Business & Finance

Suburban Chamber of Commerce Dons the Green at Friday's Monthly Networking Breakfast; Mayor Provides Redevelopment Update

6072b45a8a9c3236a06a_IMG_1855.JPG
Peter Traub with Dolores Cronenberger wear their green in celebration of St. Patrick's Day at the monthly Chamber Networking Breakfast. Credits: Bobbie Peer
a8b136cc85e3a6a2a831_chamberstpatsmayor.jpg
Mayor Bob Woodruff provided the Chamber members with a state of Berkeley Heights. Credits: Bobbie Peer
983dfde8620a35f7877e_IMG_1843.JPG
Amina Gunaratne of Primrose School was the the breakfast sponsor. Credits: Bobbie Peer
8980835821c3242e92a1_IMG_1845.JPG
Friday's Chamber meeting marked a year since the start of the Berkeley Heights Networking Breakfasts started by Dr. Patrick Smith, Vice Chairman of the Suburban Chamber of Commerce. Credits: Bobbie Peer
ad635e553841c37385b3_IMG_1858__1_.JPG
Tim Carroll, Cross Fit 908 and Lisa Barfield of Clear Point Designs Credits: Bobbie Peer
afa4a710dce5cf06605e_IMG_1853.JPG
Susan Popik and Patrice Cihak of EMedical Urgent Care and Amina Gunaratne of Primrose School of Berkeley Heights. Credits: Bobbie Peer
47bd4f2f268614f9bf88_IMG_1851.JPG
BHVRS Chief Sam Lloyd and Linda Balling of EMedical Urgent Care Credits: Bobbie Peer
f145e04fab46b6579ee0_bottlechamber.jpg
Rupa Kale of Bottle and Bottega Credits: Bobbie Peer
8c17455bbd3f8f08106d_IMG_1850.JPG
Stephen Falk, VFW Post 6259 and Police Chief John DiPasquale Credits: Bobbie Peer
3c3106d9f5b313fb4381_IMG_1847.JPG
Large crowd of over 60 attendees came out for the St. Patrick's Day Chamber Networking Breakfast.
406d41ccf9314fafce0e_IMG_1534.JPG
6072b45a8a9c3236a06a_IMG_1855.JPG

BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ - The Suburban Chamber of Commerce hosted their monthly networking breakfast on Friday with over 60 attendees filling the public room of the Berkeley Heights Town Hall.

The local businesses were greeted with the sound of traditional Irish music from musicians from the Gov. Livingston Highlander Marching Band. The large crowd enjoyed a special breakfast buffet with soda bread and bagels and an Irish Coffee bar.

Mayor Bob Woodruff provided the state of Berkeley Heights and walked through the redevelopment plans for downtown Berkeley Heights, stating:

Sign Up for E-News

  • The new sign for the Berkeley Shopping Center will be going up. Woodruff confirmed the Planning Board had addressed the sign a few weeks ago.
  • Redevelopment with respect to affordable housing -- "We had properties to fix and we had the properties to build on, we had the properties that developers were interested in. This will have tremendous impact on downtown," said Woodruff. We will probably have 1,600 to 2,000 new residents in town, he added. --  Kings, the Movie Theater, area next to Delicious Heights (potentially 62 townhouse units), we will probably have about 600 to 700 new people moving into that area over the next two to three years.
  • The yard at the end of Lone Pine Drive is part of the affordable housing plan. -- Developers have come forward in that area in a preliminary nature. "There are other components that have to be worked out including traffic," said Woodruff.
  • 55+ development on Locust will be started in the next six months.
  • Council passed the bond ordinance for $28M for the redevelopment of the Municipal Complex. The architect has been hired and is working on more specific designs. The construction of the new salt dome is the first step of the project -- construction to begin late summer. This is the first step of a four step process in dealing with this site, said Woodruff. The new municipal complex will be built on the current salt dome site.
  • Sherman Avenue will be designed to be a walking boulevard.
  • The Township is in final stages in dealing with the Little Flower Church. -- Developers are interested in the Little Flower Hamilton Avenue property to build 100 high end townhomes. "Each of those doors has a value in the purchase," said Woodruff. That is what we are hoping to bring in to offset that $28M, he said.
    • As a property developed under the Non-Condemnation Redevelopment Law, the Township does not have to put down 5 percent,  the Township has control of the development of the property, and "not only this project -- all the other  redevelopment projects have a tax component to them at the conclusion," said Woodruff. "The PILOT (payment in lieu of taxes) function which the State Statute allows with respect to payment upfront a significant amount of money from the developers." Woodruff explained that with every tax dollar coming in, a large portion goes to the School Board (about 56%), County (23-24%) and remainder goes to the Township with a portion to the Library. "Under a PILOT program, we have no obligation to give to any other entity other than the County to a small extent."  That becomes revenue to the Township -- which the township plans to use to pay down the debt, said Woodruff. 
  • Vito's Property -- a number of condos and a park.
  • Peppertown Park -- change the face of the park, make it more usable and attractive.
  • Library will be part of the new municipal building. While under construction, the library will most likely be operating out of the Little Flower rectory.
  • Berkeley Heights YMCA -- The YMCA is seeking to find a new home at the Community Pool location.
  • Master Plan is up this year -- Woodruff asked the businesses to come forward with their thoughts. 

Dr. Patrick Smith asked if there would be a home for the Suburban Chamber of Commerce meetings in the new Municipal Complex. Mayor said that there should not be a problem to continue these monthly breakfast meetings in the new space.

"The town is here to work with us and we are here to work with the town," said Smith.

The breakfast was sponsored by Primrose School of Berkeley Heights. Dunkin Donuts partnered with the Chamber to donate the coffee for the 2017 monthly meetings.

The Suburban Chamber of Commerce is hosting their 7th Annual Service Award Dinner on March 22 at the Grand Summit Hotel. Ted Romankow will receive the Good Neighbor Award for his work on the restoration of the Veterans Memorial Park. Other recipients include: Marin Mixon for President's Award; The Prestige Diner for Business of the Year; David Dietze for Citizen of the Year;  NJ Sharing Network for Organization of the Year; Mountain Valley Joint Dispatch Center for Public Service Award; and Peter Twill for Silver Service Award.   

Visit the Suburban Chamber of Commerce website for upcoming events and learn about ways to be involved.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Berkeley Heights

The Mayor Addresses a Question on Tax Credits for Businesses

April 25, 2018

Some citizens have suggested that Berkeley Heights and any other New Jersey municipality can and should grant “tax breaks” or “tax credits” in the hopes of enticing businesses downtown. However, the law is clear and it does NOT allow municipalities to give “tax credits” to businesses.

Article VIII of the New Jersey State Constitution, Section 1 states, ...

Politics IS Government in Union County

After Bruce Patrson of Garwood was stopped from speaking at the Union County freeholder meeting of March 22 regarding the politics behind refusing to give the party line to a sitting freeholder I thought this brazen suppression of free speech could not go unanswered. A the the April 19 meeting I answered with these comments.

After ten years of following government in Union County I conclude ...

Shape up This Summer! Take it to the Next Level with a YMCA Personal Trainer.

April 26, 2018

Don't wait! Summer will be here in no time!  Now's the perfect time to SHAPE UP FOR SUMMER with our Personal Training Specials  -- only available during the month of May!

One-to-One sessions with our highly trained and encouraging staff give you the benefit of having a customized and productive experience.  We tailor your routine to your schedule and work ...

Reduce Your Risk for Colorectal Cancer

Morristown Medical Center’s Carol G. Simon Cancer Center presents “Protecting Your Colorectal Health” on Tuesday, May 1from 6:00 to 8:00pm at the Morristown Medical Center Health Pavilion, 333 Mount Hope Avenue in Rockaway. Admission is free.

This popular, educational program presents an opportunity to hear up-to-date presentations from leading ...

Union County College’s Drama Club to Present “12 Angry Jurors”

CRANFORD – Union County College’s Drama Club will be performing for their spring show the play, “12 Angry Jurors,” as adapted by Sherman L. Sergel and based on the Emmy award-winning television movie by Reginald Rose. The play is based on the same plot as “12 Twelve Angry Men,” but by being named “12 Angry Jurors” both men and women appear in the ...

Student Led #Rally4 Action to Protest Gun Violence Held Friday in Springfield

April 21, 2018

SPRINGFIELD, NJ - Fueled partially by their disappointment that students were not allowed to leave school for the nationwide student protest last month, student leaders planned a rally Friday on the nineteenth anniversary of the Columbine massacre in Colorado. At 4:30 p.m., students, parents, families, community members met at Chisholm Community Center to register voters, make ...

Student Led #Rally4 Action to Protest Gun Violence Held Friday in Springfield

April 21, 2018

SPRINGFIELD, NJ - Fueled partially by their disappointment that students were not allowed to leave school for the nationwide student protest last month, student leaders planned a rally Friday on the nineteenth anniversary of the Columbine massacre in Colorado. At 4:30 p.m., students, parents, families, community members met at Chisholm Community Center to register voters, make ...