events-happenings

Is Bell Works Open to the Public? Yes, Come for a Walk Around the Block

Holmdel resident Peter Pessutti is a Bell Works regular. You’ll find him at Honeybell Bakery for coffee every Tuesday. And at the Holmdel Library & Learning Center checking out a couple of books. He might even do some laps with his wife Cheri, whom you may have seen getting her steps in for the day by walking the atrium.

“It’s such a great addition to the whole community, bringing this downtown concept, which Holmdel never had, bringing it to life,” Peter added. “The shops, the restaurants, the library, it’s just a fantastic resource for the community.”


Bell Works“It’s just a fantastic resource for the community. It’s a town center, which is wonderful.” - Bell Works regular, Peter Pessutti

The serendipity of a city under one roof

Peter and Cheri love the food and the library and the downtown feel, and of course the quarter mile length of The Block for getting in daily exercise - no matter the weather.

Husband and wife Wally and Nancy Memmer agree. Wally is no stranger to the building. He worked as a software engineer for Bell Labs over 30 years ago, and worked in the Bell Labs Holmdel location for three months. Less than a year ago, he retired from his job as a professor at Brookdale Community College down the road.

Holmdel residents, and husband and wife Wally and Nancy Memmer come to Bell Works six days a week to walk The Block.

“When he retired, I told him he needs not to sit. So we come to Bell Works six days a week to get our exercise,” Nancy said. She’s been coming to the metroburb to take walks every day since the Holmdel Library & Learning Center opened. “It’s fun to watch the building grow and see everything happening around here. We hope to see it continue. And we even want to start a #walkinspired club!” Wally said.

Bell Market at Bell WorksMari Nuval, manager of Bell Market, greets customers with a friendly "Hello!"

Just ask Mari Nuval manager of Bell Market. 

“The great thing about being here is really getting to know the people who come to work here in the building and also the people in the area,” said Mari, from behind the counter at Honeybell Bakery, where she frequently calls out a friendly “Hello!” to Bell Market customers.

“We started as a pop-up, over in the space where the Microsoft shop is now, and we didn’t know if we’d be there one, maybe two months. It ended up being nine months. We didn’t have a system for ordering, so we all learned everyone’s names quickly. It’s been great, we’ve been here so long we’ve seen their kids grow up.”

The Block Comes to Life

The Block at Bell Works, the name for the retail promenade here, started with the Bell Market food hall and recently added more food options: Estrella Azul, a Mexican restaurant, Mezza Luna, an Italian restaurant, and The Hummus & Pita Co. Holmdel Florist, OceanFirst Bank and Alchemist Jewelers recently joined the Bell Works community, too. And it is also home to the Holmdel Library & Learning Center and the Holmdel Montessori school. These businesses are the foundation that the community is built on, but a community can’t just be built by businesses moving into a space, a community has to be fostered, created by the people who comprise it.

And Bell Works is a community that Alexis Coccio, recent Johnson & Wales University Graduate and pastry cook for Honeybell Bakery, is proud to be a part of as well. She happily starts work at 4 a.m. to bring freshly baked pastries and desserts to her loyal customers.

“It’s a great opportunity for someone like me, right out of school,” said Alexis, “to get to work with the great chefs on staff here.”

Some of those people stopping by for breakfast used to work in this space when it was Bell Labs. And according to Mari, they all have great stories to tell— like reminiscing about a long-ago geese invasion of the front pond—and are so happy to be back in the building again.

Bell Works

You don’t have to work in the metroburb to be part of the community. These Mahjong-playing ladies are regulars here.

“I’ve been so lucky to be able to watch, first hand, the evolution of Bell Works. It’s not just the physical space, it’s how the people are coming together to create this community,” said Mari. “It’s not just an office building, it’s a warm, open space. It really is like a home away from home.”

“It’s a great addition to the town,’ said Peter. “And I can’t wait to see what’s next.”

To stay up to date on the latest events and happenings, visit our events page.

Events at Bell Works | Holmdel, NJ

Cellular Innovators Pay a Call to their Former Workplace

Talking and texting with friends on a cell phone is no substitute for spending time in-person. Just ask the pioneers of cell phone technology.

A group of Bell Labs employees responsible for many of the breakthroughs in the 1960s and 70s that paved the way for our iPhones and Kindles met up recently at their former workplace. They laughed, told stories about rolling pennies from one atrium to the next, and enjoyed lunch at the metroburb. Among them was Dick Frankiel, who spearheaded much of the legendary cellular research of the era.

Pioneers of cell phone technology return to Bell Works

A group of Bell Labs cellular innovators met up recently at their former workplace for lunch and a tour.

"This building was our home for decades,” Frankiel said. “It’s wonderful to see it thriving again, and even more spectacular than it was in our time. It still feels like home because it’s not just a historical landmark—it’s the home of a new generation of busy people creating their own memories.”

Stu Tartarone has plenty of his own here. He first arrived in 1972, when he was fresh out of college and interviewed to join a team dedicated to a concept called “cellular-mobile telephony.” He landed the job and soon got to work in a space on the fifth floor (then known as the sixth floor) now occupied by WorkWave.

“We look at those days as the golden age of innovation,” said Tartarone, who worked in Bell Labs three times between 1970s and late 1990s. “The work that took place here not only had an impact on the cellular wireless technology we use today, but essentially changed the world.”

The company began exploring the basic concept of cell phone communication and engineering in 1947. When the Holmdel facility opened 15 years later, the technology was nowhere near practical and there were political obstacles to surmount to gain authorization for the use of the airways. But in time, the group made progress with innovations that are so ingrained in our daily lives that people don’t think about them, unless something goes wrong – like a dropped signal.

One of the major challenges of the era was making it possible for a call to continue seamlessly while the signal transferred from one coverage area to another. Bill Chriss, who worked with the team from 1977-79, recalled the exhilaration of demonstrating their progress to scientists at a 1979 Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) vehicular technologies conference.

Pioneers of cell phone technology return to Bell Works

“We have so many memories from this building. It was such a special place and still is! We love coming back.” - Cathy McManus, pictured above.

“One of my favorite memories is riding down River Road in Chicago and asking the people in the back seat if they could tell when we did hand-offs between one cell site and the other,” Chriss said. “Of course, I cheated because in the front seat under the dashboard I had a monitor that showed what channels we were working on. So I could tell when we actually switched and I challenged them to do the same.”

Around that time, Chriss and his co-workers began helping the phone companies plan their first cellular systems. Today the vast network of cell antennas mounted to structures like tall buildings, water towers and artificial trees allow us to carry on clear conversations while we speed down the highways.

As much as any of the scientific marvels they witnessed those days, the group remembers the friendships they forged and the inspiring, yet congenial, office atmosphere. Tartarone described himself and his peers as “nerdy types” who enjoyed and took pride in their work. Chriss said Bell Labs had an academic vibe, as everyone was highly educated and the company paid for its workers to continue earning degrees at nearby institutions.

“People in Bell Labs were very detail-oriented, questioning all kinds of things,” Chriss said. “You had to be able to explain your theories and how stuff worked. You had to ‘show me’ – I’m from Missouri. It was a great environment back then.”

Pioneers of cell phone technology return to Bell Works

Members of the cell tech group return to Bell Works to catch up over lunch and coffee, with their iPhones, Androids and even flip-phones still in hand.

Members of the group have been thrilled to see the transformation taking place at Bell Works. They now return about a half-dozen times per year to catch up over lunch and coffee.

“The improvements in the building are significant and have made it more inviting than it was,” Tartarone said. “It was homey then because of the people here, but what has been done to the building has made it more homey to me. … The whole Bell Works team has given life to a place so many people consider a special part of their youth where they enjoyed working.”

If you have a great Bell Labs story, please share in the comments.

Can I Book My Wedding at Bell Works? Sure Can. And Your Conference Too.

Bell Works is a lot of different things. It’s an iconic building with an inspired history. A visionary self-contained metropolis with its own label, metroburb. A community of two million square-feet of businesses, restaurants, and more. It’s also a killer event space for anything from a small meeting to a large festival.

With over 100,000 square feet of highly flexible indoor event space —and an additional 10,000 square feet of space outdoors— Bell Works is now a premier destination for meetings, events, weddings and more.

Just like the original Bell Labs, event spaces here inspires innovation, encourages collaboration and sparks creativity. Now, just how does an organization or event planner get access to these remarkable spaces? Easy. They talk to Tricia Tierney, Director of Events at Bell Works, who is more than happy to help clients utilize this one-of-a-kind destination to create an amazing event.

The Ballroom at Bell Works

Bell Works is a unique destination for weddings, galas, corporate luncheons, speaker events, drone races, movie shoots and so much more.

What kind of event can I book at Bell Works?

Weddings, galas, corporate luncheons, Ted-style speaker events, drone races, movie shoots, festivals and movie screenings - just a small selection of the events Bell Works can accommodate. Tierney and her team rent out everything from the turf fields and the expansive atrium to intimate corporate meeting spaces.

“We are fortunate to have a stunning canvas to create extraordinary events,” says Tierney. “At times, the space speaks for itself and is stunning on its own. For other events, we pair the amazing background with personal touches from the client. This may be to bring in pipe and drape, greenery, or their name in lights — we do it all!”

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Bell Works’ Creative Director Paola Zamudio curates various community events and styles the ballroom through lighting, decor and music to set the perfect mood.

At its core, Bell Works was created to reframe the relationship between work and community. It was also designed to embrace both the corporate and social worlds. The Bell Works event team is adept at juggling where corporate ends and social begins, helping create memorable meetings and exceptional gatherings.

Whether it’s a sales conference, a gala dinner, or a product launch, these bespoke spaces provide a novel approach on how to bring people together in productive and meaningful ways.

How far ahead should I book?

For corporate events, Tierney recommends a lead time of at least six months, and up to a year in advance for larger events. For smaller team meetings and social events, you can reach out to contract the space up to the week prior to the event.

The Conference Center at Bell Works

Our state of the art conference center offers everything from a 320 seat amphitheater to a 13,000 square foot ballroom to intimate team rooms.

“As long as we have the meeting space,” says Tierney, “We are happy to contract it for your meeting or event.”

There’s more than 60,000 square feet of highly flexible meeting space, including a 320-seat amphitheater, multiple break-out rooms for smaller groups to brainstorm, and abundant pre-function areas. Cutting edge —but easy to use— audio and video equipment is integrated into all of these rooms, providing the perfect environment to bring every presentation to life.

And once you have the space booked, that’s when it’s time to get every detail right. And Tierney and team are ready to help with that too, with innovative, flexible solutions to work for you and the nuances of your event.

“You can cozy up your event space with soft seating and lounge areas or designate open space to relax and refresh on break for an afternoon yoga session. The sky’s the limit with our flexible event space,” she says.

One of the most stunning examples of these flexible locations is The Ballroom at Bell Works: With floor-to-ceiling park views and natural lighting, it’s ideal for general or large educational sessions, conference dining, private parties or weddings. In the evenings, color-changing lights can be styled for your event’s theme. And there isn’t a column to block anyone’s view.

The Ballroom at Bell Works

The tall ceilings and straight lines of the ballroom provide a blank canvas that can be transformed into anything your imagination can dream up.

“Our ballroom is over 13,000 square feet featuring all glass walls, a tall ceiling and no-air walls. It’s very unique for this area,” says Tierney.

The tall ceilings and straight lines of the ballroom provide a blank canvas that can be transformed into anything your imagination can dream up. Like an outer space themed Halloween party with stilt walkers and LED glowing rollerbladers. Check out the party pics from Out of This World here. Or a Havana-themed holiday party with a live band, multiple bars and even a cigar rolling station. Both events were designed and styled by Bell Works’ Creative Director Paola Zamudio.

Out Of This World Halloween Party at Bell Works

Our Halloween party was ‘Out of this World.’

If the ballroom is designed to wow audiences, then the the atrium is designed to bring them together. It’s the heart of Bell Works and many events held here are open to the public, like the weekly Bell Works Fresh farmers’ and makers’ market, and the monthly Fitness With The Works events.

See more past atrium events here.

“The Atrium truly speaks to the energy of the metroburb vision,” says Tierney. “It comes to life daily with our tenants, local community and special events.”

Mardi Gras at Bell Works

For Mardi Gras, we transformed The Block at Bell Works info the famous French Quarter.

An example of these one-of-a-kind special events in the atrium was the recent Mardi Gras celebration, which Tierney says was a huge success with record attendance. The space was transformed into the famous French Quarter for one night with New Orleans-themed bites from Bell Works restaurants Mezza Luna and Estrella Azul; entertainers, live painting and a Mardi Gras-themed makeup bar; and NOLA cocktails, raw bar and Po’ Boy counter by Bell Market. And in the past it’s hosted everything from the Hope for Children Foundation’s Mix, Mingle, & Jingle Wine Tasting to ESPN’s Drone Racing League.

Say bye-bye to a basic event and hello to a one-of-a-kind experience when you book your next meeting or event at Bell Works.

Book your next meeting or event at Bell Works

5 Stroller Friendly Things to do At Bell Works this Winter

Rain. Snow. Cold. The dreary atmosphere of winter means few options for parents of stir-crazy kids, and especially fewer options when you can’t stomach one more trip to Chucky Cheese or one more afternoon of Pinterest crafts laden with glitter and the weight of your crafty inadequacies.

But there is hope. And it looks like the quarter mile long glass enclosed Bell Works atrium - the perfect boredom buster, for parents and kids alike.

The Street at Bell Works is a great place to get your steps in for the day without battling the chill with every step: it’s a stroller-friendly pathway that connects all of the places -- restaurants, open spaces, stores and even a library -- with the people -- parents, kids and workers -- who make up the unique metroburb community. You could say, it’s always sunny at Bell Works.

Bell Works

Baby Brearley comes to Bell once a week to have lunch with her mom Rhea who works at iCIMS.

And though The Street is filled with great places to shop and eat, hanging out with some goldfish and a juice box is welcome too.

So, get out of the house, snag an easy to find parking spot (follow signs for Red, Blue, Yellow or Purple lots - they all lead to an atrium entrance) and discover a new place to cure your cabin fever and make some memories, without breaking the bank.

Let the kids go free range

Capped by a full-length skylight, the atrium features two large turf covered areas, perfect for letting your little ones burn off some of that pent-up energy they seem to endlessly have. Grab a seat on a bean bag chair or plop down on the ground yourself and happily let them run circles around you on either of the turf fields. Given the size of Bell Works, these astroturf fields are great spots for gentle ball games or just running free. Go ahead, rearrange all the plastic furniture, make it into a soccer goal or an obstacle course. Whatever’s you. This space is all about play.

Bell Works

Photo by Instagram user @megankhichiphoto.

Just add a juice box

These fields are also a perfect place to create some mom magic and throw an indoor picnic. Just bring a blanket and some food and you’re ready to go. And if packing a picnic lunch is too much work (no judgement here), there are plenty of food options at Bell Works, including chicken fingers and French fries from Mezza Luna, a cheese quesadilla from Estrella Azul, plus other options at Bell Market, Booskerdoo Coffee & Baking Co., and The Hummus & Pita Co.

Bell Works

Photo by Instagram user @curlyhairconspiracy.

Visit the library

With more than 60 shelves worth of books in over 18,000 square feet of space, this state-of-the-art space isn’t just a library. It’s a beautifully designed, modern multi-use learning and community center. Plus, picking up some of the latest kids books and a bestseller or two for yourself gives you a perfect reason to come back to Bell Works and explore some more. (Maybe even without the kids!) Click here for upcoming kid activities like salt dough making and polymer play.

Photo by Instagram user @aimeewong.

Get yourself a mani

If you’re a busy supermom and omniscient multi tasker, don’t forget to put some me time in your schedule. Meet a mom friend at Bell Works on Wednesdays or Fridays and schedule a manicure at Salon Concrete, the latest addition to their services menu. Tag team and get pampered while the other watches your collected kids. The salon is located right on the turf in the west atrium. For easy access, choose Purple or Yellow parking lots.

Bell Works

Middletown moms Nicole and Dana with their little ones Zeke and Reagan enjoying a morning on the turf.

Make Wednesdays market day

Rise above the monotony of the week’s grocery store run and mark your calendar for Bell Works Fresh, the weekly farmer’s market here. Besides just the usual fruit and veg, Fresh brings vendors of artisan breads, local art and photography, and luxuries like vintage clothing, jewelry, candles and local sauces and honeys. They even have one that offers ready made dinners and soups. The vendor mix changes weekly so check for updates on their site.

Bell Works

Bell Fresh vendor Annie & Em’s littlest fan!

So, if your cabin fever is at a fever pitch, turn yet another blah winter day into a memorable one by stopping in and checking out Bell Works.

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Give Love, From The Street at Bell Works in The Heart of Holmdel

Sure, there’s nothing wrong with diamonds and roses, but sometimes something unexpected is just as appreciated for Valentine’s Day. After all, your valentine is one-of-a-kind, shouldn’t they receive a gift as unique as they are? Bell Labs was the home of innovation, so it only makes sense that The Street at Bell Works offers a mix of surprising gift ideas, making it the perfect spot for you to find a special something for that special someone.

Holmdel Florist: Non-traditional flowers

Flowers have been a part of Valentine’s Day for as long as there has been a Valentine’s Day. But just because your sweetie isn’t a red roses type doesn’t mean you have to totally skip a bouquet. Stop by Holmdel Florist or order online to find the right arrangement for the object of your affection. From succulents and sunflowers to lilies and birds of paradise, there are so many different blooms and colors to choose from - you’ll find one that will match your beloved’s unique style and personality. Whether you’re going for elegant or eye-catching, Holmdel Florist can design, create and deliver a beautiful arrangement that’s sure to make their coworkers jealous. (And if you want to go the safe route, Holmdel Florist has sweet rose deal too.)

Holmdel Florist at Bell Works

 

Chantelle’s Bell Market Wine + Spirits Club: Monthly membership

Get ready to toast to a spectacular Valentine’s Day with a gift that any wine connoisseur will love - a subscription to Chantelle’s Wine + Spirits Club at Bell Market. Perfect for beginners and wannabe sommeliers alike, the club features new selections hand picked by Chantelle Corbo each month. Chantelle is a longtime sommelier who has previously worked for the Ritz-Carlton and the Stephen Starr Restaurant Group before becoming the Bell Market beverage director (and one of the founders). Wine club memberships are available monthly or as a six-month package. This month’s tasting is on Tuesday, February 19, 4-7 p.m. Explore new varietals and regions, or just sit back, sip and enjoy.

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Salon Concrete: Gift card or monthly membership

Give the gift of glam with a salon gift card to Salon Concrete. Gift cards can be in any amount, and are good for any service, including the latest addition to their menu - manicures. Or if your beloved is longing for their own “glam squad,” maybe one of the salon’s monthly memberships is what they are dreaming of. There are four options to choose from:

  • The Blow Dry Club will give her a month of unlimited blow dry services including shampoo and conditioning, plus complimentary hot tools.
  • In love with a hair color chameleon? Gift membership to the Color Club where he or she can indulge their whims with unlimited single process color, glazes and color blow dry services.
  • If your significant other always wants to try the latest and greatest, sign her or him up for the Product Club and they’ll receive two full size retail products every month.
  • And looking flawless isn’t just for women: there’s the Men’s Barbering Club, with unlimited haircuts, clean ups and beard trims.
Salon Concrete at Bell Works

 

City Barn | Country Penthouse: Handmade rustic gifts and decor

Your significant other will thank you for skipping the candy carbs for a lasting and memorable gift like a rustic block or signs from City Barn | Country Penthouse. These affordable gifts are handmade in Massachusetts from reclaimed wood, each piece with its own character (just like your lover). Choose from one of their pre-made sayings or order a custom one with your own inside joke, special saying or even a photo. There's an almost endless variety of gifts here for him or her, from ties and dishes to wall hangings and locally inspired throw pillows. 

city barn country penthouse bell works

 

The Bar Method: Fitness membership

The Bar Method is all about customization: the signature method of this boutique fitness studio is perfect for students of all levels - meaning their first class will be as customized as the 50th. This transformative workout is designed to reshape and strengthen from head to toe - making it the right fit for every experience level, every body, and every age. And gifting options are just as versatile - from a two-week trial membership to a month of unlimited classes to a 20-pack of classes - you’re sure to find the right fit. So, no matter your loves’ fitness level, help her stick to her New Year’s workout resolution this Valentine’s Day.

 

Lauren Farrell Pop-Up Shop: Handbags

Handbag designer and entrepreneur Lauren Farrell has built her brand by making unique handbags for fashionable sports fans. For the month of February, you have the unique opportunity to shop her made-in-the-USA Lauren Farrell NY handbags at Bell Works. Her handbags are perfect for your favorite fanatic, with team colors, super-soft leather and stadium-friendly sizes. Stop in and if you can’t decide which bag is the perfect present, pick up a gift card instead. Read more about the origin of her latest collection.

 

Show your loved ones that you put some thought into the Valentine’s Day gift and pick up something special at one of the shops at Bell Works today.

 

A Pop Up Shop with Fashion and a Passion To Help a Holmdel Family Foundation

You may have noticed the Lauren Farrell NY pop-up shop in the Bell Works main atrium, with its brightly colored handbags and American flag on proud display. And you may have gone in and chatted with the approachably chic brunette who runs it (yes, that would be Lauren Farrell herself) and even picked up one of her irresistibly soft bags. But what you may not know is that Lauren and her V-adorned bags are in the metroburb for the month to help honor a special little girl named Vienna.

Two-year-old Vienna Savino loved getting dressed up, borrowing her big sisters’ too-big sandals, and everything hot pink. Her mom Dr. Denise Wunderler, a Holmdel primary care sports medicine physician, had always been the opposite, caring more about function over fashion, carrying what she calls a “wallet on a string.” A mother-daughter ying yang.

Lauren Farrell NY pop-up at Bell Works

The Lauren Farrell NY Pop-Up will be located in the main atrium for the entire month of Feb.

But just months before her third birthday, Vienna passed away unexpectedly. Vienna’s death was categorized as Sudden Unexplained Death in Childhood (SUDC), which is a leading category of death in toddlers, but is not something most people have heard of. Devastated but determined to honor their always-smiling daughter, Denise and her family started Team Vienna, a non-profit to raise awareness and support research for SUDC.

When handbag designer Lauren Farrell heard about Team Vienna and SUDC, she felt like she had to reach out to Denise and to find some way to help.

“I’ve always loved children, I used to be a babysitter, and I didn’t know how, but I knew there was no way that I’m not going to help,” said Lauren.

Lauren has built her brand by making unique handbags for fashionable sports fans, with designs in team colors that are sleek, chic and follow strict stadium bag size policies. Her handbags are all about personal style with a team mentality, which made her a natural fit when it came to honoring Vienna’s legacy.

Lauren Farrell at Bell Works

Lauren Farrell, handbag designer for fashionable sports fans.

“I had thought it be amazing to do a handbag in Vienna’s honor,” said Denise. And Lauren was on the same page; when they first met in person, both Denise and Lauren had “Team Vienna Handbags” written in their pre-coffee date notes.

“We even had similar design sketches,” said Lauren. “It was important to us all that we created something that would embody Vienna’s personality.”

Around the same time Lauren began work on The Vienna Collection, she was put in touch with Moshe Gross, Bell Works’ former Director of Special Projects.

“Moshe Gross made it all happen,” said Lauren about her pop-up. “Once he knew there was a charity involved, he made it happen. I think a big piece of it was that we were doing something good for the community, and raising awareness.”

“It’s been pretty cool being one of the first pop-ups in a place with so much history,” she added. “It’s such a unique concept. I love meeting the employees that were drawn here, and finding out about the companies where they work. It’s all just really interesting.”

At the pop-up you can find The Vienna, which converts from a crossbody to clutch, and the V3 Crossbody, a mini version of The Vienna in Lauren’s signature stadium-friendly size. The handbags are made in the USA of super-soft Italian leather with a bold contrast V on the front and hot pink lining inside.

Each Vienna handbag includes a tag with a haloed V, and a special hot pink lining inside, as pink was Vienna’s favorite color.

Every detail of the bags have a lot of thought and meaning, including a tag with a haloed V, and a special magenta and turquoise color combo chosen by Vienna’s sister. For every Vienna Collection handbag sold, proceeds will be donated to the family’s nonprofit.

You can purchase The Vienna, V3 Crossbody, and handbags from Lauren’s entire collection at the Lauren Farrell NY Pop-Up in the main atrium at Bell Works through the month of February or online at www.laurenfarrellny.com.

Lauren had so much fun collaborating with Vienna’s older sister that she was inspired her to lead design workshops at Bell Works for other mini fashion fans on February 16 and 23 from noon to 3 p.m.

Both Denise and Lauren had “Team Vienna Handbags” written in their pre-coffee date notes.

The goal of The Vienna Collection, much like everything that Team Vienna is doing, is not only to honor Vienna, but to raise awareness and research support for SUDC.

“We know this is very a special thing,” said Denise. “I’m thrilled that Bell Works sees the specialness of all that’s going on and is a part of it.”

For more information about Team Vienna 4 SUDC Awareness visit, www.teamviennasudc.org.

Special thanks to Pat Garofalo, Bell Works' Senior Property Manager for also assisting with the success of the Lauren Farrell NY Pop-Up.

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From Retrofit to Community Center, Bell Works Gets Better With Age

Ten year transformation challenges are a risky endeavor for people. Regrettable decade old fashion choices and the volatility of the scale make these the territory of the brave (or the incredibly fit). In architecture too, 10 years of wear can mean faded signs and faded relevance. But not at Bell Works.

When Ralph Zucker of Somerset Development made the brave leap to purchase and redevelop the defunct Bell Labs building in Holmdel, NJ, there were more naysayers than cheerleaders. Now a decade after it sat vacant and overgrown, the iconic structure is an adaptive reuse - part office building, part retail center, part pedestrian gathering place. Zucker’s brainchild is now a little city in the suburbs called the metroburb.

See how Bell Works has changed in 10 years

The most obvious physical changes are in the atriums. See below, the once cluttered and closed off atriums and the solid walls that separated the offices from the expansive, light filled atrium. For the adaptive reuse, they were replaced with full glass walls - as architect Eero Saarinen had always intended.

Bell Labs

 

Bell Labs

The neglected and overgrown atrium after Bell Labs (and then Lucent) closed its doors. 

The three atriums here are now wide open gathering spaces. The center atrium features a custom furniture project called  The Tubes, the brainchild of a talented team of creatives: world-renowned furniture designer Ron Arad, the team behind the Italian artisan furniture company Moroso, and the creative team of Bell Works - Master Architect Alexander Gorlin, Creative Director and founder of NPZ Style + Décor Paola Zamudio, and Ralph Zucker, President of Somerset Development and the visionary behind the building’s adaptive reuse.

Bell Works, the metroburb in Holmdel, NJ

 The custom-designed atrium furniture are intended to be as much sculpture as they are a space to sit and enjoy the surroundings.

Now home to 2,000 workers from more than 75 tenant companies (and counting), Bell Works is also a community center for Monmouth County where every week it welcomes hundreds from the local community who use the Holmdel Library, visit the Wednesday farmers market and now, come for breakfast and lunch at Bell Market, The Hummus & Pita Co., and coffee shop Booskerdoo. Along The Street, the indoor pedestrian walkway, shoppers enjoy home decor store City Barn | Country Penthouse, a convenience store, Salon Concrete and fitness concept The Bar Method.

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Six more retailers are under construction with openings planned for 2019 including Jersey Freeze ice cream shop; Alchemist Jewelers; Holmdel Florist; restaurants Mezza Luna and Estrella Azul. About 10 more retail leases are expected to be announced in the coming weeks. Click here for more on retail news at Bell Works.

Step into Bell Works on any weekday morning and you might expect to find the trappings of an office park - workers drinking coffee and queuing up to the elevator to disappear until noon.

Bell Works, the metroburb in Holmdel, NJ

Bell Works is for everyone, even the littlest ones. And it may be cold outside but it's always warm and sunny in the atrium. Moms and dads, escape the cold and come by for a coffee, visit the library and stay for lunch. (You can even squeeze in a hair cut and a little home shopping.) Photo by Lauren Foti. 

Instead, children are skipping across a turf field, a UX team is huddled together in front of a World Cup viewing station and a local vinter is uncrating her chardonnay for that afternoon’s farmers market. There are those workers drinking coffee and taking the elevator, but you almost don’t notice them among the flurry of activity on what appears to be an indoor pedestrian street. Actually four distinct buildings, Bell Works is centered around three open atriums, two with green spaces, along the quarter mile indoor street.

Bell Labs

 

Bell Labs

 

Bell Works, the metroburb in Holmdel, NJ

The evolution of the public cafe area, from Bell Labs to Big Bang at Bell Works. Design by NPZ Style & Decor.

When world renowned architect Eero Saarinen set out to design the building in 1961 (when it was a home to over 6,000 Bell Labs employees), he knew he wanted to create an open-atrium scheme with this one-of-a-kind pedestrian street.

Bell Works, the metroburb in Holmdel, NJ

Local residents stop here for lunch and shopping after a workout. The building is open to the public Monday-Saturday.

The Street at Bell Works is a component of the metroburb concept. Coined by the New Urbanist movement, and popularized by Zucker, the metroburb is an urban hub, a core, a little metropolis in a suburban location. Zucker describes it to visitors like this, “A large-scale mixed use building, with great access, office, retail, entertainment, hospitality, residential, health, wellness, fitness, everything you would find in a metropolis but in a great suburban location. Think Red Bank, Morristown and New Brunswick.”

Bell Works, the metroburb in Holmdel, NJ

The luxury conference center serves tenants and guests with flexible meeting spaces and sleek design.

Bell Works now includes a full service luxury conference and event center for small and large scale corporate and hospitality events. Inquire about hosting an event. The transformation continues inside the world’s largest mirror as Bell Works builds a new coworking space, experience based entertainment concepts, and a rooftop boutique hotel slated to open in 2020.

On The Street where a week has a time lapse effect for visitors, office tenants can see changes daily. Many take walking meetings, host informal meetings in the atrium or find a quiet seat on the turf to think through a project. Working here means being a part of the state’s largest, most dynamic adaptive reuse project, and that has its perks.

“Work used to have to happen at a desk, and play was everything outside of being at that desk. Today, live/work/play means something totally different,” Zucker said. “Everything is coming together and there really is not a demarcation between live, work or play.” 

See how The Street at Bell Works will grow. Download the retail map.

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Take a Peek Inside the Bell Works Ballroom and See How We Celebrate

Just as winter wrapped its hand around our great mirrored building, the tenant community here escaped to the tropics, down just one flight of stairs.Inside the recently refurbished ballroom overlooking the water, the tenants of Bell Works said goodbye to the cold and adventured to old Havana for a Cuban themed holiday party for tenants and their family and friends. Attendees gathered under the colorful changing lights of the new ballroom dressed in tropical attire to gain the true feeling of visiting Havana.

Guests enjoyed Latin inspired hors d'oeuvres and drinks and live music from band De Tierra Caliente and DJ Kelly. An authentic Cuban cigar rolling station and Cuban coffee bar added to the Old Havana vibe. Guests lined up for their chance to pose with friends and props at the old fashioned photo booth. Outside, fires kept guests warm as they relaxed by the lake and Japanese gardens. The highlight of the evening was dancing led by professional Latin dancers in traditional costumes leading guests to salsa and sway until close.

"At Bell Works, we're focused on our culture of community. We love hosting events like this to keep our tenants involved as we continue to cultivate a metroburb community," said Paola Zamudio, Bell Works' Creative Director and Lead Designer. Zamudio's team is responsible for designing and curating these kinds of buzz events.

Check out the holiday party pictures below.

Havana Nights at Bell Works

 

Havana Nights at Bell Works

 

Havana Nights at Bell Works

 

Havana Nights at Bell Works

 

Havana Nights at Bell Works

 

Havana Nights at Bell Works

 

Havana Nights at Bell Works

 

Havana Nights at Bell Works

 

Havana Nights at Bell Works

 

Havana Nights at Bell Works

 

Havana Nights at Bell Works

 

 See our full album here.

 

Retail at Bell Works: What’s Here. What’s Coming.

When they signed their lease at Bell Works, the chefs and partners of RBC Hospitality Group knew there was no customer data to project from. There wasn’t even any foot traffic. Just a few tenant companies and many more promised to the under-construction live.work.play space. Part office building, part retail center, part pedestrian gathering place, Bell Works is the brainchild of developer Ralph Zucker who wanted to create a little city in the suburbs, now called the metroburb.

Now just a year later, the building is home to 2,000 workers from more than 75 tenant companies and every week welcomes hundreds from the local community who use the Holmdel Library, visit the Wednesday farmers market and now, come for breakfast and lunch at Bell Market, RBC Hospitality Group’s first venture. 

 

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“We’re trying to build a restaurant group that is going to sustain us all,” Chef Chad Spencer says. “We want to nurture these people to be owners of their own restaurants someday. So we’re building a family that can grow as we grow.” Read more about the chefs, sommelier, and of course, the food of Bell Market.

The restaurant group owners join a growing retail community that includes fast casual restaurant Hummus & Pita Co., coffee shop Booskerdoo, home decor store City Barn | Country Penthouse, a convenience store and Salon Concrete. Plus a long list of retailers prepping to open.

Looking for a home for your retail business?

Download the retail map.

 

What’s new: Hummus & Pita Co.

 

For cofounder Dave Pesso, there was only one logical next step for the evolution of his restaurant franchise chain, Hummus & Pita Co. With three NYC locations and one in Connecticut, expansion to his home state of New Jersey just made good sense. But when he stepped into Bell Works it was awe and inspiration that replaced logic.

“It's like the eighth wonder of the world. It’s a beautiful behemoth and at full capacity it will be as busy as any skyscraper in NYC,” Pesso said. “Bell Works is a once in a lifetime opportunity.”

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You have everything you need in a whole day right here - you don’t need to go outside of this place. I like to say it’s a small city in one small place.” - Hummus & Pita Co. franchise owner Kaushal Shah.

The Mediterranean restaurant opened its doors in late 2018 to a warm welcome of customers lined up out the door and onto the indoor pedestrian street. Since then business has been brisk and franchise owner Kaushal Shah has begun tailoring his offerings to the 9-5 tenant community, now offering delivery to your office and American and Mediterranean breakfast options, a first for any Hummus & Pita Co. location.

The 2,300 sq. ft. restaurant serves up dishes like falafel, gyro and meatball pitas cooked fresh daily on the premises and offers seats for 45 inside the restaurant and al fresco on The Street (that’s the indoor promenade beneath the glass ceiling of the atrium here). The eatery also offers plenty of vegetarian and gluten free options.

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“I love the concept of the metroburb at Bell Works. You have offices, retail, residential, commercial, health, wellness, entertainment. That concept amazed me. That is the thing that sold this place,” Shah said. “You have everything you need in a whole day right here - you don’t need to go outside of this place. I like to say it’s a small city in one small place.”

 

What’s next: Fitness, food, flowers and more

 

Six more retailers are under construction with openings planned for 2019 including The Alchemist, a jeweler; Holmdel Florist; restaurants Mezzaluna and Estrella Azul; and fitness concept, The Bar Method. About 10 more retail leases are expected to be announced in the coming weeks.

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Chrissy Valerio, owner of The Bar Method Shrewsbury since 2008, and one of Bell Works’ newest retail tenants. Her new location will open in early 2019.

Almost fully leased are the boutique fitness components of Fit Lab. Branded a fitness experience, Fit Lab will include a modern 10,000-square-foot gym and divide an adjacent 9,000-square-foot area among a group of boutique fitness businesses. The plan is to also convert an existing Bell Labs-era fitness facility, located on the lower level, into a locker room area. To a passerby, Fit Lab will look like four small storefronts on the ground floor. What they’ll actually be seeing is the three boutique facilities and a fourth door to the full-service gym, which will form the shape of an L behind them.

According to Sean Pyle, Senior Associate with Sabre, Bell Works’ exclusive retail broker, the team is still actively looking for a large format gym operator to occupy the 19,000 sq. ft. space that spans two floors.

Click here to speak to our retail team.

 

A place to grow: Salon Concrete

 

New retailers will make their home along The Street at Bell Works, a quarter of a mile piazza located within the 2 million square foot building, where a handful of businesses are already thriving. One of the first on the block was Salon Concrete.

Christine Zilinski had been on the lookout several years for a place that felt right for location number two of her successful Red Bank business Salon Concrete. The metroburb vibe was a powerful draw, as she knew right away it was where she wanted to be.

“One of the reasons I wanted to be here is that there are so many inspiring entrepreneurs and so many people doing progressive things,” she said. “I want to be around those people.”

Among the top of her list is Somerset Development President Ralph Zucker. Zilinksi recalled a conversation she had with him around the time she signed her lease, when he congratulated her and shared his own story.

Salon Concrete education events

 

Christine Zilinski of Salon Concrete runs industry education events from her Bell Works location.

“One of the things he said was, As an entrepreneur, there are going to be a lot of naysayers. Hold your vision. Because that’s what he had to do here,” she said. “It’s so important to do that when you’re taking risks and doing things that are out of your comfort zone.”

 

A place to market: City Barn | Country Penthouse

 

Husband and wife team Carrie Carretta and Rick Giambastini have always shared their love for eclectic design and sophisticated materials. The couple recently opened City Barn | Country Penthouse a high end home, bed, bath and gift store at Bell Works. 

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When Carrie, a former nurse, and Rick, a financial services professional, looked for a location for their new business they shied away from strip malls and traditional shopping centers. “We knew the first time we toured Bell Works that it would be the perfect fit for us,” Rick said. “The building is unique and unconventional, just like us.”

“One of my favorite sayings is ‘Lose respect for the status quo.’ Bell Works is the antithesis of the status quo. It represents who we are as a new store concept, and who we are as people,” Carrie said.

 

A place to gather: Booskerdoo Coffee & Baking Co.

 

At the center of The Street at Bell Works is the atrium, an expansive light filled space where tenants and visitors meet for coffee, lunch or just to take a quiet break on the custom Italian furniture called The Tubes.

James Caverly 4

 

James Caverly, co-owner of Booskerdoo Coffee & Baking Co. now operates four locations.

Many of those tenants and visitor enjoy their coffee at Booskerdoo Coffee & Baking Co., the metroburb’s first retail tenant who followed iCIMS on its move from Matawan. Co-owner James Caverly oversees the business, but also focuses on the wholesale program which includes finding new clients, working with current clients, creating new products, and working with their roastmaster to find new coffees.

“There’s a bunch of reasons why I love being a part of the metroburb. Frankly, I just find the place impressive, cool, and it’s exciting to be a part of something this interesting. A lot of things that are going on today isolate us, like with our phones and working from home, and this whole concept brings everybody together. I think it’s a great model for hopefully, what is to come.

“When we first came to Bell Works it was a big question mark of, that sounds cool, but can we pull it off? They’ve done exactly what they were hoping to do, and then some. They set the culture for it being a really nice, down to earth place. There’s a lot of smoke and mirrors out there but this is real. It’s not trying to be something it’s not, it’s exactly what it is.”

 bell works fresh farmers market

Wednesdays from 2 - 6 p.m. (except during January break) the metroburb hosts Bell Works Fresh, the latest edition of the Asbury Fresh farmers market group. More than 30 farmers, artisans and small food businesses turn out to sell everything from the usual fruits and veggies fare, plus wine, pickles, gourmet mushrooms, chocolates and array of artisan goods. Bell Works Fresh draws crowds from both tenants and the public.

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Chef Richard Corbo of Corbo & Sons teaches the art of making pizza to one of his Bell Market team members.

That same day, Bell Market holds a happy hour and pizza night inside the social house. Adjacent to the Corbo & Sons pizza ovens is the bar where Beverage Director, resident sommelier and RBC partner Chantelle Corbo serves up cocktails, beer and wine that run the gamut on price, taste and provenance with everything from a $4 Miller Lite to a $10 French Rosé to accompany your pepperoni or fig and truffle honey pizza.

So far the public reception has been great. At the grand opening Corbo turned out 100 pizzas, selling out before 6 p.m. “It was like cardio,” he said.

See where your retail business fits in our marketplace. Download the retail map.

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Free Kicks: Soccer at Bell Works

The 2018 World Cup is well underway. With stunning upsets and epic matches you may be adjusting your brackets day to day. But what’s your over and under on Team Santander versus Team Acacia? Or on Team Acacia vs. Team Spirent? Your best bet is to come watch them play on the turf at Bell Works.

Team Santander

Team Santander

According to Dustin Ascolese, the senior technology talent acquisition advisor for Santander Bank, it all started in early 2017 with indoor “grass” in the atriums.

“The two turf fields – we saw them sitting there. And what makes more sense than soccer?,” he said, “I thought we had a unique opportunity to get a hold of the culture from day one, and the building does an amazing job of providing the amenities to do that.”

Once Team Santander took the field, other Bell Works community members took notice and the Bell Labs tradition of sports competition was reborn. “Acacia saw us playing and came by and asked if we were interested in getting some games,” Ascolese said.

The competition is considerable. “We actually do have one colleague, Franklin Castellanos, who played for the Red Bulls...He stopped playing with them just about a year ago... I found a highlight video of him scoring against Chelsea United,” said Ascolese. But he insisted that he is not a ringer. “Acacia’s entire team is better overall, so having one really good player just evens the playing field.” He added, “We got another new guy from Spain... When he came to play for the first time, we went, 'Wow, we got another good guy! Where has he been hiding?’”

Team Acacia has lots of good guys. William Randazzo, HR business partner at Acacia Communications. Inc., said, “I have folks from every part of the world, from China, Japan, Bulgaria, Germany, India, Sri Lanka, and different parts of the US...and we all know how to play soccer.” Randazzo has been an integral part of the team since he joined the company a year and a half ago. “That was actually one of the last [interview] questions the head scientist asked me, ‘Hey, by the way, do you happen to play soccer?’ When I responded, ‘Yes, I was a goalie,’ his face lit up. I think that might have helped seal the deal.”

At Acacia, 30 to 40 of their research scientists are keen to play. “They are surprisingly skilled, considering that most folks have devoted a lifetime to research and earning advanced degrees. They are equally as knowledgeable and passionate – and good – at playing the game.”

Team Spirent

Team Spirent

Spirent joined play a couple of years ago when they were still in their temporary space on the ground floor. “The turf was completely empty and it felt like an opportunity that we shouldn’t miss,” said Ovidiu Reghis, director of CEM product development at Spirent.

For this team, the game is fun and fluid, where sometimes spectators join right in.

“It’s like we have our own stadium to play in, especially when the contractors take a break and watch us play from the upper levels,” said Spirent System Engineer Howard Hammer. “Once a prospective tenant was touring the grounds and jumped in our game for a few minutes.”

Anna Ren, a former Spirent employee who still visits, said, “It's nice to be able to hang out with your coworkers and run around. [It’s] very easy to convince people who have no experience playing sports to give it a try, which leads to more fun than a more competitive environment would.”

2018 FIFA World Cup game ball

 

The adapted Bell Labs space where these tenants play has a bit of a connection to the 2018 World Cup.This year’s official ball, the Adidas Telstar 18, was modeled after the 1962 Bell Labs satellite. It unites all soccer fans, watching worldwide, with those watching in the main atrium at Bell Works. Nestled in soccer ball bean bags and huddled around cafe tables, workers at companies here catch matches on breaks, in between meetings and at lunch. The World Cup viewing area is one of the many building wide events that happen here in the atrium which has the vibe of a pedestrian city street.

 

Team AvengersTeam Avengers

Paul Banco, CEO and Founder of etherFAX, was one of the earliest tenants at Bell Works. A player, coach and father of two youth players, Marianna of the Colts Neck Synergy and Ethan of the Avengers, Banco saw the turf as an opportunity for his young teams.

“Turf space in the winter is like finding water in the desert,” he said. “Being able to come here, in this type of building and have the turf to themselves, being able to run to the office and raid the candy, it was just a totally different experience...The building has a lot of good energy.”

World Cup viewing party at Bell Works

World Cup viewing section in the main atrium.

What Randazzo likes best about the World Cup is that “every country is involved, and everyone has a fair chance. It brings everyone together.” Soccer at Bell Works does the same thing, he said. It sustains connections, year round.

“If Santander wants to play a game, and it’s the middle of winter, we’re going to have a game...The turf is a godsend.” Randazzo said, “People see us out here, playing on turf – on the pitch – having fun, with a good spirit of competition...iCIMS can see us and ask, ‘How do we get involved?’”

It’s Always Sunny at Bell Works: The Metroburb Brings the Outdoors Into The Great Glass Atrium

Step into Bell Works on any weekday morning and you might expect to find the trappings of an office park - workers drinking coffee and queing up to the elevator to disappear until noon.

Instead, children are skipping across a turf field, a UX team is huddled together in front of a World Cup viewing station and a local vinter is uncrating her chardonnay for that afternoon’s farmers market. There are those workers drinking coffee and taking the elevator, but you almost don’t notice them among the flurry of activity on what appears to be an indoor pedestrian street.

JGS Insurance

JGS Insurance takes a break for a match in the World Cup viewing lounge.

If you’re like most visitors, you think. What kind of office building is this?

The answer is, it isn’t an office building, or even an office park. Bell Works is a metroburb, a little city in the suburbs centered around three expansive atriums along a quarter mile indoor street. You are in the largest, most dynamic mixed use community in New Jersey.

And the hub of this community is the center atrium where the space thrums with activity every weekday.

Bell Works Fresh farmers market

Bell Works Fresh, a farmers market every Wednesday during the summer.

When world renowned architect Eero Saarinen set out to design the building in 1961 (when it was a home to over 6,000 Bell Labs employees), he knew he wanted to create an open-atrium scheme with this one-of-a-kind pedestrian street. The building is actually four distinct buildings connected by the “street” and covered by a great glass roof. Saarinen disliked the idea of working in a skyscraper where employees take the elevator up to the 50th floor and have little interaction with those around them. Instead, the open-atrium design encourages people to gather in one central location. Think a piazza in the middle of Florence, Italy or the great pedestrian thoroughfare Lincoln Road in Miami Beach. Saarinen’s architecture was designed to facilitate these kinds of interactions within the then Bell Labs community. And that’s exactly what’s happening here today in the adaptive reuse.

In just the past few months, the atrium has played host to a try-your-hand-at-the-sport-of-fencing day, artisan markets, silent yoga and a lightsaber class (you never know what you’re going to see at a maker’s festival). That means workers who come down from the office for lunch have more to look forward to than a long walk to the car and a drive to Houlihan’s.

Fencing with the Vydia team

 The team at Vydia trying out fencing during Atlantic Fencing's demo day.

“They’ve brought the outdoors inside Bell Works. It looks like kids are playing on the grass. There are literally farmers selling produce in the atrium,” says Kelly Gliatta, VP of Talent at WorkWave. "It’s not some kind of illusion like when you’re at the mall and they’re trying to make it feel open with fake plants and artificial light.”

Spirent Communications soccer on the turf

 Spirent Communications (along with some of our other tenants) use the turf atrium for afternoon soccer games.

One of the unique aspects of Bell Works is the kids. What other business center has little girls in tutus and cowgirl boots running to story time at the library?

Metroburb community

Middletown moms Nicole and Dana with their little ones Zeke and Reagan enjoying a morning on the turf.

Part of Ralph Zucker’s vision, (developer of Bell Works and president of Somerset Development), was that the building would become a town center where parents, kids and business owners could commingle, share ideas and create a community.

“We’re providing a heart to the surrounding neighborhood and communities,” he said.

Yoga on the turf

 Yoga classes on the turf during one of our Be Well @ Bell wellness days.

The atrium plays host to conferences, galas and private parties, but most events here are open to the public. The most popular have become recurring events like WorkWave’s speed networking job fair, Bell Market’s weekly Wednesday happy hour (now outside for the summer), and Bell Works Fresh, a farmers’ market, also on Wednesdays.

WorkWave career fair

The WorkWave team during their quarterly career fair.

Fronting the pedestrian street are soon-to-open retail spaces like Bell Market, Salon Concrete, Hummus & Pita, and jeweler, The Alchemist. They'll join Booskerdoo, the coffee and bake shop, and the Holmdel Library, now open six days a week.  Bell Works expects to announce another round of retailers in the coming months.

“It’s been incredible to watch the pedestrian street take shape," Sabre Real Estate Group's Senior Vice President Justin Korinis said. "It all stems from a recognition that, even in suburbs like Holmdel, we can create incredibly diverse and captivating urban-style experiences, where visitors and workers alike can encounter a wide variety of retail options in a centralized, urban-style location."

There’s always something going on at Bell Works.

To stay up to date on the latest events and happenings, visit our events page.

Events at Bell Works | Holmdel, NJ

 

 

Fresh Markets Heads Indoors for a Farmers Market at Bell Works

You’ll gain a “fresh” perspective when you walk through the doors of Bell Works on Wednesdays this summer.

That’s because the atrium will be bustling with a unique assortment of local produce vendors and artisans assembled by the Asbury Park-based Fresh Markets. On May 30, the Jersey Shore’s largest farmers and makers market will launch Bell Works Fresh, its third regular weekly event in Monmouth County.

The market is a taste of what's to come along the quarter mile indoor street at Bell Works where retail spaces are being outfitted for restaurants, boutiques and service businesses like Salon Concrete. Coming soon are Hummus & Pita; The Alchemist, a custom jeweler and Holmdel Florist. Developer Ralph Zucker's vision for the space is a piazza where tenants and community members can eat, shop, stroll and relax.

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Bell Works Fresh comes on the heels of Bell Street Market held over the winter and spring, which brought vendors of mostly non-food goods to the street and included cocktails, music and yoga. 

For this food focused event, more than 20 vendors are currently signed on for opening day and shoppers can expect more as the season rolls on. According to Fresh Markets Product Manager, Brian Sienkiewicz, as word travels about the success of their events, the organization tends to get more inquiries from vendors. But this one generated a strong buzz from the start.

“When we went on sale with this and announced it on our website, I was blown away by the amount of vendors who said, ‘Oh my God, you’re doing a market at Bell Works? I want in on this!’” he said.

Brian Bell Works Fresh 2 Fresh Markets Product Manager, Brian Sienkiewicz has curated more than 20 vendors (and counting) for Bell Works Fresh.

The tough job of deciding who does get in falls to Sienkiewicz, who first got involved with Fresh Markets as a vendor who created wood furniture from reclaimed materials. Sienkiewicz carefully screens applications and recruits businesses that catch his attention in order to build a well-balanced mix. The result, as visitors to their other markets can attest to, is a cast of Jersey originals who have built loyal followings.

Among the Fresh Market veterans, whom Sienkiewicz predicts will please palates in Holmdel, are the organic produce specialists Rolling Hills Farm, of Lambertville, and Honey Brook Organic Farm, of Chesterfield; homemade jelly maker Holly Jolly Jams, of Eatontown; and Teaneck’s Pickle Licious.

Round out your summer spread with tapenades, pickled condiments, and of course, classic dill pickles, from Teaneck based Pickle Licious.

“Pickle Licious, that’s sure to be a crowd pleaser. People can come get pickles and olives by the pint, the quart,” Sienkiewicz said. “If your tummy’s rumbling, you can come down and get a pickle on a stick, and that’ll save the day for you.”

Among the local vendors slated for opening week are Holmdel’s own Fox Hollow Vineyards; Tinton Falls’ Two River Gourmet Mushrooms; the Middletown crochet craft maker Kathy’s Kozies; and Grateful Tea of West Long Branch. (Click here for a full list of weekly vendors.) The Humane Society of Tinton Falls will also be on hand with rescue animals every other week beginning with the first event.

“Once I found out Bell Works was dog friendly on the first floor, I was like ‘Boom, they’re coming’,” Sienkiewicz said. “I think it will be great. People will come down, hopefully rescue some friendly animals that need help, or at the very least cuddle with them and lower the blood pressure before they go back to work.”

One thing that will set Bell Works apart from any other Fresh Market site is its indoor setting. That means no summer scorchers, no bugs and no rain-outs.

Sienkiewicz hopes the community surrounding the metroburb will embrace the market and build it into a weekly tradition.

“This is a trial run,” he said. “This is going to be a 14-week season, and if all goes well –and I can’t imagine it won’t – we’re definitely going to continue this, and who knows, maybe even make it a year-round market.”

Bell Works Fresh will be held each Wednesday from May 30 through Nov. 14, 2-6 p.m.. For more details, visit www.asburyfresh.com.

Maker Fest Brought Drones, Rockets and Jedi to Bell Works

Go make your own fun. That’s the message of the Maker Fest at Bell Works.

On Feb. 24 and Feb. 25, Bell Works held the 2nd Annual Maker Festival hosted by Building S.T.E.A.M. Maker Fest was full of exploration, inspiration, and fun, attracting more than 300 makers of all ages. Building S.T.E.A.M designed the Maker Festival to bring together the maker community, schools and industry to illustrate innovation and creativity in a hands-on immersive environment of learning and exploration.

(Pictured Right) Joel Auerbach showing the mechanics of his drone. At Bell Works we are big fans of the drone; last year we hosted ESPN’s Drone League for a race in this exact spot within the building.

Joel Auerbach, the man behind the Building S.T.E.A.M. Maker Festival went to college to become an applied technology teacher. His passion for designing and building tech gadgets brewed at a young age. After retiring from his teaching job, Joel could not contain his innovative ideas and founded a series of maker festivals. 

Inspired by the maker movement, Building S.T.E.A.M. was born. Joel noticed shop classes were being taken out of schools. “A lot of guys my age say, ‘You know, I have something I made in shop class 40 years ago.’ I wanted people to attend Maker Fest and be able to take one of their creations home and keep it for memories.” 

The organizers invited professionals and amateurs, enthusiasts and hobbyists, innovators and entrepreneurs, tinkerers and craftsmen to exhibit, demonstrate and provide educational immersive experiences for all ages. Hundreds came out to make, eat and fly their way through the Bell Works atrium. 

Here are just a few of the highlights from the action packed weekend.

Here are a few highlights:

AJH Entertainment designed an escape room to bring together families to solve a puzzle and find their way out.

Girl Scouts from Junior Troop 862 and Brownie from Troop 20 created custom sun catchers from recycled materials.

Chocolate Legends gave attendees the opportunity to make roses out of chocolate clay.

The community had fun working on this Stick Together masterpiece, “Every Sticker Counts!” which took shape over the course of the weekend as attendees added their own sticker pixels.

Randy (left) and Aaron (right) of 501st Legion created costumes and armor of the “bad guys” from their favorite movies. 

The Power Racing Series zipped through Maker Fest on vehicles retrofitted for racing.

Cora enjoyed Pendulum Painting, creating a unicorn headband and designing a kaleidoscope with her parents, Jason and Mary Kate of Marlboro, NJ. 

Jedi training in the atrium. Who doesn’t want to be a Jedi?

These three boys had a ‘blast’ building rockets out of recycled materials and launching them on Auerbach’s hand crafted rocket launcher. Elijah, 8, of South Amboy, NJ (red shirt), Josiah, 6, of South Amboy (white shirt, red sleeves) and Michael-Elias, 6, of Jersey City, NJ (navy t-shirt).

Bell Works was honored to host the 2nd Annual Maker Festival, where the community came together to learn, interact and explore creatively engineered new technologies as it once did as Bell Labs. Maker Fest joins a long list of unique, large-scale events held here including a hackathon, drone racing, eclipse viewing, film festival and living art installations. Events like these are how we #liveinspired in the metroburb.

 

New Jersey’s Best and Brightest Convene at Bell Works for NJ Ad Club’s First Annual Innovation Summit

Video by Core Studios

Innovation is a word that’s become synonymous with Bell Works—from the building structure itself, to the people who walked our halls decades ago, to the current wave of forward-thinking companies now calling Bell Works home.

But it’s also a place tethered to advertising. Often, the most memorable and effective efforts from brands are the result of an innovative idea, consumer insight or emerging technology.

Wanting to take a deeper dive into this notion, the NJ Ad Club collaborated with Bell Works to host its first ever Innovation Summit. The event was a huge success, bringing over 1,000 people together from across advertising’s business and creative landscape—web developers, film makers, ad execs, strategists and others from New Jersey’s top shops. The idea was to discuss what’s happening now, what’s next and how to incorporate innovation into their everyday work.

Rob Schnapp, President of the NJ Ad Club, added, “Rather than your typical panel discussion, this is about things that aren’t in everybody’s comfort zone.”

Organized by Red Bank-based content and media agency By & Large, the event featured roundtable discussions on a variety of topics, from virtual reality to consumer insights. The energy was high, the rooms were packed. And everyone who came with an open mind left with big ideas.

Innovation accelerator New Haircut led sessions on design thinking and using the sprint process to drive business faster. Global market research agency InSites Consulting helmed a discussion on refining big data to uncover why people do what they do. Local film production boutique Core Studios explored different approaches to planning video content shoots. And Asbury Park-based VR/gaming studio Atomic Veggies teamed up with By & Large to examine the opportunities of AR, VR and 360 video.

The Innovation Summit is now slated to be an annual event of the NJ Ad Club at Bell Works—and the expectations are even higher for next year.

Pilgrimage Home: Bell Labs Alumni Return to See What Bell Works is All About

If the massive windows that surround the Bell Works facility could talk, they’d tell you enough stories of the history and hijinks of the iconic, 2 million square-foot building to last a lifetime.

Before the facility evolved into the metroburb it is today, it was home to thousands of innovators and creators who transformed the way we communicate across the globe. Simply put, Bell Labs was a technology juggernaut.

It produced eight Nobel Prize winners, developed the foundation for the Internet, created the first transatlantic fiber-optic cable, and connected us all with the first wireless cellular networks.

But it wasn’t all ground-breaking work. There was plenty of fun (geniuses need time to play, too). That’s why the people who worked here during its heyday have such fond memories of the facility, and several of them make pilgrimages back to see what’s become of their beloved building.

“Some people say things are so different now [at the facility], but when we went on the tour, it looked very much the same as when we were there, so they preserved a lot of it,” said Ron Kauffman, a former Bell Labs employee who toured Bell Works earlier this year with former colleagues.

It’s not uncommon to see groups of Bell Labs alumni walking through the building. They have lunch in the café. They point out their former offices. They reminisce about meeting their spouses here. They share laughs and memories. And they’re glad they get to come back to the building that was in jeopardy for so long.

Photo by Gary Murakami

Life At Bell Labs: Young, Fun and Ground-Breaking

Built in 1962 and expanded twice since, the former Bell Labs facility was once one of the largest buildings in New Jersey. And as it is today, it was a place to work and play.

“It was a lot of fun. In particular, there were a lot of young people,” said Kauffman, who began working at the facility in 1977. “They had massive hiring years from 1977 to the early 1980s, so you had a lot of people in their 20s just getting out of school. We would get together in various ways. There were many clubs, for example. They had probably 20 or 30 clubs.”

If you had an interest outside of work, there was a club for you: a French club, magic club, ski club, juggling club, and several sports leagues. They even offered courses in other vocations, such as auto repair.

Of course, there were seminars and world-class speakers coming through the facility. Kauffman recalls hearing of some guy named Steve Jobs giving a talk at the building.

“There were world experts around, and people were rewarded for cooperating across organizational boundaries or within the organization. Everyone was very helpful. I learned a lot there,” said Robert Wilson, the 1978 Nobel Prize winner.

Like any workplace, there were also some odd happenings. Like when you could take a break from work and watch Canadian geese chicks hatch by the pond in front of the building (that happened again recently just outside the windows of the vi Collaboration Hub, the coworking space here at Bell Works). Or the time the building was expanded in 1982, but there wasn’t plumbing installed in the new section.

It wasn’t a problem since there was sufficient plumbing in other sections of the building. But the Bell Labs president’s office happened to be in the expansion section. Needless to say, they installed plumbing for him.

Ending an Era and Revitalizing the Legacy

After the divestiture of Bell Labs and Lucent Technologies eventually taking over the property, things went downhill for telecom companies. The building that was once so heavily occupied that temporary offices were built in the atrium, dwindled in population.

“It was a really big place and it was exciting to be there,” said Kauffman, who worked at the facility until it closed in 2007. “So seeing it start to diminish while you were still there was sad, and after we left, we weren’t too sure what was going to be done with the building.”

Though the building remained vacant for several years, Somerset Development purchased it in 2013 and continues to transform it into a mixed-use facility for people to live, work, and play, something Bell Labs alumni are happy about, giving them a reason to return to their roots.

“When I visited a couple of weeks ago, that was the first time I’d been back since it was abandoned,” said Grace Leonard, who worked as a technical supervisor at other Bell Labs locations in the state from 1969 to 1986, but visited the Holmdel location for meetings. “I think the work and what I understand about the plans is a wonderful use of the space and I’m really glad it is being put to use for people in the community.”

Alumni are also glad to see Bell Works carry on the legacy of innovation, as many tech companies are tenants in the facility.

“I think it’s a great opportunity for hi-tech companies. I know NVIDIA is there and they’re a very well-known tech company. I’m sure the other hi-tech companies in the building are doing a lot of good stuff as well,” Kauffman said.

It may have been abandoned for a while, but the Holmdel facility is buzzing again with ground-breaking work, inspiring events, and plenty of fun activities. And now, it’s not just those windows that have stories to tell, but Bell Labs alumni can return home to walk the halls and talk about its history.

AMC’s Comic Book Men and USA Today Talk Podcasting At Bell Works

Podcasting may have started as an occasional, recreational pastime for natural techies with extra time on their hands – but that was then. Today more than 35 million people listen to podcasts weekly.

Here in the U.S. there are as many podcast listeners as there are Twitter users, and their interests are as vast as our population - sports, tech, politics, pop culture, and even comic book fans have a podcast to claim for themselves. It’s an ever growing medium in both users and influence.
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On May 4, Bell Works, also a growing, changing medium (with a long history of tech innovation) will host a panel discussion to dig into what’s next for podcasting.

This will be the first event in Bell Works’ newly renovated auditorium, part of the building’s renovation as a Metroburb. Bell Works is the latest incarnation for the former Bell Labs building that once housed the engineers and scientists that discovered the Big Bang theory. From the invention of the transistor to telephones to the world’s fiber optic network, Bell’s legacy is one that embraces the new and the next.

The panel includes: Ming Chen and Michael Zapcic, co-stars of AMC TV’s hit unscripted show, Comic Book Men, and Felecia Wellington Radel and Alex Biese, hosts of the popular podcast, Fan Theory. On stage the four will do what they love best -- talk about pop culture. Both teams’ weekly shows blend banter about real life with special features like movie reviews and fan favorite guest interviews.

The podcasters will be joined by Neil Mody, president of SpareMin. Based in New York City, SpareMin developed new technology currently being used by major media outlets to do on-the-spot audio capture and upload that allows users to produce relevant, relatable content in real time.

All panelists will share their experience as podcasters and their thoughts about the future of podcasting.

Podcasts are an evolving source of content that can be seamlessly integrated into other media across multiple platforms. The medium is experiencing a surge in popularity with news media, marketers and business owners who are all looking for new ways to deliver engaging, meaningful experiences to both established and potential clients, customers and community.  

In 2015 alone, there were an estimated 3.3 billion download requests. Listeners are affluent, well-educated and 38 percent of them are millennials.

"Podcasting is not only here to stay but it could become even bigger than blogging.  Podcasting captures the most primal, instinctive mode of communication, just two people talking, better than any other medium," says Neil Mody, President of SpareMin.

Fan Theory will provide a big picture view of corporate-backed podcasting linked to an established media resource (USA Today/Gannett). They will also discuss how podcasting helps build community and feeds into other conversations that open doors to affiliated business opportunities, including the creation or enhancement of events based on a podcast and its fan community.

 

Fan Theory Podcast: Felecia Wellington, Alex Biese, Al Mannarino

 

“Podcasting is a new way to reach audiences for the news and media industry,” says Wellington Radel. “As technology evolves, so has audio — niche audiences are able to look for, find and engage with what interests them most.”

Mike & Ming will bring the ‘organically grown’ experience of podcasting to the table – building an audience and message around a very personal/personality driven passion. They’ll also share experiences about using podcasting to promote a strongly held, personal agenda, ie: a more inclusive society; a culture that values storytelling and shared goals and aspirations; and encouraging the ‘average geek’ to get creative and create something that celebrates what’s important to them in their lives.

“Podcasting is personal. It’s usually not heavily scripted or edited so listeners can feel good about experiencing something that feels honest because most of the time, it is,” Zapcic said. “That can be good and bad,” he adds, laughing.

The panelists will take questions from the audience, and are even hinting at a special opportunity for audience participation at the event.

In addition to an hour and a half of some of the best discussion around on the Jersey Shore, guests will leave with an emphatic charge issued by Ming Chen, who would be perfectly happy if everyone attending the May 4 event exited the auditorium and immediately launched their own podcast:

The future of podcasting was prophesied 27 years ago, and today has the potential to be fulfilled. It was shouted out to the masses by Christian Slater in the 1990 movie 'Pump up the Volume' in reference to pirate radio. Podcasting is the illegitimate child of pirate radio and the quote goes a little something like this:

‘I'm calling for every kid to seize the air. Steal it, it belongs to you. Speak out, they can't stop you. Find your voice and use it. Keep this going. Pick a name, go on air. It's your life, take charge of it. Do it, try it, try anything. Spill your guts out...you decide. Fill the air, steal it. Keep the air alive--TALK HARD!’

Here's to everyone out there finding their voice and talking hard via their own podcast.”

Click here to register for the event.

 

Through The Looking Glass: A Photo Gallery

As the sun set on March 30, more than 200 guests filled the main atrium at Bell Works for a fantastic gala to benefit the Holmdel Public Library & Learning Center. The library announced back in March that it would be moving its entire operation from the basement of the Holmdel Municipal Center to a prime location in Bell Works.

Check out the gallery below for some fun photos from the event.

 

Bell Works Event: How to Prepare for the Media Interview

You had the big idea. You did your research. You took the risk and put in the hours of physical and mental effort necessary to launch your business. Now you’re seeing results. What was once just a big dream is now gaining traction…and getting recognized.

You’ve landed a media interview. Congratulations! The possibility for positive recognition and amplification of your brand and your mission is real.

Now what?

You need a crash course in handling the media. Both for that coveted business profile, and the event that there is a crisis at your business or in your industry.

Join us at Bell Works on Wed, Dec. 14 for a breakfast panel discussion on how to prepare for a media event: interview, press conference or tv/radio spot. The panel discussion will feature tips and practical instruction from publicists and reporters who cover businesses in New Jersey.

This event is part of a regular series of meetups sponsored by Bell Works and vi Collaboration Hub, the coworking community here, to provide resources and education for businesses entrepreneurs.

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER

Learn more about the panel:

Moderator, Shannon Winning, Co-owner and Writer,  Marketing Rival

Shannon is a professional writer and marketer skilled at harnessing the knowledge of her clients to turn their years of experience into the kind of content prospects hunger for. Shannon has helped CEOs, CMOs and other executives become thought leaders in their industries, attracting buyers and competitors seeking answers to their problems. Prior to co-founding Marketing Rival and her work as freelance writer and inbound marketer, she was a journalist covering municipal, business and hyperlocal news.

“The one thing you don’t want to do is let your press agent or PR specialist speak for you during an interview,” Shannon advises. “This is your business, your expertise, your chance. You need to speak in your own voice, make your own statement. That’s powerful, and will resonate with your audience more than any soundbite being fed to a reporter by a PR point person.”

Michael Diamond, Business Reporter, Asbury Park Press

Michael is a business reporter at the Asbury Park Press, where he covers the economy. His stories have appeared in USA Today and other newspapers nationwide, and he has been honored by the New Jersey Press Association for business writing nine times.  Michael joined the Press in 1999 after writing for newspapers in Pennsylvania and Southern California.

Regarding the media interview opportunity, Diamond is clear in his professional take on authenticity: “Every reporter and every reader can discern who is telling an authentic story and who is embellishing or even fabricating a story for effect and simply to present what they think people will ‘buy’.”

Josh Burd, Editor, Real Estate New Jersey and former NJBIZ managing editor

Josh is the editor of Real Estate NJ, a website and monthly magazine dedicated to covering commercial real estate in New Jersey. He has covered the industry for more than five years. Prior to launching Real Estate NJ this year, he was the managing editor of NJBIZ, a statewide business journal, and spent four years working for Gannett newspapers in central New Jersey.

“The best thing an interviewer or person being interviewed can do is prepare,” Josh said. “For someone going into an interview…Come in with your facts and numbers - that’s what’s interesting to business reporters. Also, besides hard facts, anecdotes—your story. That’s interesting.”

Kyle Kirkpatrick, Director, Beckerman PR

Kyle is an experienced writer, strategist, and media relations expert focused specifically on the commercial real estate industry in New York, New Jersey, and Philadelphia. A former member of the Public Information and Economic Development offices in the City of New Brunswick, Kyle has roots in government affairs and community development. He has also served as a speech writer, campaign coordinator, and social media manager for local figures and initiatives in New Jersey. He holds bachelor’s degrees in Journalism & Media Studies and Political Science from Rutgers University in New Brunswick, N.J.

“You’ve got to distill your message so you can make your point and restate the most important take-a-ways for your audience throughout the interview,” Kyle said. “It may seem redundant, but reporters and audiences are human and there’s only so much we will remember hearing something only once.”

Jennifer Smiga, Co-Owner and Publicist, Marketing Rival

Jennifer has the proven ability to connect her clients to social media influencers and media craving new stories. Prior to founding her first marketing and pr agency in 2010, she managed events, co-marketing partnerships and media relations campaigns for high-profile organizations including Bette Midler’s New York Restoration Project and the Miami Art Museum.

“Trust in your story. Every brand starts with the people behind it. And also remember that the journalist you are talking to may bring something out in your story that you maybe didn’t even know was interesting. But to the reader, it could be a key ingredient to a compelling story.”

The Dec. 14 event kicks off at 8 am with coffee, breakfast and networking. Panel discussion begins at 8:30 and will include time for Q and A. Event concludes at 10 a.m. but attendees are welcome to stay and work in the cafe afterwards.  Bell Works is located at 101 Crawfords Corner Rd, Holmdel, NJ.

Click here to learn more about the event and to register.