Netflix’s plans to build a massive, state-of-the-art production facility at Fort Monmouth won approval Dec. 21 from the Fort Monmouth Economic Revitalization Authority.
The streaming giant – producer of such hits as Stranger Things, Squid Game and Bridgerton – was one of four bidders to submit proposals to purchase a long-vacant 292-acre parcel of land, adjacent to Route 35 in Eatontown and Oceanport.
Wednesday’s announcement follows months of speculation about the Netflix proposal and whether it would come to fruition.
“We’re thrilled to continue and expand our significant investment in New Jersey and North America,” said Ted Sarandos, Netflix co-CEO and chief content officer. “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.”
Netflix will pay $55 million for the land with plans to commit another nearly $850 million in capital investments to transform the land into 12 soundstages, totaling nearly 500,00 square feet of new development. The project is expected to be completed in two phases over the course of several years. Phase one will include the production of those soundstages, which will range in size from 15,000 square feet to 40,000 square feet each. Additional and ancillary improvements may include office space, production services buildings, mill space, and studio backlots, along with retail and consumer experiences.
The development is expected to create more than 1,500 permanent production jobs and more than 3,500 construction-related jobs.
Gov. Phil Murphy said the investment will serve as a cornerstone for the state’s efforts to continue building a film and television industry ecosystem. “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,” the governor said. “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.”
NJEDA Chief Executive Officer Tim Sullivan said the decision is more evidence that the efforts to build a thriving film and industry here in the Garden State are working. “This project marks an extraordinary next chapter in the redevelopment of Fort Monmouth following the devastating closure of the base in 2011,” said Sullivan.
Following today’s approval from FMERA, the deal now enters a due diligence period and local approvals process before being finalized.
“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 County looks forward to continuing to work with Netflix and FMERA to bring this project to fruition and we stand ready to support them with all of our resources,” said Monmouth County Commissioner Director Thomas Arnone. “This project is vital for the future of Monmouth County as it will bring thousands of jobs to our surrounding municipalities.”
The announcement was applauded by the New Jersey Business & Industry Association with President and CEO Michele Siekerka saying she is thrilled by the promise this project will deliver. “Jobs and innovation are at the heart of this Netflix-New Jersey partnership, just as they were throughout Fort Monmouth’s rich history,” Siekerk asaid. “Having previously served with FMERA, it is heartening to reimagine these buildings and the property as once again a hub of creativity, innovation, and cutting-edge technology – not to mention home to some of our favorite TV shows. It’s a great way to continue to Fort Monmouth’s legacy.
Siekerka noted that the capital investments will result in future-proof production industry jobs that will not only bolster New Jersey’s economy but enhance the state’s identity nationally as a go-to for both small and large productions. “Netflix’s presence will also bring positive results for neighboring small businesses,” she said. “We very much look forward to the first “Action!” to take place at Fort Monmouth.”
“We look forward to working with Governor Murphy, his administration and local leaders to finalize this deal in the months ahead,” Sarandos said. “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.”