Somerset Development's new name reflects company's innovative legacy
The concept of a rebrand isn’t one that’s foreign to the newly dubbed Inspired – for short, Inspired by Somerset Development otherwise – which in addition to redeveloping the former 2 million-square-foot Bell Labs campus in Holmdel into the “metroburb” it is today, also successfully revamped the property’s image as Bell Works.
The rebrand, announced June 29, reflects the company’s innovative legacy, which “has allowed it to consistently create spaces that reimagine the possibilities of the built environment.”
According to the Holmdel-based company, Inspired reimagines, repositions and redevelops sites to improve quality of life, while also creating a sense of community, culture and place.
“With the launch of Inspired, we’re harnessing the lessons from our storied history, and building upon them for a new era of innovative and sustainable redevelopment. We will continue to direct our energy on creating places that truly inspire new ways to work, live, or foster togetherness,” said Founder and CEO Ralph Zucker in a statement.
The company said Inspired better reflects its ability to craft creative developments. Exemplifying those efforts are not one, but two large-scale former corporate telecom facilities the company has made over. There’s the aforementioned Bell Works and also Chicagoland in the Midwest: both evocative of the company’s “metroburb” concept, which brings a self-contained metropolis to suburban locales.
Currently under construction, this second iteration of the Bell Works metroburb is being developed on the 150-acre former AT&T corporate campus in Hoffman Estates, Ill., and is set to include “its own ecosystem” of offices, shops and dining; event space; hospitality resources and residential offerings, according to Inspired.
And Inspired says it has eyes on bringing more metroburbs to fruition, now that it has a “successful blueprint” in place.
“We know that traditional development practices cannot fulfill the evolving needs of our workplaces, living spaces, or community hubs, which is why we’re actively on the hunt for underutilized properties throughout the country that need to be reimagined for the future,” Zucker added.
Inspired has been in business for 27 years, with capabilities that now cover development, management, construction and third-party consulting services. Take a closer look at some of the company’s other developments:
In Wood-Ridge, Inspired partnered with NJ Transit to build a completely new train station that is now the centerpiece of a 70-acre Transit Oriented Development in the municipality. The site was a former brownfield adjacent to the train station that used to house the Curtiss-Wright airplane manufacturing factory. Following the redevelopment, the space can now host more than 1,500 townhomes and apartments in addition to retail and commercial accommodations.
This transformative mixed-use property will surround the train station in the county seat of Somerset. Inspired said the property will include 14 apartment buildings and 156 townhomes, two parking garages, 4,000 square feet of retail space and a 2,600-square-foot community civic center. The effort is a collaboration NJ Transit, AvalonBay Communities and Pulte Homes.
“Inspired brings a calculated departure from the norm, generating genuine excitement where some may have thought to be impossible,” said Controller Mordechai Sidell in a statement, which speaks to the company’s efforts in Somerville. “Our company was formed around the concept of new urbanism — a development philosophy that promotes sustainable, walkable places — and collaboration has been the centerpiece of every one of our development initiatives. With this rebrand, we’re reaffirming our core mission and signaling our intent to share our methodology with municipalities throughout the U.S.”l