The Jersey Shore / Fort Monmouth area continues to attract tech startups and businesses.
On Thursday, January 26, Vi Collaboration Hubs, the coworking venue that started at Bell Works (Holmdel) announced that it will open an additional space at TetherView’s Russel Hall, in Oceanport. TetherView is the private cloud company that bought and renovated the building, which is the former garrison headquarters at Fort Monmouth.
The coworking venue will offer 5,000 square feet of space aimed at attracting local talent. Said Sean Donohue, cofounder of Vi, “It was important from the beginning, when we started at Bell Works, for us to have a broad vision of economic development in the Monmouth area.” This meant that they knew that one coworking venue in the area would not be enough. Donohue and cofounder Chris Pallé began scouting out possible second locations, Donohue told us. The venue at TetherView’s renovated space fit the bill.
Vi expects projects like this to “change the game in New Jersey,” said Donohue, who noted that Monmouth County has so much going for it: it’s close to the shore and has a pool of tech talent, given the population of former Bell Labs workers and their children, as well as people who used to work at Fort Monmouth and stayed in the area.
He added that, by encouraging coworking, often the first step in creating new companies, places like Vi can contribute to the revitalization of this area. He noted that “we are very friendly with the folks at Cowerks,” and together they are changing the Jersey Shore landscape for the better.
Vi expects to open its Russel Hall venue in March. A full schedule of meetups and tech events is already being scheduled for the space.
TetherView’s CEO Michael Abboud noted that his company had brought in Vi Collaboration Hubs to manage and operate the new location.
“As TetherView.com grows by moving businesses to the cloud, our need for talent grows, too. Fort Monmouth is the perfect spot to find hardworking people looking to build their careers close to home.” Partnering with Vi should help TetherView attract and incubate local talent, he added.
“We’re seeing a trend of technologists and entrepreneurs rising up in Monmouth County, at Cowerks in Asbury Park and at Bell Works in Holmdel,” said Pallé. “By creating an environment at Fort Monmouth that’s conducive to collaboration, the talent in those groups is multiplied. The more people come together, the more innovation and ideas we can create. It’s the future of work.”
At the same time the news about Vi was released, Bruce Steadman, executive director of the Fort Monmouth Economic Revitalization Authority (FMERA), announced several other redevelopment deals for the former fort. RPM (Montclair), a developer of both market-rate and affordable housing in New Jersey, plans to renovate the 117 historic housing units that surround the Parade Ground in Oceanport.
Parcel B Redevelopment, LLC, which is owned by Paramount Realty Services, Inc. (Lakewood), is currently in exclusive negotiations with FMERA for an 89-acre site fronting Route 35 in Eatontown. Lee Zekaria, vice president of Paramount Realty Services and principal at LMS Commercial Real Estate (Lancaster and York, Pa.), spoke about plans to redevelop Parcel B into “Freedom Pointe,” a walkable-lifestyle town center that will include approximately 350,000 square feet of retail space and 302 residential units.