Adaptive Reuse Will Transform 2-Million SF Architectural Gem into Dynamic, Mixed-Use Town Center
Somerset Development has kicked off a $100 million redevelopment of the iconic former Bell Labs facility in Holmdel, N.J.
After more than six years of planning, Lakewood, N.J.-based Somerset Development in late August closed on its acquisition of the building along with about 470 surrounding acres. The company will transform the building into a mixed-use town center, with a public promenade created from the existing atrium.
The distinctive complex designed by modernist architect Eero Saarinen originally was constructed between 1959 and 1982 for the Bell Laboratories division of Bell Telephone, later known as AT&T, Lucent, and today, Alcatel-Lucent.
Potential uses include retail, dining options, health and wellness, a hotel and conference center, educational facilities, an upscale spa and public facilities.
Somerset has signed an agreement with Community Health Associates, a health care-oriented consulting and real estate development firm, for the sale of up to 400,000 square feet in the building to develop an ambulatory surgery center, doctors’ offices, and assisted living and skilled nursing facilities. The developer is marketing the balance of the remaining space in the building for lease and sale.
Designed by world-renowned modernist architect Eero Saarinen, Constructed between 1959 and 1982, the facility is revered for its architectural distinction, as well as for the role it played as an incubator for some of the world’s foremost inventions and research concepts.
Somerset has tapped Alexander Gorlin Architects to serve as the lead architect for the redevelopment.
"This is one of the most significant architectural landmarks of the last century and we intend to restore and enhance the building to its former glory," said Gorlin. "Bringing it into the 21st century and beyond, the former Bell Labs will become a new center not only for Holmdel, but as a regional destination for culture, retail, art, and wellness."