Posted on

HealthBarn USA’s future at Habernickel Park’s Gate House Still Uncertain

Habernickel Family Park

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, the Ridgewood Village Council has once again put HealthBarn USA’s future at Habernickel Park’s Gate House on hold , The Village Council agreed to delay a new lease offer until the cost of repairs to the building is known.

HealthBarn Foundation was recently awarded a $1 million grant. Bergen County Commissioner and former Ridgewood Mayor Ramon Hache said the grant program is mutually beneficial: feeding people in need and assisting restaurants. As the politically targeted grant money was spread around the Village central business district and patronage  jobs were handed out the  Village of Ridgewood Chamber of Commerce  and Village Restaurants jumped on the gravy train and backed a new lease for Healthbarn USA,

But not so fast ,according to North Jersey Media ,’Mayor Susan Knudsen and the other two council members said they favored waiting until repair bids were obtained to decide whether the costs outweighed the income to be derived from its rent.  They also expressed joint concern about the current HealthBarn arrangement.”

The HealthBarn USA controversy began when it signed a  five-year some would say below market rate lease in 2016 to teach classes in healthy eating and food preparation after the village failed to find a residential tenant for the Gate House at the 10-acre horse farm property it had purchased in 2004. The park also has public trails and sports fields.


17 thoughts on “HealthBarn USA’s future at Habernickel Park’s Gate House Still Uncertain

  1. Buy Schedler spend millions.
    Buy habernickle, let it fall apart.
    Come come now

  2. If that’s the case, I guess ridgewood water shouldn’t move into building across from kings.

  3. A market rate lease please

  4. Sedon is looking for campaign support

  5. Sorry “taxpayer” , the taxpayers have spent a ton of money on the gate house ,Healthbarn should move out if its unsuitable

  6. From public comments during Council meetings it seems that there is overwhelming community support to keep Healthbarn there, and a relatively small number of objectors. Shouldn’t the Council serve the interests of the majority of their constituents?

  7. Maybe ”chick-filet’ or starbucks would out bid them. Oh wait, I thought this was a residential area? WTF?

  8. Maybe it was once true that the number of objectors or supporters of a cause should determine the outcome of a municipal issue, and that is still true under some circumstances. Unfortunately, however, the advent of social media has befogged the value of such numbers. Many people sign petitions and show up at rallies and vote on referenda because they have been persuaded by friends or merely contacted via email but with only a superficial understanding of underlying issues.

    All decisions must be made on their merits, and HealthBarn must go.

  9. Thumbs down on the comment “Shouldn’t the Council serve the interests of the majority of their constituents?” Makes it pretty clear those folks only care about their own interests. Also that they don’t care about good government.

  10. What about pickle ball, ha ha what’s gonna happen with that issue. Where is that being swept under the carpet. At the other locations. Remember the rice notices , That’s been quiet.

  11. Wait – I see a dead horse, get me my hammer…

    Realistically, there are only two possibilities regarding this property:
    1 – Rent the building
    2 – Don’t rent the building

    All VOR residents that want the Village to just reject any rental revenue, raise your hands…
    All those who raised just their hand, add 5% to your property tax bill to offset the lost rental revenue – and you also get an “F” in any finance-related course that you ever took or will take.

    Now, as renting the building is obviously the better (and only) revenue-generating option, there are two choices here – pick one:
    1 – Residential rental
    2 – Business rental

    All those who want a residential tenant, just add 5% to your property tax bill to offset the added cost of being a residential landlord – NJ has the MOST RIDICULOUS landlord/tenant laws in the United States, laws that favor tenants over landlords every time. And as a bonus you also get an “F” in any finance-related course that you ever took or will take.

    Now that it’s clear that the best revenue generating action is to rent to a business, the question gets really simple: what’s the motivation for all this kerfuffle? What’s all the hubbub, Bub?

    This should be a simple landlord/tenant issue – Landlord provides building, and Tenant pays rent – end of story. If Tenant is paying rent in a timely fashion and not violating the terms of the lease, then Tenant is a GOLD MINE! Sign Tenant up again ASAP – don’t cut off your collective nose to spite your face, Landlord – keep the revenue stream flowing.

    This latest ”needed repairs” claim is just another distraction, a front used in another attempt to eject the tenant.. Why did these alleged repairs “suddenly” appear? What is the nature of these alleged “needed” repairs? Are they structural, or cosmetic? Is not Landlord responsible for some level of maintenance as re: the property? Something is rotten in the State of Denmark…

    And back to the continuous whining about countless buses blowing smoke and loaded with all those foreign kids, and painted lines for parking spaces at the end of my driveway, and wild dinner parties? Heaven forfend! What is this world coming to?

    But wait – this is Ridgewood! Us NIMBY’s should be able to exercise our self-proclaimed, God-given right to have our own selfish way – dam the financial and social benefit that Healthbarn accrues to VOR taxpayers and others! All those dam noisy kids growing all those dam noisy vegetables are insufferable! And all those noisy wine glasses clinking and people enjoying themselves at those infernal Healthbarn dinners are subversive! And if we NIMBY’s can’t have our way, can’t we get the result we want some other way? Wait, here’s an idea- let’s call the Mayor – maybe she can solve this for us!

    Well, perhaps the nearby NIMBY’s would like to sign a lease for the same $$$ that Healthbarn is paying –problem solved, right? Then (almost) everyone goes home happy!

    Anyone seen my hammer???

    1. the rent the village is charging is ridiculous low , it did not even cover the ADA upgrades , you omitted all the taxpayer spending on the gate house ie like lighting. The rent roll is so small it would cost the village less to leave place empty , You also omitted the slush fund for political favorites ie grant money that was doled out ? Why write a long diatribe and leave out all the issues that people are objecting to?

  12. To the long winded drawn out mis informed post above get the facts. It is green acre property being mis used by a for profit business under the guidance of ridgewood council. It is not a partnership as it is required to be. It is not children playing in the garden. It is bus loads of field trips 50-60 paying clients at a time. 2-3 buses a day in the spring summer and fall. It is all day camps and day care it is private birthday party venue It is a rental hall open from 7:30 am until 9 pm some nights 6 days a week. It has full use of all the fields, play scape and trails. Wait to little Johnny or Mary falls and get hurts in the park or in the trails Who do you think is paying for that law suit. You and all the tax payer of ridgewood. Get the facts before you follow the uninformed herd of HB supporters A business does not belong in a public park but certainly not one that takes over the entire park and makes it very unwelcome to regular park users. One that brings in buses and turned hillcrest rd into a bus route daily

  13. I don’t think for these folk it’s NIMBY I think it’s fear of the tenant. I heard she sued some of them

  14. The council should serve its tax payers NOT a tenant paying under market rent, spreading tales about neighbors and who takes over the entire park with her paying customers

  15. Green acres is being mid lead by parks and recreation and that’s on the village manager and the council

    Maybe they are realizing their mistake and wondering if they have been doing something not in accordance with green acres for 5 years.

    Maybe they are undoing one of their biggest mistakes l

  16. @anon_umus

    I agree (in part) with you. Yes, the two options are rent or don’t rent (pure binary play here). However, one option is to fix up the building and repurpose it as office space for the Village.

    I suppose a third option is to raze the building. However, there would be no rental income in that case (nor would there be expenses associated with upkeep).

    In my mind, the key is getting the P&L statement. If this can be profitable, then it makes sense to rent it. If not profitable, then let’s stop throwing good money (aka tax dollars) after bad…

    Don’t know what the right move is here. What I do know is that we should NOT rent below market value to ANYONE (especially a for-profit business that did not honor its original “partnership” commitment to the Village).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *