SANDY HOOK - The program to renovate and revive Fort Hancock on Sandy Hook has taken a big step forward.

Investor Brian Samuelson and his partner Joseph Dorsey are the first to sign a lease for one of the old officers’ homes at the fort.

Gateway National Recreation Area plans to lease the old properties as private homes, bed and breakfasts or non-profit offices. Building 21 was the first to be rented and plans are to turn the nearly 80-year-old building into a summer rental home.

"It's so groundbreaking. They haven't done anything like this before,” says Samuelson. "If I can save one, someone else can save one next door. We'll make this a vibrant community and add to the history and culture of the area.”

The lease agreement for each building varies, and tenants will pay the lease in “sweat equity.” Those who agree to lease any of the old buildings will have to fix them up.

"You’ll spend a lot of money fixing up these buildings because they are in a shape that needs a lot of love,” says External Affairs Officer John Warren. “So that is your rent for any number of years.”

Each lease will be catered to the individual investor and will depend on the building and what it's going to be used for.

An open house will be held at Fort Hancock later this month for investors to get more information and see some of the properties.