Parsippany, NJ – April 18, 2016 – Colliers International Group Inc. has been retained as the exclusive retail leasing agent for Bell Works, Somerset Development’s two million-square-foot mixed-use redevelopment project in the heart of Somerset County.
Designed by internationally-renowned Alexander Gorlin Architects, the former Bell Labs office building has been reimagined as a dynamic, self-contained ‘town center’ in Holmdel, New Jersey. Now renamed Bell Works, the project will also include shops, restaurants, community services, healthcare space, a public library, and a hotel, all connected by an indoor pedestrian “street” that spans the length of three football fields, roughly the size of the Empire State Building turned on its side.
The Colliers International team of Nancy Erickson, an Executive Managing Director in the New Jersey office, and Scott Edlitz, an Executive Managing Director in the New York office, will jointly lead the leasing efforts for Bell Works’ available retail space.
“We are pleased for the opportunity to work on this assignment with Ralph Zucker and his Somerset Development colleagues,” said David A. Simon, SIOR, Executive Managing Director and Market Leader for the New Jersey operations of Colliers International.
“We are trying to accomplish something truly unique at Bell Works,” Edlitz said. “We are looking to repurpose beautiful architecture with the authentic energy, excitement, and culture of the urban experience, creating a dynamic, retail ecosystem.”
“Bell Works is one of the most exciting projects of recent times and will add great value not just to the dynamism of Holmdel, but the entire area,” Erickson said. “There is tremendous demand throughout Central New Jersey for an expansive, multi-layered retail destination. Bell Works is a once-in-a-generation redevelopment.”
“Colliers International has a tremendous global platform and a local leasing team with a long and successful track record of securing a diverse mix of retailers,” said Ralph Zucker, President of Somerset Development. “As we continue to bring new, creative office tenants into Bell Works’ collaborative environment, we are thrilled to provide them with a vast array of retail options that will be truly special.”
Staying true to Bell Works’ collaborative nature, the Colliers team plans to hold retail open houses, where retailers will have the opportunity to meet the Colliers retail team on-site to discuss their individual concepts and business plans, helping to facilitate integration into the facility’s unique environment.
Joining offices, retail, arts and culture in a single facility, the all-inclusive Bell Works ‘town center’ is designed to promote an ideal work/life experience for its users. Additionally, the pedestrian “street” will serve as a world-class venue for the surrounding Holmdel community — providing everything from farmer’s markets and art exhibitions, to conferences and musical performances. The approved plan for the surrounding site also allows for residential, recreational, and open space uses outside the building, including the development of up to 40 single-family homes and 185 age-restricted townhomes, as well as a sports and recreation area.
As the state’s suburban office vacancies vastly outpace those of urban markets, Somerset’s approach to creating an urban vibe is widely regarded as the region’s foremost example of successful adaptive reuse of a vacant office facility.
Originally constructed between 1962 and 1964 by world-renowned modernist architect Eero Saarinen, the iconic building has spurred the development of some of the world’s foremost inventions and research concepts. In its 40-plus year history as the research headquarters for Bell Laboratories, Lucent, and Alcatel-Lucent, the building housed a total of seven Nobel Prize winners, who were instrumental in conceiving theories for the laser, the Big Bang theory, cellular technology, the transistor, and more.
Located in Central New Jersey just off of the Garden State Parkway, Bell Works is easily accessible by major highways, public transportation, and international airports.