Less than a year after being rebranded as “The Woodland,” the former Woman’s Club of Maplewood building at 60 Woodland Road is bringing in a steady stream of revenue for the town, according to Maplewood Township Cultural Affairs Coordinator Andrew Fishman.
During a recent visit to The Woodland, Fishman told The Village Green that the venue took in about $25,000 in revenue in 2014 — from its launch in July through December 31.
He expects much higher numbers for 2015, reporting that The Woodland is nearly fully booked every weekend, “sometimes two times in a day,” with weddings, bar mitzvahs, bridal showers, birthday parties and more. “It’s really taken off,” said Fishman. On the day that The Village Green visited, North Jersey Pride was busily prepping the space for the Black & White Ball.
After purchasing The Woodland — formerly the Woman’s Club of Maplewood — for $1 million in 2013, Maplewood Township started minor refurbishments to the building in order to use it for recreational and cultural events and to rent it out. The town renamed the building The Woodland in July 2014 and undertook repaving, reorientation and new landscaping for the parking lot last fall.
Fishman said that “bit by bit” The Woodland has been coming together. He did not have an exact number for the amount spent on repairs, but said, “Many thousands of dollars have been saved using volunteers and existing municipal resources to rehabilitate the public spaces at The Woodland. Remnants of wood from other projects went into patching walls and leftover cans of paint were put to use whenever possible. There is definitely a labor of love element that exists with regards to the Woodland.” In 2015, he hopes to see the building have its own operating budget. “The goal is to be self-sustaining,” said Fishman.
Fishman is most excited about the potential for the building’s third floor which would need elevator access to meet code. The 2,500 to 3,000 sf third floor includes a former caretaker’s apartment that would “make amazing studio space” for music teachers, actors and the like, said Fishman.
Fishman said that the most enthusiastic customers for The Woodland are Maplewoodians who “love its rawness and charm” and the fact that they can hold their event “right in Maplewood.” Township residents also enjoy a 35% discount on rental prices. Two spaces are available for event rental: The Great Hall on the first floor and the Parlor on the second floor. The full rate for the Great Hall is $135/hr Monday through Thursday and $225/hr Friday through Sunday. The Parlor is $65/hr Monday through Thursday and $110/hr Friday through Sunday. There is a $150 alcohol permit fee. All rentals require a three-hour minimum.
And just in case you were worried about those spin cycles on the stage in the Great Hall, Fishman pointed out that they can easily and quickly be placed backstage: “It takes five minutes.”
To book The Woodland, contact [email protected] or call 973-640-0399.