Investors Sought To Convert NJ Army Barracks Into Beach Rentals

SANDY HOOK, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — There’s a new Jersey shore resort in the making, but you’ll need to bring your beach towel and some tools.

As CBS2’s Meg Baker reported, buildings at the old Army barracks at Fort Hancock, six miles out on Sandy Hook, are now on the market.

“We’re looking for people to come and do that preservation work in exchange for a long-term lease,” said Jennifer Nersesian, superintendent of the Gateway National Recreation Area.

Many of the buildings along Officers Way have fallen into disrepair after being unoccupied for decades.

“In World War II, there were 10,000 people stationed out there,” Nersesian said.

In an effort to preserve that history, the National Park Service is looking for investors to transform the buildings into waterfront homes and more.

“One is really a classic bed-and-breakfast potential (with) officers’ quarters,” said John Warren, external affairs officer for Gateway National Parks. “There’s also a lieutenants’ quarters.”

Investor Brian Samuelson signed the first lease. His property will be a vacation rental beginning this summer, and he plans to live there in the offseason.

“I’m lucky enough to have a lieutenants’ quarters built in 1939,” he said. “It’s a duplex. There’s three bedrooms in each side. So I’m rehabbing that.

“It truly is a wonderful place. Maybe I’m dreaming, but in 20 years it’s going to be a Fire Island and Hamptons alternative.”

Most people Baker spoke to say they would be willing to renting at Fort Hancock for the summer.

“There’s not a lot of places where you can go and stay somewhere and kind of be like a camping situation and the beach right here,” said Valerie Papalia.

Samuelson said he will look at the rental market before he sets his weekly and monthly fees.

A 60-year lease costs $500,000 or more.

An open house is being held May 22.

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