Somerset Development on Thursday announced that Sabre Real Estate Group will be exclusive retail leasing agent at Bell Works, the new “metroburb” at the 2 million-square-foot former Bell Laboratories site in Holmdel.
A metroburb is a self-contained downtown in a desirable suburban location.
Sabre will be responsible for attracting a variety of shopping, dining and other experiential retail for the building’s quarter-mile-long atrium, now repurposed as a downtown-style pedestrian street, Somerset Development announced.
Sabre’s New York-New Jersey leasing team at Bell Works will be led by Principal Scott Sher, Senior Vice President Justin Korinis, Director Dina Santarelli and Associate Sean Pyle. They will market the remaining ground-floor retail space.
“Downtowns have historically been the neighborhood hub where people shop, eat and gather. We are looking to curate an upscale, modern retail experience that would be reminiscent of that vibrant downtown,” said Korinis. “Like any downtown, you’ll be able to find a variety of retail, including food and beverage, shopping and services, but our focus is on identifying retailers and restaurants that bring something unique, chic and fun to the table, and that fit the personality of the Bell Works community. These tenants, and the tenant mix as a whole, will have significant appeal to the community in the rest of Monmouth County and beyond.”
Bell Works is home to several locally inspired street-level tenants, including a cafe, gourmet coffee roaster and various pop-up vendors.
Somerset Development has leased more than 75 percent of the building’s 1 million square feet of office space.
This November, anchor tenant iCIMS celebrated the opening of its 350,000-square-foot headquarters at the building, where it plans ultimately grow to 2,000 employees. Additionally, the building already has hosted events, from regional networking symposiums to local community gatherings.
“From a retail real estate prospective, Bell Works is such an outlier because it cannot be compared to anything that exists to date,” Korinis said. “It’s not simply the sum of the office space and the retail space; it’s an active, organic environment. The structure of the building is so unique that it provides all of the dynamic activity of a busy city street in a weatherproof, fully enclosed environment.”
The new Holmdel Township Library and Learning Center opened at Bell Works last week, with upgrades including new educational programs and services, as well as updated technological infrastructure and a museum dedicated to preserving the building’s unique history. Bell Works also recently unveiled its new rooftop deck and lounge, allowing tenants and visitors to enjoy a lunch or coffee break overlooking the grounds.
Cloud-based business management and fleet management solutions company WorkWave has also moved its headquarters to the building. Other prominent commercial tenants include Guardian Life Insurance and Jersey Central Power and Light.
Originally constructed between 1962 and 1964 by world-renowned modernist architect Eero Saarinen, 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.
Situated along Crawfords Corner Road, Bell Works is about a mile from Exit 114 of the Garden State Parkway.