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Rent Increase Forces Tattoo Parlor to Relocate

Jerzey Tat, a River Road tattoo parlor that opened last November, will close up shop in Fair Lawn at the end of next month.

Less than a year after , Bruce Walker has decided to take his tattoo business elsewhere.

Faced recently with the prospect of a 100 percent rent increase over the next two years, the Saddle Brook resident and owner of said that even as the shop has been gaining momentum, he can't justify staying in Fair Lawn.

"I’m not established yet, I’m still getting my feet wet. I’m still building my clientele," said Walker, whose last day in Fair Lawn will be Oct. 31. "I don’t have that kind of cash to really put out for what they’re asking, especially for this location."

Walker's been paying $1000 per month since he moved into his current location on River Road between Krauszers and  last November. He learned from his landlord recently that come this November the monthly rent would jump to $1,600.

After his offer to split the difference and sign a multi-year lease was rebuffed by the property's owner, Walker said he had to move on. The landlord's final offer, according to Walker, was $1,500 per month starting in November, followed by $2,000 per month the following year. 

"If I was more visible to the public, and cars coming back and forth, then maybe," said Walker, whose small, tucked-away corner shop is barely visible from River Road, blocked on one side by a fence and the other side by a tree. "But it’s not worth that in this little location."

Since Walker began looking for spots elsewhere -- namely Elmwood Park, Dumont, Maywood and West New York -- he said he's actually found larger storefronts in better locations at lower prices than he's paying right now.

“It’s a shame, but I’m going to take this and I’m going to go to another town that will hopefully appreciate me and all the things that I do and start a new home there," said Walker, who has put nearly $10,000 into improving the shop over the past year. "It was a lot of money that I invested. I really thought this was going to be long term, but I didn’t see that curveball coming, unfortunately."

Walker said he'll learn from this experience going forward, and make sure his next lease spells out in writing the cost of rent for more than just the first year.

Maya Yasar, the owner of the hair salon that neighbors Jerzey Tat and shares its landlord, said she feels bad to see Walker leave.

"As a first time business owner, his mistake was not getting a long-term contract," said Yasar, who signed a four-year rent agreement with the landlord when she opened Maya's Hair Salon in February.

Until Walker finds a new location for Jerzey Tat, he said he'll likely find part-time work to help support his wife and young kids.

"I have family that's going to help me on my end and my wife’s end that will help back us up and get us going again because they do believe in me and they believe in this, and they saw the potential it had," he said. "It's just a matter of time, really."

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allison September 12, 2012 at 11:54 PM
The sad part is the landlord, because of greed, will now have an empty store for many months to come. So he will have no money coming in. When will landlords see just how stupid they are?
GEorgePatton September 13, 2012 at 01:17 AM
Good riddance! Take the shady followers with ya
GEorgePatton September 13, 2012 at 04:12 AM
Gash,YOU are the riff raff a tattoo parlor attracts .Don't let the door hit you on the tattoo of your mother on the way outta town
BH1 September 13, 2012 at 04:56 AM
I left my store on Broadway for Saddle Brook when the landlord got greedy, I was there for twenty years, My rent went up every year due to a lease I had, When it came time to negotiate I offered more than fair market value, The store now sits empty for one year. They will need to renovate and never get what I offered, The difference was a couple hundred dollars, Instead of taking a loss of just a few thousand dollars the first year, they have now lost over 30,000 dollars. Seems landlords would rather have empty stores.
* September 13, 2012 at 10:58 AM
BH1, your experience seems to be the standard in Fair Lawn. Take a ride and look at all the empty stores...Disgraful to see such greed diminish the town. I have to wonder why our elected officials do not address this issue
Dorothy DiPiazza September 13, 2012 at 02:11 PM
(1 of 4 ) It is honestly a shame how people want to call others riff raff and then bring peoples mothers into a conversation about a family man losing his business due to greed! Amazing that someone without tat's still couldn’t conjure up more intelligent words to express his personal opinion. It is this type of racism and bigotry that doesn’t belong in Fair Lawn. In any group you will find good and bad and I feel sorry that you haven’t learned that in your life thus far. Now back to the real story at hand: In such critical economic times I am shocked that this landlord wouldn’t accept the rent he was already getting, rather than nothing. Also, you may want to look into a multiple dwelling law, I believe that the building that you’re in qualifies and may only be suitable for a low percentage of an increase by law!
Dorothy DiPiazza September 13, 2012 at 02:11 PM
(2 of 4)( Determining if a Rent Increase is Unconscionable In Fromet Properties Inc. v. Dolores Buel, et al., the court found that in determining unconscionability, the trial judge may consider: 1) the amount of the proposed rent increase; 2)he landlord’s expenses and profitability; 3) how the existing and proposed rent compare to rentscharged at similar rental properties in the geographic area; 4) the relative bargaining position of the parties; and 5) based on the judge’s general knowledge, whether the rent increase would shock the conscience of a reasonable person.Rent ControlThe State of New Jersey does not have a law governing rent increases. However, municipalitieswithin the State may adopt ordinances regulating the amount and frequency of rent increaseswithin their specific municipality. A municipality’s ordinance may not cover all rental units. Tofind out if a rent control ordinance exists, and if it applies to a specific rental unit, contact themunicipal clerk in the municipality where the rental premises is located.)
Dorothy DiPiazza September 13, 2012 at 02:12 PM
(3 of 4) I would fight it out and try to stay, being that you have spent all that money and are just getting established. This is the American dream, hard work, dedication, determination to own your own business and have that business be your passion…..not to have it torn apart by greed. God bless and I hope you choose to fight it out if you can- If not make sure you let people know where you move to.
Dorothy DiPiazza September 13, 2012 at 02:13 PM
(4 of 4) Any business leaving Fair Lawn should make the people who live here angry, no matter what you views are on the “type of business”. It’s a legal business, no a prostitution or drug ring. People with tattoos have families and morals obvious some of you who don’t have them don’t have the latter either! Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Dorothy DiPiazza September 13, 2012 at 02:18 PM
Fair Lawn Borough: Rent Leveling Board 8-01 Fair Lawn Ave Fair Lawn, NJ 07410 201-794-5345 www.​fairlawn.​org/​boards/​rent_leveling/​index.​htm
Stuart Pace September 13, 2012 at 03:06 PM
Looks like the Radburn Deli is closed now.........
Deleted because of harassment September 13, 2012 at 03:17 PM
Isn't this one of those things that Don Smart and his RRIC are supposed to manage?
Radburngal September 14, 2012 at 01:28 AM
Just in my area alone: hair salon next to CVS, shoe repair store, verizon store, deli, four stores in the deals shopping center. And that is just in that little downtown of Radburn. it is a shame.
Ralph James September 14, 2012 at 05:19 PM
Their business couldn't support the increase cost of doing business at that location. Thank the council for the 4% tax increase which was compounded by the shift in burden from homes to business with the revaluation done earlier this year. Being a landlord is a business. The landlord was not "greedy" at all for adjust his prices to market rates. Greed is good, after all, its only someone's self interest.
Ralph James September 14, 2012 at 05:20 PM
Prostitution is consensual adult behavior. Drug use should be legal too, after all who is the government to regulate what we can put into "our" bodies?
Ralph James September 14, 2012 at 05:21 PM
Another dumb law that violates our rights.
Ralph James September 14, 2012 at 05:22 PM
They had a contract to use someone else's property. They could have bought a property or negotiated a different deal, maybe at another location....
Ralph James September 14, 2012 at 05:23 PM
He didn't loose his business, he chose not to pay the new rent. There are other locations he could operate his business. He could have negotiated a better deal before investing in someone's space.
fred September 22, 2012 at 01:12 PM
I would love to see the Tattoo Parlor on Broadway close as well. It brings a low class element into our neighborhood. Maybe we can picket the joint!
fred September 22, 2012 at 01:18 PM
The Bruce Walker's of the world should locked up. They do nothing but make it miserable for residence who live near their business of sin.
Helena Bucket September 26, 2012 at 08:02 PM
Fred, you are an imbecile.
Helena Bucket September 26, 2012 at 08:03 PM
To the owner of this business. The landlord did you a favor. Fair Lawn sucks. Be thankful your landlord made you move on
fred September 26, 2012 at 10:55 PM
Helena, I hope that you are not a resident of FL. If you are, you should leave ASAP. We do not need your type in FL. By the way, you SUCK!

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