Somerset Development said Tuesday it gave more than $5 million to Holmdel Township, fulfilling a redevelopment agreement as part of the transformation of the 2 million-square-foot Bell Laboratories facility into Bell Works New Jersey.
Redevelopment of the Bell Works facility in Holmdel started in 2013. Somerset Development worked closely with municipality officials to carry forward its vision to reimagine the vacated corporate campus into a metroburb—”a self-contained metropolis in a suburban setting.”
“When we revealed our plans to revitalize the historic Bell Labs building, we were frequently met with skepticism about what many thought was an overly ambitious initiative. However, Holmdel Township and its residents ultimately recognized the potential to transform this underutilized building into an economic and cultural asset for generations to come,” said Somerset Development President Ralph Zucker. “Though there have been challenges along the way, we continued to work diligently to ensure Bell Works New Jersey was a success, allowing us to fulfill our obligation to Holmdel Township, which will further benefit the community at large.”
Since its opening, Bell Works New Jersey has completed more than 1 million square feet of commercial leases, filling approximately 90 percent of its office space. Today, the building is home to more than 70 businesses and welcomes thousands of workers daily, in addition to regular visitors from the surrounding community.
“The Block at Bell Works” – its ground-floor array of retail destinations – includes a gourmet food market, restaurants, café, boutique group fitness studio, a florist, public dental office and jeweler.
“Ralph and his team at Somerset Development carried out a unique vision to turn a vast vacant space into this thriving Metroburb,” said Holmdel Mayor Greg Buontempo. “The success of this project has continued to attract economic development to our town, and, with this contribution, is directly benefiting the present and future residents of our community.”
“The old adage of ‘it takes a village’ really holds true with regards to the redevelopment of the former Bell Labs facility. The Somerset team understood the nuances and challenges in revitalizing the historic property, and together with Holmdel’s support, we were able to deliver on our promise,” added Somerset Development Director of Operations Robert Feinberg. “Today, Bell Works is embraced by the Holmdel community and beyond – a credit to the collective stakeholders’ unwavering dedication to seeing the vision through to reality.”