Bell Works in Holmdel — Courtesy: Peter Dant Photography
By Joshua Burd
Somerset Development has hired a real estate marketing firm to help lure new visitors to the growing slate of retailers, restaurants and services at its landmark Bell Works project.
Friction Design, a boutique firm, will help manage the ongoing and future retail marketing efforts for what Somerset calls “The Block at Bell Works” at the Holmdel property. Its role will include creating programs and initiatives geared toward increasing public awareness of the offerings at the 2 million-square-foot complex, the former site of the Bell Labs research campus.
Those operators are clustered around the property’s quarter-mile-long atrium, which serves as an indoor, walkable pedestrian plaza. Friction Design will also be available as a resource for existing and incoming retail tenants to help bolster their business.
“As Bell Works continues its transformation, we welcome partners that share our motivation and dedication to enhancing the success of our tenants, which in turn contributes to the overall vitality of the project,” said Ralph Zucker, president of Somerset Development. “With a combination of local knowledge and professional prowess in all phases of marketing, we greatly look forward to the addition of Friction Design and the positive impact the company will have on the community along The Block at Bell Works.”
Friction is led by Monmouth County residents Tara Goldstein and Danielle Taylor, who bring a combined 25 years of experience in the real estate industry, according to a news release. They have led marketing efforts for clients such as Brookfield Properties and offer marketing services such as brand development, event management, experiential and partnership marketing initiatives and print and digital campaigns.
“We’re thoroughly excited to be part of the Bell Works ‘Metroburb’ and work alongside Somerset Development to help take the retail at Bell Works to the next level,” Taylor said. “I grew up in the area and have been watching this project for some time so it’s extremely exciting to take our city experience and creativity, and translate it to a project of this magnitude in Monmouth County.”
Somerset Development has spent several years repositioning the iconic 55-year-old complex, where researchers from Bell Laboratories, Lucent and Alcatel-Lucent famously conceived theories for the laser, the Big Bang theory, cellular technology and the transistor. To date, the developer has leased more than 90 percent of its 1 million square feet of office space and will soon announce additional retail, food and wellness leases to complement The Block.
Existing offerings at Bell Works include shops, restaurants, health care, community services and lifestyle amenities. Somerset also recently announced the addition three new entertainment venues: Swing Loose, an indoor golf facility; Escapology, a real-life escape game experience; and OasisVRX, a state-of-the-art virtual reality center.