The Real Deal Discusses NJ’s Vacant Office Park Challenge
The Real Deal published an article at the beginning of the month examining the future of NJ’s suburban corporate sprawl. The article discusses the drain such properties are having on the NJ job market and how the state is losing jobs, tenants, and their workforce to a shift to more urban and dense communities with access to amenities and easier transportation options.
While dissecting the challenge and assessing the market, The Real Deal interviewed Ralph Zucker, President of Somerset Development who is the owner and visionary behind Bell Works. Zucker is quoted as referring to these vacant and outdated buildings and campus as “mind-numbing places” that were “designed, located for a different era.”
In reference to the transformation that the old Bell Labs building in Holmdel has undergone (now Bell Works), Zucker stressed the importance of having the proper infrastructure and zoning and how those elements are key to the success of these sites. And many suburban office parks suffer from “bad politics, bad zoning, bad location and bad design,” a confluence of factors that is hard to recover from, he emphasized.
Today Bell Works has leased over 170,000 square feet of office space, with nearly 500,000 additional square feet in contract negotiations.