Netflix Places Bid on NJ Army Base for Major Production Hub in Northeast - The Jewish Voice
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Netflix Places Bid on NJ Army Base for Major Production Hub in Northeast

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Netflix Places Bid on NJ Army Base for Major Production Hub in Northeast

Edited by: Fern Sidman

Despite the fact that in recent weeks the share prices of Netflix have plunged due to a mass exodus of subscribers, the streaming giant has now officially placed a bid for a 289-acre portion of Fort Monmouth, a former Army base located in central New Jersey.

At the end of October 2021, the New York Times reported that Netflix had plans to transform the crumbling Army base into one of the largest movie and production hubs in the Northeast.

Fort Monmouth is located approximately 50 miles south of New York City in the boroughs of Oceanport and Eatontown, according to the NYT report.  The 96-year-old base — used by the United States to develop radar technology and where a civilian engineer, Julius Rosenberg, infamously began his espionage career — was closed by the Pentagon in 2011 as the military cut spending, the report indicated.

Fox Business News reported that Netflix’s announcement came after New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy sent a letter to Hollywood film studios in April, including Netflix, Disney and Warner Brothers, in an effort to lure them away from Georgia after the state approved a controversial voting law.

“I am incredibly excited to hear about Netflix’s proposed investment,” Governor Murphy said in a statement In October 2021. “While there is an objective process that any and all applications will have to go through, this is yet more evidence that the economic plan my administration has laid out is working and bringing high-quality, good-paying jobs to our state.”

“America’s first movie studio was in New Jersey, and today it’s home to many talented people working in entertainment,” Netflix told FOX Business at the time. “Gov. Murphy and the state’s legislative leaders have created a business environment that’s welcomed film and television production back to the state, and we’re excited to submit our bid to transform Fort Monmouth into a state-of-the-art production facility.”

New Jersey has a long relationship with Hollywood. Thomas Edison started what is considered to be the nation’s first film studio in West Orange in 1893. The state’s political winds, however, have not always been favorable to the entertainment industry, according to the NYT report.

The NYT reported that speculation about Netflix’s interest in Fort Monmouth has been circulating since July 2021, when The Two River Times reported that Netflix had been in contact with Governor Murphy’s office about building opportunities.

New Jersey officials began playing up their state as economically and politically friendly to Netflix in 2019, when a delegation from Murphy’s administration visited various Hollywood companies in Los Angeles, as was reported by the NYT in 2021.

At nearly 300 acres, the Jersey Shore site would be Netflix’s second-largest production complex behind ABQ Studios in New Mexico, according to the NYT report in 2021. Netflix bought that complex in 2018 and committed to spend $1 billion in the state, announcing plans in 2020 to expand and invest an additional $1 billion. ABQ Studios will have more than 15 soundstages when complete, the report added.

The property, dubbed the Mega Parcel has been appraised for $54 million by the Fort Monmouth Economic Revitalization Authority (FMERA), as was reported by Fox Business News.

In addition to Netflix, three other firms have submitted bids: Extell Acquisitions LLC, Mega Parcel Development LLC and RDR Partners LLC. Fox Business News reported that both FMERA and Netflix declined to provide additional information on the bid.

FMERA will now begin its review of the submitted proposals, which will be based on criteria including each proposed project’s estimated job creation, capital investment and positive economic impact to both the municipality and the state, as was reported by Fox Business News.

“FMERA will make no representations relative to the highest scoring proposal until such time as the staff is prepared to recommend the approval of a Purchase and Sale Agreement and Redevelopment Agreement to the FMERA Board,” the organization added. “Please be advised that this process may take several months.”

The NYT reported that speculation about Netflix’s interest in Fort Monmouth has been circulating since July 2021, when The Two River Times reported that Netflix had been in contact with Governor Murphy’s office about building opportunities.

New Jersey officials began playing up their state as economically and politically friendly to Netflix in 2019, when a delegation from Murphy’s administration visited various Hollywood companies in Los Angeles, as was reported by the NYT in 2021.

Fox Business News reported that in addition to Netflix’s interest in the Garden State, Lions Gate Entertainment recently announced plans to build a $125 million production studio in Newark, New Jersey. Lionsgate’s facility is expected to begin operations in late 2024, create more than 600 new long-term jobs for Newark residents and generate more than $800 million in annual economic impact for the city and state.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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