1,500+ Permanent Jobs and Nearly $1 Billion of Planned Capital Investment in Monmouth County
the staff of the Ridgewood blog
Trenton NJ, Netflix announced that the entertainment company will develop a state-of-the-art East Coast production facility on the former Fort Monmouth campus in Monmouth County, transforming a property that has been largely vacant for more than a decade into an economic engine that is estimated to create more than 1,500 permanent production jobs and more than 3,500 construction-related jobs in New Jersey. Netflix plans to commit $848 million in capital investments to develop the more than 292-acre parcel, adjacent to Route 35 in Eatontown and Oceanport, into 12 state-of-the-art soundstages totaling nearly 500,000 square feet of new development, with the remainder of the property slated for redevelopment with supporting film uses and several community amenities.
“This transformative investment will serve as a cornerstone in our efforts to create a thriving industry from whole cloth,” said Governor Murphy. “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.”
“Since the beginning of this Administration, it has been a top priority of ours to build New Jersey’s film and television industry. It is so exciting that our state has just added another force to its ranks with the addition of Netflix’s production facility at Fort Monmouth,” said First Lady Tammy Murphy. “This announcement comes with a promise of opportunity to the residents, business owners, workers, and many others across our state. Not only will the facility generate thousands of new jobs, but it will also bring increased economic activity to our local and small owned businesses, ultimately leaving a lasting, positive impact on our great state’s economy well beyond this Administration.”
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“We’re 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. “We look forward to working with Governor Murphy, his administration and local leaders to finalize this deal in the months ahead. We thank the 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.”
Netflix’s plans for a sustainable, integrated film studio campus will be completed in two phases over the course of several years. The first phase of the project will include the construction of 12 soundstages that will range in size from 15,000 square feet to 40,000 square feet each with a minimum total buildout of 180,000 square feet and a maximum buildout of 480,000 square feet. Additional and ancillary improvements may include office space, production services buildings, mill space, and studio backlots, among other uses customary to the film industry, with the potential for consumer-facing components, such as retail and consumer experiences.
“Netflix’s decision to make a major investment in New Jersey is crystal clear evidence that Gov. Murphy’s commitment to building a thriving film and television industry in New Jersey is working. New Jersey is the birthplace of film, and under Governor Murphy’s leadership our state continues to be a place where production companies thrive,” said NJEDA Chief Executive Officer Tim Sullivan. “This project marks an extraordinary next chapter in the redevelopment of Fort Monmouth following the devastating closure of the base in 2011.”
The announcement follows the authorization by the Board of the Fort Monmouth Economic Revitalization Authority (FMERA) of a Purchase and Sale & Redevelopment Agreement with Netflix for the property. The Board approved the decision at FMERA’s December 21st 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, 2022 with a deadline of June 6, 2022. Netflix received the top evaluation score. The deal now enters a due diligence period and local approvals process before being finalized.
Netflix will pay $55 million for the parcel, 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,” said FMERA Executive Director Kara Kopach. “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 of New Jersey. We’re eager to see this project come to fruition.”
The parcel that will be developed by Netflix contains former residential, administrative, and R&D buildings, warehouses, workshops and additional general-purpose facilities in the Boroughs of Eatontown and Oceanport, within the Main Post section of Fort Monmouth. It is conveniently located adjacent to State Route 35, providing easy access to the Garden State Parkway, Route 18, NJ Transit Bus Lines and County Route 11 (Oceanport Avenue), which provides direct access to the Little Silver NJ Transit Train Station.
Tom Bracken, President & CEO, New Jersey Chamber of Commerce in a statement, “Congratulations to Netflix on purchasing the former Fort Monmouth 292-acre site to build a state-of-the-art production facility. We salute the Governor and his team, the New Jersey Economic Development Authority and Choose New Jersey for all their efforts to bring this transformative project to this prime piece of real estate in New Jersey. When completed, the project will cost more than $900 million and create thousands of jobs for state residents. That will be quite a long-term boost to Monmouth County’s and the state’s overall economy. Netflix officials stated they chose the historic Fort Monmouth site because they were impressed by its prime location on the East Coast and since they will have access to our quality workforce. That speaks volumes to what New Jersey has to offer Netflix and other companies considering the state.”