Somerset Development today announced the largest lease to date at Bell Works, the company’s iconic mixed-use development in Holmdel. WorkWave, a leading provider of cloud-based software solutions for the field service and “last mile” delivery industries, will occupy a 72,000-square-foot space in the building, with an expansion option for an additional 72,000 square feet.
WorkWave’s decision to relocate its headquarters to Bell Works is the latest in a string of technology companies taking space at the two-million-square-foot property, the former historic headquarters of Bell Labs, which is currently undergoing an approximately $200 million adaptive reuse redevelopment designed to transform what was once the single largest vacant office building in the U.S. into a dynamic “live-work-play” community.
Jeff Garibaldi, president, Tara Keating, vice president, and Kyle Mahoney, associate vice president, of The Garibaldi Group – Bell Works’ exclusive office leasing agency – represented Somerset Development in the transaction. The CBRE team of Joseph Sarno Jr., executive vice president, Jeremy Neuer, senior vice president, and Matthew Wassel, associate, represented WorkWave.
“As recently as 2014, this property sat vacant, with more than two million square feet of empty space,” said Eric Hinds, Mayor of Holmdel, New Jersey. “Thanks to Somerset Development and forward-thinking companies such as WorkWave, Bell Works is now a key driver of the local economy, bringing vital jobs and ratables to our township. Residents of Holmdel and the entire State of New Jersey should be extremely proud of what’s been accomplished here. Holmdel is the model for municipalities seeking to understand how vacated offices campuses can be successfully redeveloped.”
WorkWave, previously known as Marathon Data Systems, provides cloud-based software solutions that enable field service and “last mile” delivery companies to connect and manage every aspect of their clients’ front office, back office and field operations through a single user interface. The company’s rapid growth, including adding over 100 employees in the past three years, prompted their search for a more suitable location, ultimately leading them to Bell Works. WorkWave is a leading provider of solutions for businesses with a large number of vehicles and mobile employees, helping integrate cloud-based platforms for office management, fleet management and marketing. The company was attracted by Somerset’s transformative plan for Bell Works, which is centered around a pedestrian “street” within the building’s existing quarter-mile long atrium. The area will connect tenants and visitors to a host of dining, entertainment, and health and wellness services, along with renovated office space and educational facilities, a hotel and conference center.
In addition to its New Jersey headquarters, WorkWave has regional offices in Boston, St. Louis and Verona, Italy, as well as remote workers in the U.S. and Europe. Team members from outside New Jersey frequently visit headquarters for working sessions, and it was important that these visits be highly productive. In addition, WorkWave routinely hosts user groups and conducts marketing research, so ample, multi-functional/multi-media meeting and collaboration spaces were a requirement for its new home.
“As WorkWave expands and thrives, the work-live-play reputation that Bell Works portrays is the perfect environment for who we are, and where we are headed to retain and attract talented employees to drive us to the next chapter of our continuous growth,” said Chris Sullens, president and CEO, WorkWave. “While our excitement heightens for our move to Bell Works, we want to keep in mind and thank Somerset and the township of Holmdel for having a vision and the fortitude to bring to life this phenomenal space, which exceeds the needs of the community and organizations such as WorkWave. The State of New Jersey and the Economic Development Authority also provided the financial support WorkWave needed through our recent Grow New Jersey grant, which allows us to stay and thrive in New Jersey.”
In addition to serving as home to top-tier technology tenants, Bell Works will act as a world-class venue for community. Upon completion, the property will also feature a diverse range of retail options, including restaurants, coffee shops, and other services and amenities, creating a decidedly urban downtown feel across the center’s main level promenade.
“This agreement with WorkWave is just the latest confirmation that our vision for creating an inimitable environment that’s conducive to inspiration, collaboration and creation has come to fruition,” said Ralph Zucker, President of Somerset Development. “As we move forward with our plan to create the accessibility and dynamism of a city within an historic suburban location, we’ll continue to work hand-in-hand with Township officials to bring world-class companies to Holmdel.”
WorkWave’s lease at Bell Works comes just three months after Somerset announced deals with national audiovisual company McCann Systems LLC, publicly traded multi-platform technology firm NVIDIA Corporation and Acacia Communications, a recognized optical transmission manufacturer. Other prominent commercial tenants include Spirent Communications, an international telecommunications firm; Suttons International, a worldwide logistics company; and Symbolic IO, a “stealth mode” data storage company that is preparing to formally launch its product offerings this year. The building is also home to vi Collaboration Hub, a co-working space and networking group for technology companies and innovators in the region.
“WorkWave was seeking a vibrant new headquarters space that will allow it to add the best and brightest minds as it expands its suite of SaaS solutions,” Sarno said. “There was no better fit in New Jersey than Bell Works, which will provide the state-of-the-art facilities and amenities that today’s employee desires.”
Added Jeff Garibaldi, president of the Garibaldi Group: “WorkWave’s agreement speaks to the accelerating leasing momentum we’ve seen at the building, particularly from technology-based companies. Bell Works is quickly becoming a sought-after destination for office users in search of an invigorating work environment that taps into New Jersey’s deep talent pool.”
Originally constructed between 1962 and 1964 by world-renowned modernist architect Eero Saarinen, the building is revered for its role in spurring 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 conceived theories for the laser, the Big Bang theory, cellular technology, the transistor, and more.
Somerset Development selected the internationally renowned Architects, Alexander Gorlin Architects to serve as the lead architect for the redevelopment. The firm, which specializes in a wide range of projects including historically significant, adaptive reuse developments, is overseeing the execution of programming and restoration for Bell Works’ public and common area spaces.
The approved plan for the site 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 field house for sports. Toll Brothers, the country’s leading developer of luxury residential communities, is in contract with Somerset for the purchase of land outside the building to construct the development’s residential component.
Situated along Crawfords Corner Road, Bell Works is approximately one mile from Exit 114 of the Garden State Parkway. Its central New Jersey location provides easy access to points north and south.Related Articles: