work-inspired

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!”

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

Check Out a 360° Tour of Bell Works

Kevin Liptak, owner and CCO of Refresh Advertising, is used to thinking and going big. And he is growing his company at Bell Works for that reason: it’s the perfect space to think big and show other brands how they can go big, too. Refresh is a full-service digital agency that utilizes the latest tech, high-definition video, 360° photos, videos, tours, and virtual reality in particular, to create engaging and memorable experiences for brands.

“Any time a photo doesn’t do a space or project justice, we use tech to really immerse someone in it,” Kevin said.

The company takes its name from its use of forward-thinking technologies, the latest techniques and a little creativity to reinvigorate and revitalize brands. They take pride in bringing virtual reality to companies big and small, as long as the size or scope of a project would benefit from the technology. And when Kevin first saw Bell Works a little over a year ago, the size and scope of this historic building instantly spoke to him.

“It was just such a cool space,” said Kevin about his first time here. “You just felt an energy being here.”

And that energy was part of why, not long after, Refresh relocated from a coworking space in Fort Monmouth to CoLab the coworking space here.

Roof Deck 360See the roof deck in 360°.

The coworking community includes graphic designers, app developers, real estate professionals, marketers, photographers and business coaches. And the industries they work in are diverse: farming, human resources, non-profit, education, legal and more. Click here for membership rates.

Since its move, Refresh has found ways to spotlight their new home in some recent projects, like leveraging the iconic exterior of the world’s largest mirror for a car commercial filmed together with fellow CoLab company Silver Style Pictures.

“We appreciate the CoLab environment, where you can network with people outside your door,” said Kevin. “It makes you want to push yourself a little harder, innovate a little more.”

It was in that spirit of innovation and wanting to capture the impressive scale that makes walking into the space such a “wow” moment that Kevin and the Refresh team created Bell Works in 360°. To virtually put viewers in the metroburb, Refresh combined the building’s logo, colors, imagery, and iconography along with the team’s photography to create an immersive brand experience. The end result is a web and virtual reality version that blends Bell Works’ branding with high-resolution 360° shots of several building "hotspots."

CoLab at Bell WorksGet a 360° look inside one of the coworking spaces.

“Our goal is always, especially in the case of the Bell Works project, to capture the size and scale of a place in ways that a photo alone can’t," said Kevin. “I’m really proud of this one.”

Bell Works in 360° was first featured as a demo at The New Jersey Advertising Club’s annual “Innovation Summit “ in November 2018 at Bell Works.

360 home

You can view Bell Works in 360° here.

When it comes to their virtual reality capabilities, Refresh Advertising has simplified the production process, making this technology, which was once only a novelty available to billion dollar businesses, an accessible and affordable business tool available to your average company.

“Virtual reality can be used for every use under the sun," said Kevin. “Headsets are getting cheaper, quality is getting better. Like everything else, it’s all about how quickly the tech moves.”

Brands that partner with Refresh can bring their work to life with branded 360° environments, photography, and video. They can then showcase their space with their own portable, wireless headsets, like the Oculus Go, which can also be custom wrapped and carried in a logoed carrying case.

Atrium 360See the atrium in 360°.

“We’re focused on solving business problems with virtual reality and 360° photography,” said Kevin. “Our real thing is combining a company’s brand with the experience. It’s not the experience for the experience’s sake.”

See our coworking rates, building amenities and space options. Download the Bell Works Template for Growth.

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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.

 

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.

 

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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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. 

 

“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.

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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.

 _DSC0795

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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An Elevated Eating Experience for an Elevated Work Experience

In its heyday, Bell Labs hosted more than 6,000 workers, and many of those hungry employees took in their lunch at the cafeteria on the ground level here. A typical institutional style cafeteria lined with tiled walls and food stations, the cafeteria was designed to serve many people, quickly and efficiently.

Decades later, the reimagined building that is now Bell Works has taken a deep exhale as old dingy walls have been replaced by clear glass and the halls and offices once again hum with business. And to meet the demand of these new workers and the daily public visitors, the food service experience has come out of the dark of the basement and into the light.

Now wrapped in white artisan tile and finished with marble countertops and natural wood Danish furnishings, the new Bell Market is a light, bright European style food hall that welcomes lunch crowds to an experience far removed from the cafeteria.

Bell Market at Bell Works

Photo by Lapeg Photography

Open to the public Monday through Friday, Bell Market is actually a curated collection of five culinary destinations.

* Bubz Deli: Thoughtfully crafted New York-style deli classics on bread made fresh daily.

* Jozu: Sushi, ramen and robatayaki (Japaneses style charcoal barbecue).

* Broadfork: Made to order salads featuring local greens, grains, vegetables and proteins.

* Honeybell: Sweet and savory breads, cookies, cakes, croissants and coffee.

* Corbo & Sons: Wood-fired oven Italian fare, featuring both Neapolitan- and Roman-style pizzas.

Starting in July, the chefs opened the destinations one at a time over the span of several weeks. The last of the bunch, the wood-fired pizzeria, is now open. 

Bell Market is the first of several planned eateries in the metroburb. This month, Mediterranean franchise The Hummus & Pita Co. recently opened its doors next to Booskerdoo, the coffee and bake shop. Mexican restaurant Estrella Azul is expected to open next year. More lunch and dinner spots are expected to be announced in early 2019.

Chef Richard Corbo of the RBC Hospitality Group

Chef Richard Corbo’s specialty is pizza.

The collection of five different eateries reflects the tastes and specialties of the owners - RBC Hospitality Group - which stands for Run By Chefs. The chefs, Richard Corbo, Chad Spencer, Jeff Systma and Sommelier Chantelle Corbo founded the group with a vision of escaping the relentless city grind and the often brutal restaurant lifestyle to create a company that put quality of ingredients and quality of life for the staff as the core mission. “Our first value is to produce beautiful food we feel great about, from sources we feel good about,” Corbo said. “We start there and figure out how to make money afterward, rather than make a lot of money and weave some quality somewhere along the way.” 

The RBC Hospitality Group

The partners of RBC (from left to right): Chef Jeff Systma, Chef Chad Spencer, Bell Market Manager Marielle Nuval, Sommelier Chantelle Corbo and Chef Richard Corbo.

Can I get that to go? “Let them have the experience that they want to have.”

With sandwiches like the Midnight Moon Gouda topping out at $14, the Bell Market menu is definitely high end, but the chefs say the menu is actually a mix of high/low options. Each eatery has a splurge item, like Midnight Moon, and some more affordable everyday items, like the ham and cheddar on a baguette for $7.50.

“Maybe you only splurge once a week on a $14 lunch and the rest of the time you’re under $10,” Corbo said.

Currently every counter has a grab and go item like premade sandwiches, tartines (a hearty slice of multigrain bread topped with avocado or salmon), and poke bowls. Corbo said there is demand from the metroburb community to offer more typical cafeteria fare and so the chefs plan to expand their sandwich offerings and add grab-and-go salads. 

Bell Market's seasonal tartine

Bell Market’s seasonal tartine topped with goat cheese and butternut squash.

Bubz Deli and Honeybell bakery both offer breakfast items like egg sandwiches, pastries, yogurt bowls and oat cups, and of course, coffee. Depending on your taste, breakfast can cost anywhere between $4-$7. Download the menu from google.

“Bell Market should be a social house that people come to and can experience whatever they want to experience. If you want to grab a roll and run, or if you want to sit down to talk to me about a $100 bottle of sake, you can do that,” Spencer said. “We designed this place so the customer can have the experience that they want to have.”

Ingredients from local farms, mills and fisheries

What the chefs aren’t willing to budge on is the higher quality of ingredients they use as compared to a typical fast casual restaurant. Here the spicy tuna hand rolls feature tuna that was likely swimming off the Jersey Shore that morning. Chef Spencer sources all his fish from Local 130, of Asbury Park.

Chef Chad Spencer of the RBC Hospitality Group

Chef Chad uses locally sourced fish from Asbury Park for his hand rolls.

In the on-site bakery, pastry chef Jeff Systma and his team bake all the baguettes, bagels and sandwich breads on-site. “We source all of our specialty grains from Fresh From Zone 7 (a New Jersey-based, 100% local farm fresh food distributor),” he said. “Our whole wheat flour, rye flour, buckwheat flour and rye berries are from Castle Valley Mill in PA. We also use King Arthur Organic Artisan Select.” Those ingredients, he says, cost more. “I could change it, but you would notice the difference.”

“The only core value that we have is quality of what we’re serving. Has to be driven by the local food economy,” Systma said.

Every Wednesday, Bell Market holds a happy hour and pizza night in coordination with the Bell Works Fresh farmers market. 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.

Sommelier Chantelle Corbo of the RBC Hospitality Group

Stay tuned for Bell Market’s wine club where guests will be invited to taste their way through six wine stations

RBC Hospitality also provides corporate catering for meetings, lunches and events. Click to inquire.

Bell Market is open to the public every weekday with hours varying with each eatery - Broadfork Greens + Grains: 11 a.m. - 3 p.m.; Bubz Deli: 8 a.m. - 3 p.m.; Corbo & Sons: Monday & Friday - 11:30 a.m. - 3 p.m. ; Tuesday - Thursday - 11:30 a.m. - 7 p.m.; Honeybell Bakery: 8 a.m. - 6 p.m.; Jozu: 11 a.m. - 3 p.m.

Getting hungry? Download the Bell Market menu and taste for yourself. New call-to-action

Don’t Be a Hermit: Bell Works' Coworking Space Gets You Out of Your House

The office space that Denny Testa moved into last year in Bell Works seems at first glance a lot like his style, with his dark hair brushed up about four inches off his head and decked out in a dark blazer and green suede high tops, they’re both a little bit showy and eye catching with a super sleek, sophisticated edge.

Testa, co-owner of Off BEET Productions, a one-stop-shopping source for capturing candid and lighthearted wedding videos and photos, says he and his partner (and wife, Kate) snapped up the space after taking a tour of the complex and seeing all the amenities that would be available to them. Their office is a corner of a larger coworking space that’s partitioned by glass walls to make a big glass box, which they customized with funky industrial shelving and tables and shiny brass seating to accommodate their growing team. Testa, a self-proclaimed introvert/extrovert who also offers DJ and entertaining services to future brides and grooms, says one of the things he loves about what Bell Works calls a “team pod,” or larger private office space, is that it gives him the opportunity to have some privacy while not feeling isolated.

Denny Testa's team pod, part of the coworking space at Bell Works

Testa’s “team pod,” part of the larger coworking space.

“We were in an office space in Fair Haven before and that’s just what it was: office space,” he explains. At Bell Works, he can edit wedding videos on one of the several large screen monitors in his office, while just outside the space are other tenants working in the more open coworking space, and across the hallway are windows overlooking Bell Works’ lush campus and fun roof deck.

Testa says he loves all the amenities available to him at Bell Works — like the shared conference spaces — but especially has his eye on a 300-seat amphitheater in the building’s lower level and event spaces that back up to a pond and landscaped grounds, which are the perfect spot for a wedding reception. “There’s just so much opportunity here for us,” he says. In the meantime, Testa is loving working in the Bell Works metroburb. “It’s like a little city,” he says, “and it’s one of the big reasons we wanted to come here.” He likes that there are always new people to meet and says he’s started developing a project with another cinematographer who’s set up shop at Bell Works. “We get bored fast,” he says, “so this is perfect for us.”

When he’s not traveling to cover a wedding (they’ve done 90 so far this year), Denny says Off BEET uses their Bell Works space to meet with potential clients. It’s also big enough to accommodate various interns and photo assistants who work in the office. While he still does a lot of his editing at home, Testa, who also jumps in as DJ at events, and says the Off BEET Bell Works space gives him a place to get out of the house and interact with other people.

Become part of the Bell Works coworking community today.

“There’s just so much opportunity here for us,” Testa says.

Which is what appeals to a lot of other tenants who lease coworking space in the former Bell Labs building in Holmdel, NJ, says Sean Donohue, who’s been managing CoLab — Bell Works’ coworking spaces — for about three years. “A lot of tenants get lonely working from home, with no interaction or feedback during the day,” he says. “CoLab lets you get out of your own four walls.”

Many of the tenants leasing more traditional office space in the building started out in a shared space situation, says Donohue. “It kind of lets you test drive the whole Bell Works facility and decide whether it works for you,” he says. Opting for coworking space also lets you expand along with your business and grow your space. “It’s a great place to get your startup off the ground.”


One example is Foley Prep. The test prep company, run by
Ron Foley, had four locations when he spotted Bell Works on a morning cycle. He was so taken by the building that he created a fifth location in CoLab. When the new site’s tutoring work grew too busy for the shared coworking space, he moved to a private Ready-to-Wear space in building 3.

CoLab at Bell Works

Considering a move to CoLab at Bell Works?

DOWNLOAD THE TEMPLATE FOR GROWTH

Potential tenants — many of whom work remotely for corporate businesses or are entrepreneurs trying to get that start up off the ground — can dip their toe in the coworking water with a spot a day or two a week and see whether CoLab is a fit. No matter how many days a tenant chooses, Donohue says they have access to amenities like conference space and a kitchenette.

Graphic designers, app developers, real estate professionals, marketers, photographers, business coaches, they all find a home here at CoLab. And the industries they work in are diverse: farming, human resources, non-profit, education, legal, and more.

Membership packages are as varied as the types of companies represented at Bell Works and all present the opportunity to grow your space along with your business. Whether it’s an unassigned “hot desk,” dedicated workstation or full-fledged private office, there are memberships to match your business needs. Some of the most popular, according to Donohue, are:

  • Daily drop in: for $25 a day you can dip your toe into the pool of shared work space and see if it’s for you.
  • Part-Time starter pack: 5 drop ins a month gets you basic membership amenities (wifi, kitchen, full office) at a great price
  • Full-time shared/hot desk: 24/7 access and 6 hours of conference room time a month
  • Dedicated desk: All of the above along with exclusive desk space and the use of the Bell Works mailing address
  • Single private office: Priority use of the conference room and the right to store items in the space.
  • Multi-person private offices (team pod): Lots of different sizes plus a multi-desk option that could be customized depending on team size and part- or full-time status

Depending on your company’s needs, Donohue says he can customize a workspace. “There are a lot of flexible options,” he says. “There’s always a way to tailor space to fit an organization’s needs.”

Donohue thinks that’s the biggest draw for CoLab is that tenants become part of a whole network of other tenants. “There’s so much potential to interact and share ideas,” he says. “This is the new future of work.”

In the near future, Bell Works will expand its coworking to a new 26,000 square foot community.

See our coworking rates, building amenities and space options. Download the Bell Works Template for Growth.

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Bell Works Operating Hours, and Other Burning FAQs

For decades, Bell Labs was cloaked in mystery. If you didn’t work here or know someone who did, you likely never even stepped foot into the mirrored building. Now in its reincarnation as Bell Works, the 2 million square foot space is open to the public, but set back a mile into the trees, there’s still a little mystery surrounding it.

When is it open? Is there anywhere to eat? Can I have my wedding there? Just a few of the FAQs the Bell Works team fields everyday. Here now is a collection of the questions niggling at our fans’ and followers’ minds.

Is Bell Works open to the public?

Yes! The metroburb is open to the public on the ground floor. The upper and lower levels of our building are occupied by private tenants, and so are off limits. The ground floor is open to the public and includes interactive public spaces, shops, eateries, the Holmdel Library, and even an outdoor roof deck - and all have FREE access to WIFI. We ask that you steer clear of spaces that are still under construction.

What are the building hours?*

Monday - 6 a.m. - 9 p.m.

Tuesday - 6 a.m. - 7 p.m.

Wednesday - 6 a.m. - 9 p.m.

Thursday - 6 a.m. - 7 p.m.

Friday - 6 a.m. - 7 p.m.

Saturday - 6 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Sunday - CLOSED

*As new restaurants and retailers open here, expect to see extended hours.

Bell Works, the metroburb in Holmdel, NJ

Do you provide tours of the facility?

Occasionally we offer tours to select groups. Stay tuned for news of our next tour.

How do I get to Bell Works from New York City?

We provide a shuttle service to and from the Hazlet train station to our little city in the suburbs. The shuttle departs promptly from the Hazlet station after arrivals from New York Penn Station and leaves from the Bell Works main entrance 20 minutes prior to train departures.

Shuttle pickups available for the following morning trains from Penn Station: (please note that these are departure times from Penn Station)

5:32 a.m., 6:20 a.m., 7:01 a.m., 7:44 a.m., 8:45 a.m.

Bell Works evening pickups are 20 min prior to following trains to Penn Station:

3:14 p.m., 4:10 p.m., 5:09 p.m., 5:59 p.m., 6:56 p.m.

Be sure to check the NJ Transit schedule for updated times, or just visit the screens in the lobby here. Also be sure to download the Bell Works shuttle app to get real-time transportation info. The TransitScreen GO app is compatible with iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. Don’t have an Apple product? No worries! Visit here to access the schedule. Use code NQRR on the app and online to access.

The Bell Works shuttleThe Bell Works shuttle service runs to and from the Hazlet train station to our little city in the suburbs.

What are your retail store hours?

Holmdel Library & Learning Center

Monday - 1 - 9 p.m.

Tuesday - 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Wednesday - 1 - 9 p.m.

Thursday - 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Friday - 1 p.m. - 5 p.m.

Saturday - 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Sunday - CLOSED

The Holmdel Library & Learning Center at Bell Works

 The Holmdel Library & Learning Center is home to digital research tools, over 100 digital magazines, comfortable lounge areas and a well-curated print collection.

Holmdel Montessori

Monday - Friday 7 a.m. - 7 p.m.

Saturday & Sunday - CLOSED

Booskerdoo Coffee & Baking Co.

Monday - Friday - 7:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Saturday - 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.

Sunday - CLOSED

Booskerdoo at Bell Works

 Tenants enjoy breaking at work for a cup of Booskerdoo coffee.

@ Your Convenience

Monday - Friday - 7 a.m. - 6:30 p.m. 

Saturday - 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Sunday - CLOSED

Salon Concrete

Monday - 9 a.m. - 6 p.m.

Tuesday - 9 a.m. - 6 p.m.

Wednesday - 9 a.m. - 8 p.m.

Thursday - 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Friday - 9 a.m. - 6 p.m.

Saturday - 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.

Sunday - CLOSED

Salon Concrete at Bell Works

 Salon Concrete's second location.

Bell Market

OPEN MONDAY - FRIDAY

Broadfork Greens + Grains - 11 a.m. - 3 p.m.

Bubz Deli - 8 a.m. - 3 p.m.

Corbo & Sons - Monday & Friday - 11:30 a.m. - 3 p.m. ; Tuesday - Thursday - 11:30 a.m. - 7 p.m.

Honeybell Bakery - 8 a.m. - 6 p.m.

Jozu - 11 a.m. - 3 p.m.

Bell Market Bell Works

 Bell Market has five culinary destinations.

City Barn | Country Penthouse

Monday - Friday - 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.

 

Saturday - 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.

Sunday - CLOSED

City Barn | Country Penthouse Bell Works

City Barn | Country Penthouse

The Hummus & Pita Co.

Monday - Thursday - 8 a.m. - 6 p.m.

Friday - 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Saturday - 10 a.m. - 3 p.m.

Sunday - CLOSED

The Hummus & Pita Co. at Bell WorksA fast-casual Mediterranean restaurant serving homemade cuisine in an inviting, contemporary enviornment.

The Bar Method

Open Monday - Saturday with varying class times in the early morning, mid-afternoon and evening. Class schedule here.

The Bar Method HolmdelThe Bar Method is a boutique fitness studio offering barre classes for students of all levels.

Dimension Dental

Monday - 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Tuesday - 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Wednesday - 10 a.m. - 7 p.m.

Thursday - 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Friday - 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Saturday & Sunday - CLOSED

Dimension Dental at Bell WorksDr. Elona Kaso, owner of Dimension Dental 

Holmdel Florist

Monday - Friday - 10 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.

Saturday - 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.

Sunday - CLOSED

Holmdel FloristOwners George and Dawn Allen have been in business for over 40 years.

Mezza Luna

Monday - Friday - 11 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Saturday & Sunday - CLOSED

Bell WorksAnthony and Melissa Imperiale are owners of both Mezza Luna & Estrella Azul.

Estrella Azul

Monday - Friday - 11 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Saturday & Sunday - CLOSED

OceanFirst Bank

24 Hour ATM Access

Office Hours:
Monday - Friday - 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Saturday - By appointment only
Sunday: CLOSED


Video Teller Machine Hours:
Monday - Friday - 7 a.m. - 7 p.m.
Saturday - 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Sunday: CLOSED

IMG_7865-1-1In business for over 115 years, OceanFirst is helping its neighbors along their financial journey.

Alchemist Jewelers

Monday - Friday - 9:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.

Evening hours available by appointment.

Alchemist Jewelers at Bell WorksAlchemist Jewelers takes a hands-on approach to custom made jewelry pieces.

How do I host an event at Bell Works?

Whether you're looking to host a wedding, a festival or a corporate event, Bell Works has a space to meet your needs. Inquire here.

The atrium is always alive at Bell Works

 Our atrium is home to farmers markets, corporate parties and networking events.

What’s the deal with the parking lots? Am I allowed to park anywhere?

Yes, park anywhere as long as the spot does not say ‘Reserved.’ We have four lots around the metroburb, and a fifth visitors lot outside the main entrance. We have four parking areas, red, yellow, blue, and purple, each corresponding to their closest building (yes, Bell Works is actually four distinct buildings connected by a glass enclosed atrium.) Red and blue parking lots correspond to the iCIMS and WorkWave towers respectively. Yellow corresponds to the Guardian Life tower and purple to the JCP&L tower.

When driving here, please enter from the Middletown Road entrance.

How can I lease office space at Bell Works?

From a single desk to an entire floor, Bell Works has pre-built and custom spaces to nurture and grow your business. For more info about leasing, download our guide to growing your business at Bell Works 

Bell Works pre-built office space.

 One of many pre-built spaces to nurture and grow your business.

Is Bell Works hiring?

No, the building itself is not, but our tenants are! Take a look at our tenant list here and feel free to reach out individually.

Can I shoot a film there?

Our photography procedure requires that all photographers seeking to use the building for commercial purposes obtain explicit permissions from management who will direct them on requirements. Requests are evaluated on a case by case basis. Please find our photography guidelines here.

When are the shops and the rest of the amenities opening up?

We’ve signed leases and are building out spaces over time. Sign up for our weekly email for the most up-to-date information!

Events at Bell Works | Holmdel, NJ

Irish Tech Company Finds a Move In Ready Home For Its US Branch at Bell Works

Call it fate. Or destiny. Or just great luck. Because when Ding — the Dublin-based tech company — landed at Bell Works this spring, the mobile top up giant not only found a great location for its second U.S. office, which was up and running in no time, but a kindred spirit in global connectivity.

“We wanted to hit the ground running, but also find something that represented the company’s forward thinking," James Hall, Ding’s head of Americas B2B said. “Bell Labs was the first to make a transatlantic connection and Ding is the premier global connector of families with loved ones overseas.”

Unlike the U.S., where most mobile phone users are tied to a monthly calling plan, 75 percent of the world’s 5 billion phones are prepaid, meaning there’s no contract and credit is purchased in advance of service. Ding links families overseas — many of them migrant workers— with families back home by letting them send mobile phone credit, or “top up” their phones.

Since its inception in 2006, Ding’s users have successfully sent over 300 million top-ups globally — via the app, online at Ding.com, and in-store at over 600,000+ retail outlets worldwide — making it the number one international mobile top-up platform in the world.

With an eye on expanding its market further into the Americas, Ding saw New Jersey — with its proximity to New York and Philadelphia, not to mention easy flights to Dublin and Canada — as a prime location for its second U.S. office (the first is in Miami). Hall and his team scouted spaces as far north as Jersey City and throughout Monmouth County, until finally landing in Holmdel to tour Bell Works.

 Ding at Bell Works

"There was just such a 'wow factor' when we first walked into the building," James Hall, Ding’s head of Americas B2B, said.

“It was actually one of the last spaces we looked at,” said Hall, who moved with his family from Dublin to run the Holmdel office. “There was just such a ‘wow factor’ when we first walked into the building.”

While a lot of the other locations the Ding team toured seemed like just run-of-the-mill office space, Hall said the college-campus feel and collaborative energy of the Bell Works reimagined metroburb design echoed Ding’s innovative mindset. “This felt more like a home for us,” he said, entering the center atrium that buzzed with lunchtime activity.

But it’s the history of Eero Saarinen’s futuristic building, which served for decades as a giant incubator for communications giant Bell Labs and pioneered global connectivity, that really speaks to the core of Ding’s forward thinking values, said Hall. As a pioneer connecting Europe and the U.S. back in the 1950s and proponent of the early development of the cell phone, the Bell Labs legacy perfectly reflected the Ding culture.

“It’s really about connecting people,” said Hall over cappuccinos at a table outside the recently-opened Booskerdoo coffee shop, which sits beneath Bell Works’ soaring glass atrium.

Colette Campbell, Ding’s head of corporate communications, agreed, “Our business is all about connecting our users and where better than in the place which completed the first transatlantic telephone cable. It was fate!”

Ding at Bell Works

Ding's business is all about connecting their users and where better to do that than in the place which completed the first transatlantic telephone cable?

“Global connectivity, something which Bell Labs researchers literally laid the cables for, is high on the list of priorities for James and the team there, as they set about connecting more and more users in the U.S. to family and friends back home,” she added.

Prior to Ding’s April move, the space was occupied by, Nvidia and was double its current size. The makers of graphics cards and driverless car technology moved upstairs to a larger space on the third floor, to accommodate their growing team.

Ding’s office was one of the original pre-built spaces designed by Bell Works’ Creative Director Paola Zamudio, before there were even any tenants in the building. Like the pret-a-porter designs of the fashion world, these “ready-to-wear” spaces were designed for design savvy companies looking to get up and running fast.

“I designed these offices thinking of the future tenant as an entrepreneur,” Zamudio said. For these entrepreneurs, the spaces needed to flexible with a lot of light and be very open. I wanted them to feel like a space to create.”

DSC_0895

Ding’s office is one of the original pre-built spaces designed by Bell Works’ Creative Director Paola Zamudio

Working with Ding’s brand team in the Dublin office, the team fashioned the Bell Works office after the Irish space, with furniture that mimics the company’s headquarters and the Ding logo displayed prominently along the front of the office. The space is comfortable for the five employees working there now, but Hall says he expects to double that number over the next year and thinks the space will easily accommodate 10-12 workers.

“The Bell works space is incredible what’s not to love?” said Campbell. “While the Ding office in NJ is similar in look and feel to Dublin, we sadly don’t have a campus feel that’s established in Bell Works.”

In a nod to the history of the building, Ding installed its own version of a phone booth — or as the Irish call it, a “calling booth” — at the back of its new office space. Unlike those more old-fashioned boxes that come to mind, Ding’s phone booth is sound proofed and air conditioned and the perfect spot, said Hall, to jump on a call in a private setting.

DSC_0927

In a nod to the history of the building, Ding installed its own version of a phone booth — or as the Irish call it, a “calling booth”to jump on a call in a private setting.

Ding also mounted flat screens along the wall that can be used for meetings and video conferences or show all global top up transactions in real time. Fireworks burst from the center of the United States where a top up originates and arcs south to Guatemala and then one to Cuba and another to Mexico and continue beginning and ending in locations around the globe, all captured on-screen.

In April, the Bell Works Ding team hosted the company’s quarterly meeting, which brought management from Europe, the Mideast and Americas for the four-day gathering. Hall said the Bell Works space made an immediate impression on his visitors as they approached the building. “They were taken aback by the sprawling building in that perfectly landscaped green space.”

“It’s certainly an eye-opener,” he added.

Learn more about how you can grow your company at Bell Works with the Template for Growth.

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A Growing Software Company Ditches the Commute for a Collaborative Space in Holmdel

“We were dying to get away from Bedminster,” said Parkhill Mays, president of STOPit.

The leader of this pioneering software company had been commuting 60+ minutes a day from Freehold to a Bedminster office park and it was starting to take its toll, on him and his team.

When he reflects on this time, Mays isn’t just talking about the long drive in rush hour traffic, he’s talking about the life squeeze the commute put on him as the father of two girls, whom he coaches in travel softball.

“That was tough,” he said.

Moving the team to Bell Works shaved hours of all but two team members’ commutes. “I think everyone has dropped in age 5-10 years since we got here,” Mays said.

 

Founded four years ago by Todd Schoebel, STOPit created an app that empowers users to anonymously report bullying, harassment and violence in schools, workplaces and towns. The solution also includes an incident management component and both snapshot and detailed reporting options. In 2017, STOPit extended its solution to offer an incident monitoring service, providing 24/7 incident monitoring and management.

STOPit at Bell Works

STOPit is an app that empowers users to anonymously report bullying, harassment and violence in schools, workplaces and towns. 

In their Bedminster headquarters each employee had a private office. Besides the drive, he said, “It was a poor utilization of space.”

“We needed an open floor plan, a collaborative space,” Mays said. “That model fosters good fellowship. Yes, it gets a little chatty, but when your team is behind closed doors you miss hearing their customer conversations. When I hear someone say, “‘We‘re moving ahead and I’m sending a contract,’ that’s invigorating.”

Flex space within the coworking community

In less than a year the software company has made a series of three easy moves through different Bell Works offices, flex coworking space, small private pre-built space, and large pre-built space, each sized for their needs at the time.

The journey started about a month before STOPit’s Bell Works lease began when Mays said he’d just had it with the trip to Bedminster. “We couldn’t wait. We have to go, now,” he remembers saying, and he called Sean Donohue, community manager of CoLab, the coworking space here. “I showed up with my team of 12 at the time and Sean accommodated us for about 5 weeks in his flex space.”

This coworking flex space offers a mix of private offices and shared and private desks. Mays said his team was able to walk in on day one and begin working without any set up. When STOPit’s private office was ready, the team only needed to walk down the hall.

Looking to start with a small office? Learn how here. 

Download the Work Inspired Template for Growth.

 

Attracting talent with environment

There were plenty of relocation options for STOPit in Monmouth County, with office parks in Eatontown, Red Bank and Wall. Mays said that it was the larger experience available to his employees, including the ample public spaces, retail shops and services, that attracted him to Bell Works.

“You get much more for your money here than you would an office park in Eatontown that’s a few dollars cheaper per square foot. It’s much cheaper from an overall utilization stand point. Plus it’s a tech center and a recruiting magnet,” Mays said.

Mays discovered the location’s power for recruiting almost immediately.

When STOPit interviewed their now SaaS Account Executive, Chris Salomon, he told Mays, “Part of the attraction to your company was the surroundings you put yourself in.”

STOPit at Bell Works

“Part of the attraction to your company was the surroundings you put yourself in.”

Mays, who doesn’t have a private office, (no one is his company does now) is fond of taking calls in the soaring, glass ceilinged atrium. He likes to meet partners at Booskerdoo for coffee and conversation. And the gym on the concourse level is an added bonus.

Bell Works is quickly adding retail like Salon Concrete, Hummus & Pita, The Alchemist Jeweler, At Your Convenience, and now a dry cleaning service. The Holmdel Library and a Montessori School are both part of the metroburb now as well. All retail is open to the public.

“There’s a vibe that we can always go somewhere at Bell Works,” he said. “The place feels right to our team. And, you don’t have to get in your car for lunch.”

Three easy moves, plenty more room to grow

After just eight months in its original ready-to-wear space, STOPit is growing again, in funding, sales, staff and workspace.

The team just took up a 3,000 square-foot space on the first floor that includes three conference rooms and a generous open floor plan for individual and collaborative work. (That space was recently vacated by Nvidia makers of graphics cards and driverless car technology, which moved upstairs to a larger space on the third floor, to accommodate their growing team.)

STOPit at Bell Works

 The STOPit office includes three conference rooms and a generous open floor plan for individual and collaborative work

Other startups like music industry software company Vydia have used Bell Works as a launch pad and then moved to new space within the building as the company grew. Since upgrading from its first starter office in 2015, Vydia has doubled in size and hired 30 people. The company which created a platform for artists to protect, publish, monetize and distribute their videos across multiple channels now occupies a custom built 6,712 square foot office on the second floor of building 4.

In STOPit’s new space the team is settling in and enjoying their larger conference rooms and a little more elbow room around the office. But that extra room might not last too long. It recently hired a customer success manager and salesperson for a new market. And there are talks of purchasing other products that could fill out their offerings.

“The building has turned us into the company we always should have been: young, vibrant, always on the lookout of what’s next,” Mays said. “I hope we haven’t moved to our last piece of real estate here. I don’t think we have.”

From shared space to private office, learn more about how you can grow your company at Bell Works with the Template for Growth.

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WorkWave Finds the Space it Needs to Build Culture at Scale

 

WorkWave has had some cool offices.

Early on in its 30 years, the then softball team sized company worked from a house in a residential neighborhood. Then it was a converted firehouse. In one office, a surfboard with the company name greeted visitors at reception. Even in the more generic “officey” spaces, WorkWave designed its interiors with the bold colors and the perks you would expect from a tech company, like catered lunches and gaming stations.

But what they couldn’t change for their employees was the experience just outside their door.

Every day started and ended the same way, with a direct walk to and from the car. There was no reason to pause between the parking lot and your desk.

 IMG_9816The Bell Works atrium regularly hosts unique events for tenants and the public like this fencing demo that allowed brave tenants to take a break from work and try their hand at the sport.

That changed in 2016 when then-CEO Chris Sullens signed a lease for floor 5 of building 2 at Bell Works, the emerging adaptive reuse of Bell Labs in Holmdel, NJ.

There wasn’t much more than a coffee stand and a pop up cafe at Bell Works then, but the WorkWave leadership team could see the vision that developer Ralph Zucker had overlayed on the two million square foot building. And they banked on creating their new headquarters in the raw industrial space, with just a little trepidation as they looked to see it come to fruition.

 

Find out the details of the WorkWave deal.

Download the story board.

 

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 The weekly farmer's market draws crowds from inside and outside the building.

The promised community of the metroburb was still a year off, but what Bell Works did have now was space - uninterrupted floors of vast open space flanked by windows, park like views of the 272 acre property on one side and on the other, a view of the sun dappled turf fields and pedestrian walkways of the great glass atrium that connects Bell Works’ four distinct buildings.

The move enabled WorkWave to do what it already did culturally, but to do it at scale.

The WorkWave culture is an open-friendship-between-departments kind of culture where collaboration is a must and customer, and employee, satisfaction is a bi-product.


WorkWave makes software for field operations. Say a pest control company has a fleet to manage and route to schedule. WorkWave helps those guys keep their trucks on the road, working in an efficient manner. And being a software company means being on the receiving end of a constant stream of customer feedback.

You can see the company name reflected in the new space where the wave motif is both subtle and obvious, from a curving wave like section separating the product and customer service teams to the surfboard name plates on cubes and private offices.

What you won’t find is many walls, which the WorkWave team says can create silos between departments.

workwave office path1Inside the WorkWave space, teams have easy access to each other thanks to the open floor plan.

Running through the fifth floor space is a winding path of the building’s original concrete floor. Only now, it’s stained WorkWave blue and meanders between the product and customer teams. They’re situated together along with the UX and UI teams so that those who service the customers who use the product can communicate easily with those who make the product.

What drew the leadership team here was more than the open floor plans. It was the promised intrinsic quality of a city that hums with life on a smaller scale, tucked in the green nook of suburban Monmouth County. The "building around your building" feeling where the experience flows in and out of the office. 

Currently at over 250 employees globally, WorkWave has grown more than 100 employees over the last three years with plans to grow to 500+. Construction is about to begin on the company’s expansion space beyond the office wall, which will bring their office to 72,000 sq. ft.

15 WorkwaveCompany officials say the move has raised the company's profile allowing it to attract more top talent.

There are only a handful of spaces left at Bell Works. See a complete listing of spaces in the WorkWave case study.

VP of Talent Kelly Gliatta has been with WorkWave, almost since the beginning when the company was just 15 people working out of a house in Wall. The move to Bell Works, she says, has been a boon for staff creativity and talent acquisition.

“It’s nice to be in a building where everyone gets that culture and community really matter,” she said. “In the parking lot, you’re surrounded by other people who are eager to go in and start their day. You don’t see people in their cars waiting for 8:30.”

Kelly

VP of Talent Kelly Gliatta has been with the company since its early days inside a residential office. "You don't see people waiting in their car until 8:30 a.m. here."

One of WorkWave’s standards is regular one-on-ones between managers and their team members. Instead of sitting in a conference room with a structured to-do list, she said, they’re taking up the habit of walking meetings, down glass corridors, through the atrium, and even onto the roof deck overlooking the lake. “All those discussions become conversations,” Gliatta said. Now you start talking about, I had this random question, or the big idea you don’t have time to think about. It helps you be creative.”

As VP of Talent, Gliatta’s job has gotten a lot more interesting at Bell Works. When she was in Neptune she said, “We were a big secret.”

“Two years ago candidates would tell us, ‘I stumbled upon your name. I happened to see your posting.’ A year later, it’s, ‘I’ve heard about you. I’ve been following you.’ Now that we’re here, the awareness of us is bigger. We have a better opportunity to meet people who are going to the city because they don’t think they can find a tech job in New Jersey.”

Every few months WorkWave holds a speed dating style career fair for talent of all levels. And each time the crowd grows. “There’s an increased awareness that you can be in New Jersey and have a cool job.”

Bell Works didn’t kick off the energy that drives WorkWave (it was a great company before it got here), but it did channel it, like a wave coming into a cove and standing up high as it runs over shallow ground.

IMG_0282 (1)A WorkWave team holds an informal meeting in the Big Bang Cafe.

Gliatta can see it. “Collaboration is happening a lot more in this space,” she said.

Sure, the WorkWave team was growing and thriving in Neptune. Happy with their catered Surf Taco lunches and a walk around the parking lot on a sunny day. Filling their teams with skilled software engineers and customer service reps who “give a damn” and “challenge the status quo”, two of their six corporate values. They didn’t know yet that there were bigger, better waves up north in the metroburb where the roofs are glass and the sun pours in everyday for your walking meeting at 3 p.m.

“That’s the rub,” Gliatta says, “Until you’re here and you’re in this space, you don’t know what you’re missing.”

Find the space your company’s been missing. Download the case study of the WorkWave move.

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Coming Soon to Bell Works: Fit Lab, A Curated Fitness Experience

An inhouse gym at the office is nice, but a Stairmaster and some free weights isn’t enough for a little city in the suburbs.

To satisfy the fitness needs of its growing tenant base, and for the public it welcomes everyday, Bell Works is launching a diverse collection of fitness concepts to lunge, stretch and sweat your way to a healthier you.

The Fit Lab experience won't be like hitting the gym or fitness center in the highway strip mall where the neighborhood bonus is hitting a big box store for errands. Nestled within the metroburb, Fit Lab will be a natural part of the live-work-play community. Fitness goers will find a larger experience with amenities like the Holmdel Library, the Booskerdoo coffee shop, Salon Concrete, the Bell Market eateries, the weekly farmers market, and soon to open, home store City Barn Country Penthouse. 

Negotiations are under way for the group of businesses which will form Fit Lab, a cluster of exercise facilities that will be a key component of the metroburb’s continued transformation to a bustling indoor downtown. The Bar Method recently signed on as the first piece of the puzzle. Still to come, a full service gym and two more boutique fitness businesses.

The Bar Method Bell Works

The Bar Method will be offering 3 different barre classes: Classic Bar Method, Cardio Bar Move, and a Bar Express class. 

Sabre Real Estate Group Senior Vice President Justin Korinis is overseeing a leasing process that has been part recruitment, part competition between businesses eager to join Bell Works.

“We’re really trying to do the best in class, the coolest, the best version of every one of these that we can possibly do,” Korinis said.

That starts with the Bar Method, which is already under construction in a 2,100-square-foot space on the ground floor.

“The Bar Method isn’t just an ordinary fitness studio,” said Ralph Zucker, President of Somerset Development. “It’s part of an experience we’re curating, providing some of the coolest city-style experiences to our daily workers, frequent visitors and the broader community.”

Chrissy2-1

Chrissy Valerio, owner of The Bar Method Shrewsbury since 2008, and one of Bell Works’ newest retail tenants.

The plan for Fit Lab is to build 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.

It will likely have company. Korinis is negotiating a stipulation that would require the occupants of the large space allow members of the boutique businesses to have access to the showers and locker room. He would also like to see all four Fit Lab tenants work together to create packages, such as premium gym membership that would come with classes in the other businesses.

Although Sabre continues to weigh its options, Korinis mentioned yoga, a cycling studio, a pilates studio, cross fit and personal training as the kinds of uses that could work in the boutique spaces. The businesses should complement each other and not offer duplicative services, he said.

“To a certain degree we’re playing Tetris by trying to fit the pieces together,” Korinis said. “Each use has different space and construction requirements, so that’s something we’re considering as well.”

While there is no set timeline, the goal is for Fit Lab to be filled out by early 2019. News on the final occupants should come soon.

Bell Works Fit Lab

Stretch and sweat your way to a healthier you at Bell Works.

Korinis expects that Fit Lab will draw a high percentage of users from outside the building and drive traffic to the other retail tenants. Fitness facilities are excellent for that, as members tend to visit multiple times per week, he said.

“We want people from all over Monmouth County thinking of this as a place to come hang out in the same way that they think of Red Bank or Asbury Park as destinations for fun, entertainment and dining,” Korinis said. “The goal of this pedestrian main street is to do that, but indoors in a place where we’ve got dedicated free parking and it’s weatherproof.”

Interested in making your fitness concept part of Fit Lab? Click here to contact the retail team.

NYC? Interns Seeking Best Opportunities Find There’s No Place Like Holmdel

They’re the smiling young faces you see in the atrium. They bring fresh ideas and new energy to offices while giving a boost to companies’ capacity. This season, Bell Works was buzzing with its 2018 class of summer interns.

Bell Works summer interns

Bell Works’ 2018 class of summer interns.

The metroburb has the luxury of an enormous pool of local talent to recruit from. Draw a circle with a 20-mile radius around Bell Works on a map and you get Rutgers University to the north, Monmouth University to the east, and Brookdale Community College a short bike ride away, just for starters.

Employers here are also taking advantage of the incomparable high school system in their midst. All five of the Monmouth County Vocational School District facilities are consistently ranked among U.S. News & World Reports best high schools in the country.

With that supply, there’s also plenty of demand. Guardian Life Insurance received over 9,000 applications companywide and ultimately selected 11 to work at its Bell Works location, according to Julienne Cort, the company’s internship program manager. iCIMS received about 3,000 applicants and hired 30, said University Recruiter Sara Palughi. The relationships being formed are building careers and expanding businesses.

Bell Works | iCIMS summer interns

iCIMS’ group of summer interns.

“If we have an open entry level role in the area, and we had an intern there over the summer, there is a good chance that person will be at least strongly considered for the role if not hired,” Palughi said.

Off the Rails

For students growing up in the Jersey Shore area, the dreaded NJ TRANSIT commute to Manhattan has long been a rite of passage. It’s where all the best opportunities are – or at least were.

“As a college student I interned at various record labels in the city,” recalled Trendsetter Media & Marketing Vice President Allie Gruensfelder, who frequently takes interns from nearby Communications High School and Monmouth University. “We're fortunate to work with major bands and brands like Bruno Mars, Maroon 5 and Disney, but we are working right here in Holmdel. Most of the people at Trendsetter are from Central Jersey too. It's everything you'd want in a major record label in the city, just without the long and treacherous commute.”

Now the word is out among students.

“When applying for internships, the majority of my applications were for companies based in New York City,” said Marketing Rival intern Nicole Giannattasio, a business marketing major at West Chester University of Pennsylvania. “But after seeing the metroburb and realizing something so amazing was only a 10-minute commute away, it was an easy decision to choose this building as the place I would intern.”

Bell Works | Marketing Rival summer interns

Marketing Rival’s summer interns.

The combination of Bell Works’ iconic architecture and hip campus atmosphere has caught many an intern off guard. One of them was iCIMS intern Mary McKean, who got a kick out of the crowds working while watching the World Cup together in the atrium. Or The Garibaldi Group intern Lindsey Florio, a Monmouth University real estate and finance major who was drawn by the lessons the Bell Works redevelopment success story could offer.

“Bell Works is so unique as a building. There is always something going on,” McKean said. “All of my friends are shocked when I tell them about this. No other building compares.”

Teaching the Teachers

Not every business has the size to command thousands of applications, so for the metroburb’s smaller offices, the right summer intern can make a major impact. Their employers depend on them to handle important work, providing them with hands-on experience that will serve them well when they enter the job market.

But the interns not the only ones learning through the process.

“Teaching helps reinforce our own knowledge and challenges us to continue improving and learning, and we learn as much as we teach with every new group of interns,” said Julia Zapcic, account manager and content developer at Marketing Rival. “Also, it’s nice to know we are helping to build a professional network of future marketing superstars to help succeed and who will help us celebrate our own success.”

“If you walk away with one item or one way of thinking you didn’t have before the intern came, that is a really good outcome, and it’s really good on that intern’s resume that they were able to bring something or change the way you think and do business,” said Jeffrey Garibaldi Jr., director of support services at The Garibaldi Group. “I think that opportunity exists now more than ever when technology is changing and improving so quickly.”

Looking for your next internship? Check out our ever growing list of tenants.

Welcome to the club. Salon Concrete pioneers membership model at Bell Works

Talk to Christine Zilinski about Salon Concrete and the word “transformation” will come up often. As in, an empty space in Bell Works is undergoing a transformation into a modern, creative salon where every element, right down to the elevation of each light fixture, is designed to serve a specific purpose. But mostly she’s referring to the intensely personal – and yes, sometimes scary – experience of putting your faith in someone else’s hands to change how you look.

Salon Concrete is as much a transformation business as it is a hair-cutting business.

Salon Concrete customer lounge Customers can catch up on their emails as their color processes in the salon's lounge.

“If somebody with shoulder-length hair wants to come up to something that’s lip length, do you know how many people out in the world will have something to say about that?” Zilinski asked. “Their husband, their mother, their sister, their brother, their friends. Inside they want to do it, but they have trouble getting the confidence because all of those people on the outside are going to have a comment on what’s theirs.”

About a year in the making, the transformation of Zilinski’s new space is now all but complete. On Aug. 7, the owner and leader of the successful Salon Concrete in Red Bank will open the doors to her second location. And when people pass through them, they will find something unlike any other salon in the area, both in its setup and business model.

Salon Concrete owner Christine Zilinski

 Salon Concrete owner, Christine Zilinski

First, the physical – when you walk by the storefront window, it’s hard to miss the concrete wall inside the glass with seams torn out of it. The architect and builder behind the space, Mike Pond, designed this gateway to provoke people to notice it and then peek through the holes to find out what’s inside. The strategy was clearly effective, as evidenced by the number of people who glance inquisitively into the space as they pass.

The list of services is not only unique to the area, but to the other Salon Concrete. Clients of the Bell Works location will have the option to purchase unlimited monthly subscriptions for four services: barbering, blow drying, coloring and products.

“Especially for the building, it’s great, because if you have a meeting you can run down,” she said. “People in the building can use this as their personal styling center. They can come in any time and get touched up.”

The membership model is one of several steps Zilinski has taken to ensure that Salon Concrete is not a salon carbon copy of her Red Bank facility. For months, she has spent time in the building taking in the scene, talking to people and taking mental notes in preparation for the opening. Her instinct is that what worked in a classic American downtown setting will not necessarily work in a one-of-a-kind metroburb, so she’s trying some new things.

For example, she noticed that the demographic of the building leans male, so she’s training her Holmdel staff with a greater emphasis on cutting men’s hair. That staff will be entirely different than Red Bank’s, as she wants to foster a homegrown culture unique to Bell Works.

Salon Concrete mens cutting

 The Salon Concrete Bell Works location will put a greater emphasis on men's cutting.

Zilinski had been on the lookout several years for a place that felt right for location number two. 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

 Zilinski runs industry education events out of the 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.”

For more on Salon Concrete and its services, visit their website at salonconcrete.com.

Can Good Architecture Raise Your ACT Score and Your Business Profile? Foley Prep Bets It Will

These are the workdays Ron Foley loves. The latest SAT and ACT scores are out and his phone has been blowing up with messages since 5 a.m.

Foley skims a few of them and reads out loud.

“‘Are you awake? Are you sitting down?’,” he reads.

“And then they send me a picture of the results, like this,” he says, holding up his phone. “And then I look back on the kid’s track record and see he went up 9 points on his ACT and say, ‘Oh my God,’ because that’s a life-changing thing. That really is the thing that motivates me and has kept me going in this for 30 years.”

A veteran of for-profit education giants Princeton Review and Kaplan, Foley struck out on his own in 2006 to launch his first Foley Prep tutoring and college entrance exam training center in Watchung. Today, Foley has locations in Fair Haven, Warren, New Providence and soon-to-be Haddonfield. But none of them are quite like his Bell Works hub.

IMG_5336

 Learning inspired.

The prototype Foley Prep to date has been a brick and mortar storefront along a downtown main street close to a high school. Moving into the 2 million square foot metroburb was a major departure, and one that came about by chance.

An avid cyclist, Foley and a friend were riding on Crawfords Corner Road in the spring of 2017 when the iconic, transistor-shaped water tower caught his attention. At the time, Foley recalled, the building was still filling in but already generating a buzz. Out of curiosity, Foley decided to take a look inside. He knew immediately this was where he had to be.

“It was a definite leap. We talked to a few clients [of Foley’s former Red Bank location] who said they would come, and ever since then, more and more have been coming,” he said. “The word is getting out and they are inspired. They say this building is absolutely amazing – the kids and the parents.”

IMG_5453

 Tutoring going on around Saarinen's tulip table.

For a mom or dad dropping off the kids, Bell Works has been a great selling point. Instead of killing time in a waiting room – which tends to make kids nervous anyway – parents can go to the café, hang out in the library or use the building’s free wifi.

Foley has embraced the vibe set by the building’s architecture, imparting his Holmdel hub with a more modern design than any other site. He loves chatting with students around a white Saarinen tulip table in his main meeting area and has a matching black one in a back study space. In the main testing room is an airplane wing table – a nod to Saarinen’s celebrated TWA terminal at John F. Kennedy International Airport.

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 Foley with his airplane wing table.

A tenured math professor at Middlesex County College, he considers the Bell Works site “Foley Galactic Headquarters” and regularly works there six days per week. Foley recalled being the first occupant in the on the first floor of building 2 when he opened in September of 2017. His space faces the back gardens. Since then, he’s enjoyed watching the campus flourish and can’t wait to see what’s comes next.

He’s also not done growing at Bell Works. Next up, Foley hopes to do some wheeling and dealing to launch a Bell Works Cycling Club.

“That would be a dream,” Foley said, thinking it over out loud. “The cycling club is a done deal. We’re definitely doing it!”

'Insurance is boring.' JGS Insurance is Busting the Myth With Their Unique Company Culture

You can’t judge a book by its coverage of risk and liability.

Yet when you hear the name JGS Insurance, the company’s director of sales, Ryan Fleming, knows what might cross your mind. “They’re in the insurance industry and that’s about as cool as it sounds,” he said.

But with an office culture that stresses a hearty balance of work and play, this office of 80-plus employees is having as much fun as any at Bell Works. If you’ve ever sweated through a crossfit class, contributed to a food drive, attended a wellness day, or took part in any other social activity at the metroburb, chances are you’ve spent time with someone from JGS. The group is taking full advantage of all the opportunities available to them, and even their clients have noticed.

JGS Insurance busting the myth with their unique company culture.

Some of the JGS team doing crossfit with Arrival Crossfit in December.

“We recently hosted a lunch and learn day and our clients saw our weekly yoga class going on,” JGS’s Marketing Associate Alicia Ambrose recalled. “They said, ‘Look ― there’s people doing yoga down there!’ And our co-workers said, ‘That’s our office.’ Our visitors said, ‘What an amazing place ― I want to work here.’”

A guiding philosophy at JGS is if you can provide a culture conducive to building character, it will show in the way employees treat people, Fleming said. That’s important for a company that aims to demystify an oft-misunderstood industry for its clients -- providing them clarity and comfort with their services rather than burying them in long-winded, acronym-laden legal documents. And when times get stressful, JGS employees iron it out at the “dispute resolution table” – aka, the office shuffleboard.

“One of the foundation blocks of the culture we’re trying to build here is blurring the line between personal and business,” Fleming said. “We’ve all heard the statement, ‘It’s not personal, it’s just business.’ I feel like we try to turn that statement upside down and say, ‘It’s not just business, it’s personal.'"

JGS’s business is thriving, locally rooted and nearly a century old. It was founded in 1919 and later led by Sam Hager, who Fleming credits as an innovator who always sought to set industry trends rather than follow them. Today the company is managed by Hager’s two sons, Kenneth and Vincent, both Holmdel natives who still live locally and work on site. The company offers a wide range of services, with specialties in insurance for communal living settings (i.e. condo associations, co-ops), the food industry, transportation staffing and health benefits, among others.

According to Fleming, the Hagers have emphasized a focus on emerging technologies that continues to make their company an industry leader. It also made their move from a nearby Holmdel office to Bell Works in the summer of 2017 a natural step.

“When you take those two things – a pioneering, progressive upbringing – and then you add technology in there, it was recipe for growth,” Fleming said. “The second we saw Bell Works starting to take shape, I don’t think there was a question. That’s where we needed to be.”

JGS Insurance busting the myth with their unique company culture.

Their spring issue of JGS Risk & Business.

The company’s work play balance is also well reflected in its communications. JGS maintains a nationally circulating magazine as well as a blog that offers timely insights on matters like how changes to the Affordable Care Act and the new tax law will impact consumers. Meanwhile, the JGS social media pages show off all of the fun things staff members are up to at Bell Works.

“It brings more opportunities to our office and makes us a more attractive employer for anyone looking,” Ambrose said. “We do fun things, we’re not just a boring insurance company, and we’re pretty cool people, too.”