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EATONTOWN, NJ-The future of the 1,100-acre Fort Monmouth site is in the hands of EDAW, the San Francisco-based planning firm. Members of the Fort Monmouth Economic Revitalization Planning Authority voted this week to hire EDAW to put together a master plan for the property, which stretches across this and three neighboring communities.

FMERPA, formally established by the state legislature and signed into law Gov. Jon Corzine a year ago, will pay EDAW $1 million to determine what to do with the sprawling property. The California firm won out over seven other firms that had proposals on the table by the March 30 deadline. As reported by GlobeSt.com, Fort Monmouth is one of the bases slated for closure by the BRAC commission. That closure is anticipated for 2011 after the installation’s functions, largely Army intelligence, are replicated in Aberdeen, MD.

Since its formation a year ago and its initial meeting in July, FMERPA has staffed up, conducted more than a dozen public meetings and sorted through dozens of applications relating to use of the property. Under base closure regulations, federal agencies and related groups have first dibs on sites within the property.

But the vast majority of the land is expected to be redeveloped with private commercial uses, and the master plan is now EDAW’s job. The hiring of a planner was the final step in filling out the redevelopment team, and FMERPA chairman Robert Lucky remarked after this week’s unanimous vote, “Now we have gotten to the point where we can really sink our teeth into this project.”

Under the terms of its agreement with FMERPA, EDAW is required to have that master plan done by Dec. 8, according to Frank Cosentino, a long-time private sector development executive who was hired in 2006 as FMERPA’s executive director. The selection process had involved extensive proposals by the candidate firms and interviews with their top executives.

EDAW has been involved in a number of base redevelopments around the country including, in New Jersey, the old Camp Evans in nearby Wall Township. Also in the Garden State, the firm has been involved in the site planning for the Meadowlands Xanadu retail and entertainment complex currently under construction in East Rutherford.

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