CHATHAM, NJ - Noe Club Pond members received a message from former owners Kim and Chuck Barton on Monday, informing them that the sale of the club is official and that all activities at Noe Pond have ended.
"We are writing to you all with heavy hearts to announce the sale of the Noe land has occurred and the site is under new ownership," Kim and Chuck Barton said in their message to club members. "Club operations and all activities have now ceased. We understand how very difficult this news must be for you, your children and the community as a whole."
The Silverman Group has purchased the land, but the developers have not publicly revealed any plans to date.
Chatham Township residents formed SaveNoePond, a grassroots group, and have joined with the Great Swamp Watershed Association to protect wetlands and oppose overdevelopment of the property.
The message to Noe Pond Club members can be read below:
December 21, 2020
Dear Noe Pond Club Members,
We are writing to you all with heavy hearts to announce the sale of the Noe land has occurred and the site is under new ownership. Club operations and all activities have now ceased. We understand how very difficult this news must be for you, your children and the community as a whole.
The Club has been an integral part of our family and its history. Noe was founded in 1955 as the brainchild and labor of love by Taz and Bailey Brower at ages 26 and 27 to turn an old “swimming hole” and ice pond into a special place for families to play, learn and grow. Taz invented the emblem system, designed and painted each original emblem shield herself. She spearheaded the creation of all the teams and played a major role in the successful Town & Country Swim League for decades. She invented the annual water show, unlike anything of its kind anywhere. Bailey, always committed to safety first, masterminded the superb training of staff and protocols that kept members safe in the water, on the beach and on the courts. He spent his winters searching out products and equipment that would enhance the club for you, its members. Together they created something unique that served the community for 65 years.
We too cherish many fond memories and feel the same sadness as this has been an extremely difficult decision wrought with incredible anguish. This decision was not made lightly or quickly. This entire painstaking process has been exceptionally difficult for us as Noe Pond holds a very special place in our family’s heart. Kim and sisters grew up at Noe, earned Golden Dolphins, worked as lifeguards, office girls, tennis instructors, testers and water show directors. Our three daughters as well as our nieces and nephew have also enjoyed spending quality time at Noe, participating in programs and earning their swim emblems. Over the years, we have developed friendships with many members and staff. These relationships along with the desire to sustain our parent’s dream were the main reasons why we dedicated the past 20 years trying to continue Noe as a Club for you and your families to enjoy.
While the Club has made good progress since privatization in 2017, the challenges and risks have been more than expected. The incredible uncertainty created by COVID during the spring was the tipping point for us. Some people have questioned why we did not provide the membership a chance to buy the land. That avenue was explored most recently in 2016 and 2017, and each time without a meaningful response. Furthermore, publicly offering the land purchase opportunity at market price in the spring amidst the onset and uncertainties surrounding the COVID pandemic did not seem plausible. Following our September announcement, we were made aware of a member group interest to explore acquiring the Noe land and Club operations. As is customary with commercial real estate transactions, we were not at liberty to discuss the terms and conditions of our agreement and could not engage in any discussions regarding details concerning the Club or the land as we were under contract. We appreciate the “Save Noe Pond” endeavor but regret that the timing of the grassroots effort was too late and uncertain.
Members who joined in 2016-2020 will receive initiation fee prorated reimbursements in December from Noe Pond Club II, LLC. Details will be sent to those members in a separate notice. (Members who joined before 2016 are not eligible since they received pro-rata share of the cash disbursement made upon the dissolution of the original Noe Pond Club in 2017.)
We are particularly appreciative of Kirk and Charlie for their many years of dedication. Please know that our year-round staff have been acknowledged and provided ample severance packages. We truly appreciate and thank current as well as former members and staff for the many years of support given to Noe Pond Club. The Club will be remembered in Chatham’s history as a unique and special place where families were able to make lifetime memories. Instead of mourning the end of an era, let us celebrate the fond memories that each one of us holds dear and honor the Club and its legacy that Taz and Bailey created 65 years ago.
Wishing you all a safe, peaceful and healthy Holiday and New Year,
Kim & Chuck Barton