Fort Monmouth gets new fitness attraction at Fort Athletic Club


OCEANPORT – The finishing touches are being added to the Fort Athletic Club, a new attraction at the old Fort Monmouth which has been in the works for almost six years.

Club-owned Fort Partners Group will host the 50,000-square-foot fitness center ribbon cutting on Tuesday, after investing $ 15 million to purchase and renovate the former U.S. Army fitness center. The club will open on October 1.

“I think we’ve created something really great here. Everyone here is family oriented, and we built it for families,” said Scott Marchakitus of Fair Haven, CEO and founding member of the group.

Fort Athletic Club partners (l to r): Chris Champeau, Delia Hamlet, Scott Marchakitus (also CEO) and Dave Callahan meet on Wednesday, September 8, 2021, near the star in the center of the club's basketball court who The former Fort Monmouth property in Oceanport will soon be opening.

About the health club

The club, which will be open to the public via memberships, brings together several fitness studios under one roof. Each has a military benchmark to honor the legacy of the fort, which closed in 2011: Earn your stripes, high intensity workout; Pilot school cycle, immersive cycling; Hot Zone, with hot yoga; and Base Ops, cardio strength training, dance and performance training.

The club’s command center uses technology-infused biocircuit equipment, which are artificial intelligence-powered fitness devices that learn a person’s skills and create a personalized workout.

An indoor basketball gymnasium with hardwood floors bearing the club logo representing a general’s star on center court and soon-to-be-completed outdoor soccer fields will be used for local youth and aspiring varsity athletes .

The Fort Athletic Club which will soon open its doors on Wednesday, September 8, 2021 on the former Fort Monmouth property in Oceanport.

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Members can enjoy smoothies or coffee in the canteen or purchase food from the mess.

An inherited tenancy

In another nod to the fort’s legacy, one of the group’s first recruits is retired Lt. Col. John Occhipinti, who served at the fort as an active member of the military and as a as a civilian during his decommissioning and transition to the private sector as the Fort Monmouth Economic Revitalization Authority’s Direct Liaison with the military.

Occhipinti retired in 2018. His position at the Club is Director of Leadership and Culture.

“He’s a legend. Six years ago, when we first walked in here, he was the first guy we met. He was the keeper. And we’re all ready to go with him. to be our culture captain, ”said Chris Champeau, Rumson-Fair Haven boys’ basketball coach and founding partner.

“One of our themes is ‘Remember those who came before us’, and for us it’s an honor to keep some of the traditions of the fort alive,” said Champeau.

Fort Athletic Club CEO Scott Marchakitus is interviewed on Wednesday, September 8, 2021 at the soon-to-be-opened club on the former Fort Monmouth property in Oceanport.

Fort Partners Group had entered into a contract to purchase the 70-year-old fitness building in 2015 for $ 2.3 million and closed it on September 26, 2017.

The group began demolishing parts of the building that year and new construction last year. The building was added, expanding its original footprint from 35,000 square feet to 50,000 square feet.

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Fort Athletic Club general manager Matt Wright is surrounded by high-tech workout machines on Wednesday, September 8, 2021 at the soon-to-be-opened facility on the former Fort Monmouth property in Oceanport.

Marchakitus said he experienced several slowdowns in the form of contractor delays, hidden issues in the building, supply chain issues linked to the pandemic and labor shortages along the way. Patriot Construction of Middletown was hired in 2020 to handle the end of construction.

“(We) think the community will be impressed with the finished product,” said Marchakitus.

When Dan Radel, from Jersey Shore, doesn’t report the news, you can find him in a classroom where he is a history teacher. Join him @danielradelapp; 732-643-4072; [email protected]

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