Monmouth Medical Center revealed plans over the summer to transform the former site of the Myer Center at Fort Monmouth. Now, the affiliate of RWJBarnabas Health has taken ownership of the approximately 36-acre property.
The Fort Monmouth Economic Revitalization Authority announced the sale of Parcel F-1 in Tinton Falls to Monmouth Medical Center Inc. Dec. 19. The deal closed three days earlier.
After receiving very limited interest in the site – which once housed a Cold War-era, 750,000-square-foot, hexagon-shaped research and engineering building – the New Jersey Economic Development Authority agreed to acquire the parcel from FMERA in 2017 to fund its demolition.
Following a subsequent and unsolicited offer from RWJBarnabas to NJEDA to purchase the parcel, together with FMERA the organizations entered into a tri-party agreement. That move assigned FMERA as the designated redeveloper of the property. On Oct. 25, 2021, RWJBarnabas and FMERA entered a Redevelopment Agreement that was later assigned to Monmouth Medical Center this year.
The minimum capital investment for the project is $153.5 million but may exceed $650 million upon completion of both phases, FMERA said.
“This state-of-the-art project will provide expanded access to exceptional care and offer important health education and wellness services for the entire community,” said FMERA Executive Director Kara Kopach. “MMC’s decision to offer world-class cancer care in Tinton Falls is game changing. Not only will residents benefit from convenient access to critical services, health care providers and their support professionals will also reap the benefits of increased job opportunities in the region.”
Monmouth Medical Center’s efforts at Fort Monmouth are slated to unfold over two phases, according to FMERA.
The first – which would create more than 300 jobs upon completion, FMERA said – includes the development of an approximately 138,000-square-foot cancer center and ambulatory care pavilion, made possible by a $50 million gift to the medical center. The Vogel Medical Campus at Tinton Falls will offer oncology services, imaging, radiation, an ambulatory surgery center, parking, and interphase grading and landscaping. Pending necessary approvals, FMERA said that work should begin in 2023.
Phase two allows for Monmouth Medical Center’s discretion, “contingent upon market demand and the needs of the surrounding community,” and the opportunity for the potential creation of up to 1,000 jobs upon completion, according to FMERA. The Long Branch-based health care provider previously said those plans could include a new, acute care hospital. If that route is taken, according to Monmouth Medical Center’s June announcement, construction would begin by 2027 with completion set for late 2029. According to Monmouth Medical Center, that new facility would operate in conjunction with the Long Branch campus.
If not, at that time the provider said the land would be converted to green space. According to FMERA, other options for the site could include clinical and support facilities or a medical office, in addition to walking trails and open, public areas.
“We are excited to take ownership of the property and begin the process of constructing a truly incredible facility. The Vogel Medical Campus will enable us to further our mission to deliver truly outstanding care to our community,” Eric Carney, president and CEO of Monmouth Medical Center and Monmouth Medical Center Southern Campus, said in a prepared statement. “As an expansion of the MMC campuses in Long Branch and Lakewood, the Vogel Medical Campus is located within the communities we currently serve and will be designed to meet the unique needs of our diverse and growing community now and in the future.”
“We are proud of the trust and confidence placed in us to transform health care in the region,” Carney added. “Together, we will continue to work with our patients, families, clinicians and partners to advance health care in our communities.”
Editor’s note: This story was updated at 8:42 p.m. EDT on Dec. 20, 2022, to include comments from Monmouth Medical Center President and CEO Eric Carney and to state that a new Monmouth Medical Center hospital in Tinton Falls would operate in conjunction with the Long Branch location.