Netflix plans $900 milliion production site at former New Jersey army base

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New York Construction News staff writer

Netflix will build an East Coast production facility on the site of the former Fort Monmouth campus in Eatontown and Oceanport.

The project will transform the site that has been vacant for more than a decade into a facility that is estimated to create more than 1,500 permanent production jobs and more than 3,500 construction-related jobs in New Jersey, according to a Dec. 21 press release.

“This transformative investment will serve as a cornerstone in our efforts to create a thriving industry from whole cloth,” Gov. Murphy said. “As a result of nearly a billion dollars in film production spending, New Jersey will further solidify its status as an emerging national leader in the television and film industries.

“Additionally, Netflix’s substantial direct investment will stimulate job creation and spark an entirely new ecosystem of housing, hotels and ancillary businesses and services, bringing with it countless additional jobs and boosting the regional economy.”

“We are thrilled to continue and expand our significant investment in New Jersey and North America. We believe a Netflix studio can boost the local and state economy with thousands of new jobs and billions in economic output, while sparking a vibrant production ecosystem in New Jersey,” said Ted Sarandos, Netflix co-CEO and chief content officer.

Work will be completed in two phases over several years, starting with the construction of 12 soundstages ranging in size from 15,000 to 40,000 sq. ft.

Office space, production services buildings, mill space and studio backlots are also planned, along with retail space.

“We thank the Fort Monmouth Economic Revitalization Authority (FMERA) board and their staff for selecting Netflix as the winning bid and for supporting our mission to create a state-of-the-art production facility at Fort  Monmouth,” Sarandos said.

The FMERA board of a Purchase and Sale and Redevelopment Agreement with Netflix for the property. Board members approved the decision at the authority’s Dec. 21 board meeting.

Netflix was one of four applicants that submitted proposals in response to a Request for Offers to Purchase (RFOTP) issued by FMERA on March 8, with a deadline of June 6. Netflix received the top evaluation score. The deal now enters a due diligence period and local approvals process before being finalized, according to the press release.

Netflix will pay $55 million for the land, including a utility contribution of $5 million and the FMERA office relocation fee of $3 million, per the terms of the RFOTP.

“Our team is incredibly passionate about Fort Monmouth’s revitalization and is committed to surpassing the fort’s prior role as a major economic driver in the region,” FMERA Executive Director Kara Kopach said.

“A project of this scale has the potential not only to create thousands of jobs, but will also result in significant investment on the fort, and spur local development in support of the project. The magnitude of Netflix’s investment is an absolute windfall for our stakeholders and the state.”

The area housed former residential, administrative, and research and development buildings, warehouses, workshops and additional general purpose facilities in Eatontown and Oceanport, within the Main Post section of Fort Monmouth.

“New Jersey continues to illustrate it is the ideal location for corporations seeking to grow their business. This is a win-win because it grows the local economy and creates quality union jobs in the construction sector and the film and entertainment industries,” said Charlie Wowkanech, president, New Jersey State AFL-CIO.

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