Somerset Development has announced new lease agreements with two multinational office users – Suttons International and Spirent Communications – at Bell Works in Holmdel. The two-million-square-foot building, formerly the historic headquarters of Bell Labs, is currently undergoing an approximately $200 million adaptive reuse redevelopment designed to transform the facility into a dynamic mixed-use center.
Spirent Communications, an international telecommunications company, signed a lease for 17,000 square feet at Bell Works, while Suttons International, an international logistics company, will occupy 5,000 square feet. Both companies’ agreements contain options to expand their footprint in the building in the coming years.
The Garibaldi Group, Bell Works’ exclusive office leasing agency, also represented Suttons International in the lease. Cresa represented Spirent Communications.
“We’re extraordinarily excited to welcome Suttons and Spirent, two well-established multinational companies that are representative of our vision for a place in which talented people can gather to hone their ideas, collaborate, and inspire creation,” said Ralph Zucker, President of Somerset Development. “Bell Works provides a truly unique environment to tap into the accessibility and dynamism of a city within an historic suburban location.”
Under Somerset’s transformative plan for Bell Works, a pedestrian “street” is being created within the building’s existing quarter-mile long atrium that 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. The corridor will also serve as a world-class venue for community, cultural and business events – from farmer’s markets and art exhibitions, to industry conferences and musical performances. Upon completion, Bell Works will 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.
Somerset’s vision to revive the once-bustling Bell Labs headquarters is coming to fruition. In addition to Spirent Communications and Suttons International, Somerset previously announced a 42,000-square-foot lease agreement with Symbolic IO, a “stealth mode” data storage company which is preparing to formally launch its product offerings toward the end of 2015. The building is also home to Vi Coworking, a coworking space and networking group for technology companies and innovators in the region.
“I cannot be more excited about the progress and implementation at Bell Works,” said Holmdel Mayor Eric Hinds. “This building is poised to once again transform into the crown jewel not only of Holmdel, but of the State of New Jersey.”
Steve Lonsdale, Suttons’ Regional Director for the Americas, said, “We were looking for offices that would suit our business and the fast paced nature of the markets that we operate in. Bell Works gives us both the practical space we need and the modern and sophisticated working environment that will support our continued growth and expansion. The vibrant and unique community created at Bell Works is a fantastic place to bring our customers and colleagues from around the world.”
“This move underscores our commitment to our customers and employees, and will enable us to continue the growth and success that we have experienced in North America for the last 20 years,” Lonsdale added.
Both Suttons International and Spirent Communications will receive custom fit-out office spaces at Bell Works. The building is also offering office suites on the atrium level, designed and fully furnished for turnkey access for prospective tenants.
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 renowned architecture firm 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.
In addition to the redevelopment of the former Bell Labs facility, 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: