Bell Works Inks Seven New Retail Leases for Indoor Pedestrian Plaza

By Joshua Burd  | March 26, 2018 |


Seven new retail tenants have committed to Bell Works, the mixed-use campus that now occupies the landmark, 2 million-square-foot former Bell Labs complex in Holmdel.

Somerset Development, which owns the campus, announced Friday that the tenants had signed leases for the building’s ground-floor. The new tenants include:

  • Hummus & Pita, a New York-City based restaurant specializing in freshly prepared, healthy Middle Eastern and Mediterranean fare such as falafel, gyro, shawarma, grape leaves and fresh-baked pita and laffa bread.
  • Alchemist Jewelers, a locally based purveyor of custom designed and manufactured jewelry. Its store in Bell Works will be able to print jewelry designs in 3D, allowing customers to see their prospective purchases come to life before it is manufactured.
  • Bell Market, a food hall helmed by restaurant chef Richard J. Corbo and sommelier Chantelle Corbo, which will bring a culinary destination complete with a variety of food and fine wines to Bell Works.
  • Booskerdoo, a micro roaster of fine coffee and bakery, which recently opened its full storefront at Bell Works.
  • Holmdel Florist, a gourmet food and floral gift provider
  • Salon Concrete, a hair and beauty salon, which offers hairstyling and educational services to aspiring stylists and is expanding beyond its initial Red Bank location.
  • @ Your Convenience, a store offering a variety of everyday items, including snacks, select groceries, toiletries, newspapers and more

The Colliers International team led by Nancy Erickson, executive managing director, represented Somerset Development in the deals as Bell Works’ retail leasing agent at the time of the transactions. Colliers has also completed deals with Mezza Luna, Estrella Azul and Holmdel Montessori.

The firm completed the transactions on a direct basis with each tenant other than Salon Concrete, which was represented by Seena Stein of Newmark Knight Frank.

In a news release, Somerset said the new leases mark a milestone in the building’s transformation into what it calls a ‘metroburb,’ a self-contained downtown inside the suburban building. The retailers will occupy the ground floor of Bell Works’ quarter-mile-long atrium, which the firm has repurposed as an indoor pedestrian street.

To date, Somerset Development has leased more than 75 percent of its 1 million square feet of office space at Bell Works. The campus welcomed its anchor tenant last fall when technology firm iCIMS opened its new 350,000-square-foot headquarters in the building.

Another large tenant, software solutions firm WorkWave, moved into its 72,000-square-foot space earlier in the year.

“Every day, new life is injected into Bell Works, whether it be from a company opening the doors to its new office or an event bringing new visitors to this historic building,” said Ralph Zucker, president of Somerset Development. “But the continued growth of Bell Works’ retail scene will add an entirely new dimension to our metroburb. In short time, workers and members of the public alike will be able to walk along our pedestrian street and access nearly anything that exists in an exciting urban downtown, all in a great suburban location.”

The Sabre Real Estate Group team of Senior Vice President Justin Korinis, Director Dina Santarelli and Associate Sean Pyle now serves as Bell Works’ retail leasing agent.

“Bell Works is now home to thousands of office workers each and every day, and that sense of vibrancy is beginning to take hold on its pedestrian street,” Korinis said. “Within the next few months, nearly 50,000 square feet of retail space will be open to the public.

“In some cases these retailers are already serving both employees and visitors to the building, including Booskerdoo Coffee, @ Your Convenience and the Holmdel Public Library.”

Korinis said the firm is negotiating several other deals, “including both large format and boutique fitness, high-end home furnishings, medical uses, upscale restaurants featuring renowned chefs, a beer garden and even a large entertainment complex.” The businesses will support both local residents and a fast-growing office population at Bell Works, which has also won approvals for a new rooftop hotel.