The following summary business plan presentation was made to the Mendham Township Committee on September 8, 2015 by the Friends of Pitney Farm. Our comprehensive business plan and 5-year budget, detailing a financially sustainable operation, has been developed and will be available on this web site. Through our plan, the asset value of Pitney Farm — still owned by Mendham Township — will continually increase as the Friends restore and renovate the property year after year. The community will have the use and enjoyment of Pitney Farm without adding further to the taxpayer’s burden.
If allowed to lease the Pitney Farm property from Mendham Township, the Friends of Pitney Farm, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation, will preserve and adapt Pitney Farm to meet the arts and educational needs of the community. The Pitney farmstead exemplifies 300 years of New Jersey history. It has changed with each generation, progressing from subsistence agriculture, through light industry, to specialized agriculture and country home. Our plan — to transform Pitney Farm from an historic farmstead and private residence into a “Gathering Place for our Community” — represents the next step in its evolution. Our vision preserves this community’s historic heritage while repurposing this priceless remnant of our past to meet the needs of this and future generations.
By renovating existing facilities on 5 of the 12 acres, restoring the award-winning gardens, and improving all of the 7 acres of Open Space, the Friends of Pitney Farm will provide spacious and bright work spaces and meeting rooms with Wi-Fi, as well as peaceful arts studios, gallery space, music rooms, event and conference space. All improvements and maintenance costs will be funded through use fees, rental income from the 4 cottages on the property and art studio spaces, capital campaigns, and grant awards.
The Friends of Pitney Farm are partnering with The Land Conservancy of New Jersey, a nonprofit that has provided more than 34 years of leadership in preserving and protecting open spaces and properties in our state. We are also working with many other Mendham and area nonprofit organizations that have expressed a desire to make use of Pitney Farm once it is leased to the Friends of Pitney Farm.
Key to the sustainability of this project is a strategy of Phased Growth, through which the most readily usable sources of revenue will be put into operation in the first stage of operation. The benefit of this phased plan is that it’s fundraising needs are modest and it allows the public to begin using the property on a limited basis immediately. Phase II will focus on restoring and renovating the main house. Phase III will focus on the large barn.
Our plan will not only provide the township with the value of the lease and the hundreds of thousands of dollars each year in increased asset value as the property is restored. It will also save Mendham Township tens of thousands of dollars each year on property maintenance, overhead and staffing costs not just for the 5 acres that the Friends of Pitney Farm hope to lease, but also for the additional 7 acres of Open Space that the Friends agree to maintain.
Many of use chose to live in Mendham Township because of its beauty and history. While our plan for Pitney Farm will preserve its history, it will do so without making it a museum. We envision a wide variety of uses that will meet the 21st century needs and dreams of our children, families, and seniors.