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Former Bell Labs site is seeking tenants

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- (SOMERSET DEVELOPMENT)

With its long-awaited transformation now underway, the sprawling Bell Labs building in Holmdel is officially open for leasing.

Somerset Development, the firm spearheading redevelopment plans for the property, announced this week the 2 million-square-foot complex is now open to prospective commercial tenants. To coincide with the announcement, the Lakewood-based developer has rebranded the historic building as “Bell Works.”

The Garibaldi Group and M. Wilk Consulting will serve as Bell Works’ exclusive office and retail leasing agents, respectively, Somerset said in a news release.

“Today, companies are increasingly looking for office space solutions that are part of a dynamic, multifaceted environment to appeal to today’s employee base,” Ralph Zucker, Somerset’s president, said in a prepared statement. “We believe the transformation of this building into a vibrant center will position it strongly as an office and mixed-use destination that affords immediate access to amenities and services not available in traditional suburban office campuses.”

The iconic Jersey Shore building — home to decades of research that led to technology such as the cell phone — is currently undergoing a $100 million adaptive reuse project that will turn it into a mixed-use commercial hub. The project kicked off last fall, following years of debate and planning over the future of the 472-acre campus.

RELATED: Developer officially kicks off $100M reuse plan at Bell Labs site

Some 750,000 square feet at Bell Works will be office space, the news release said. The Garibaldi Group team leading the office leasing and marketing assignment for the building includes Jeffrey Garibaldi, Tara Keating Freeman and Kyle Mahoney.

As part of the redevelopment plan, Somerset has signed an agreement with Community Health Associates, a health care consulting and real estate development firm, for the sale of up to 400,000 square feet in the building, the news release said. The space would serve as a comprehensive medical facility to include a surgery center, doctors’ offices, assisted living and skilled nursing facilities, and other health and wellness uses.

Somerset, meantime, is creating a pedestrian promenade within the building’s existing atrium that will serve as the central gathering space of this new destination, connecting tenants and visitors to its dining, entertainment and health and wellness services. The property will also have educational facilities, a hotel and conference center.

Alexander Gorlin Architects will serve as the lead architect for the redevelopment.

The approved plan for the site also allows for the development of up to 40 single-family homes and 185 age-restricted townhomes, as well as a field house for sports, the news release said. Toll Bros. Inc. is in contract with Somerset for the purchase of land outside the building to construct the development’s residential component.

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Joshua Burd

Joshua Burd

Josh Burd covers real estate, economic development and sports and entertainment. Before joining NJBIZ in 2011, he spent four years as a metro reporter in Central Jersey. His email is joshb@njbiz.com and he is @JoshBurdNJ on Twitter.

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