awarded,” said Oceanport Mayor Jay Coffey, who, along with the mayors of Eatontown and Tinton Falls, sit on the FMERA Board of Directors.
Coffey couldn’t comment on the offers specifically because he had a vote on the final selection as part of the board.
The plot is the largest FMERA has offered for sale since the process began more than a decade ago when the fort closed in 2011. It envisioned the Mega Parcel as a regional hub for one or more high-growth, high-wage sectors, including film and digital media, life sciences, information and high technology, clean energy, and food and beverage , as well as residences.
The property, which consists of several redevelopment neighborhoods in Eatontown and Oceanport, has been valued at $55.4 million. The site also has many disused buildings that will need to be demolished.
The successful bidder will most likely offer to invest hundreds of millions of dollars, given that previous developers who bid for the smaller 89-acre Plot B offered to invest well over $100 million before pulling out. .
Plot B, which failed to sell several times, was placed in the mega plot.
“They’re all quality developers, that’s the good news. We’ll have to wait and see whose hands it ends up in, but it should be good for the region and Monmouth County,” said Peter Reinhart, the former director of Kislak. Real Estate Institute at Monmouth University, now retired.
When Jersey Shore native Dan Radel isn’t reporting the news, you can find him in a classroom where he’s a history teacher. Contact him @danielradelapp; 732-643-4072; [email protected]