Bell Works gets zoning OK to build 200-unit rooftop hotel

What’s next for Bell Works?

How about a 200-unit hotel. On the roof.

Somerset Development announced Tuesday that it has received approval to construct a single-story hotel atop its 2 million-square-foot revitalization project of the former Bell Laboratories in Holmdel.

“This decision marks the latest development in our work to turn this formerly vacant, single-tenant campus into a thriving, self-contained metropolis in suburbia,” Ralph Zucker, CEO and president of Somerset Development, said in a release.

“As we continue to add new retail options and other components that all members of the public can enjoy, a hotel will add a new level of appeal for the many large office tenants on site that welcome out-of-town visitors to their business or to conferences.”

Zucker likes to refer to the project as a “metroburb” — one that will a diverse mix of office, retail, child care, health and wellness uses. The hotel is just another added feature.

“We are pleased that Holmdel officials and the wider community have aligned in our vision, and look forward to welcoming additional businesses as we continue to transform Bell Works into an unrivaled commercial destination,” he said.

In the release, Somerset Development officials said they plan to build the hotel on the perimeter of Bell Works’ rooftop, preserving the iconic 60,000-square-foot photovoltaic skylight that provides light to the dynamic business campus and “pedestrian street” below.

Somerset is currently reviewing responses to requests for proposals from hotel and hospitality operators in the country. No date for a final selection was announced.