The dramatic second act continues for Bell Works, Holmdel’s iconic telecom campus turned mixed-use complex. Local officials last week approved the addition of a new 200-room hotel on the roof of what was previously the nation’s largest vacant office building, according to Real Estate NJ.
The rooms will be constructed along the perimeter of the rooftop, preserving the 60,000 sq. ft. photovoltaic skylight that runs the length of the building. No word yet on who will run the hotel, although the firm behind the project, Somerset Development, has begun fielding proposals from interested operators.
Bell Works’ transformation has been picking up pace with recent openings of Holmdel Township’s new library and learning center as well as a rooftop deck and lounge that add even more tenant amenities to a list that already includes a food court, Montessori school, beauty salon, and fitness center, each located on the sun-bathed ground-floor pedestrian promenade.
In the past 18 months, over 800,000 square feet of office space has been leased to tenants that include iCIMS, Guardian Life Insurance, International Flavors & Fragrances, WorkWave, and Jersey Central Power and Light. Bell Works is expected to be fully leased by the end of this year.
This “self-contained metropolis in suburbia,” as Somerset CEO and President Ralph Zucker described it, represents a remarkable renaissance for this building of outsized historical importance. After all, it was here that Bell Labs, Lucent, and Alcatel birthed some of the most vital innovations ever, concepts like the cell phone and the Big Bang Theory. You know. Little things.