New $50m boutique hotel comes to New Jersey tech hub

by | Sep 18, 2018 | Boutique Hotel, Chains

There is a giant former Bell Labs headquarters property in suburban New Jersey that has since been resurrected as Bell Works, a new property.

Now, the developer of that property has chosen Two Roads Hospitality as the one to operate a $50 million boutique hotel operation there that’s set to open its doors for guests sometime in the year 2020. Basically, this will be a 2 million-square-foot glass-box building belonging to Eero Saarinen, on top of which Somerset Development will soon be building a 115,000-square-foot sixth floor that will have 186 guest rooms, at least according to Ralph Zucker, Somerset’s president. Somerset is also marketing the Bell Works site as a “metroburb,” otherwise known as a metropolitan hub of tech, art and culture, all to be contained in a suburban location with deep roots in the community there.

The Holmdel, New Jersey, property was in fact a historic epicenter of innovation, on that was recently invoked in the popular television streaming series “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” in which it was a math professor’s dream workplace, and now it is all slated to become part of Two Roads Hospitality’s destination-hotel portfolio, the vast majority of which emphasizes approachable luxury and local culture, as is the trend throughout much of the hospitality industry these days.

Economic Development Functionality

The development of this property is part of a larger ongoing trend taking place throughout many parts of the United States: repurposing aging or vacated historical buildings as attractive new locations for modern industry, with a heavy emphasis on tech.

The fact that a high-end hospitality property is being tied to this one is likely a cause of great celebration for the community and local government, given the vast economic development potential that such properties bring with them, especially ones as tied to the cultural pulse as this one seems to be.

Business Travel

Simply put, the vast economic development potential here is mostly tied to the property’s appeal for business travelers. The hotel will target people traveling for business to one of the many companies on the site or in the area. Somerset’s Zucker said his business tenants, who currently lease 80 percent of 1.18 million square feet of office space, encouraged him to add more hotel rooms. As amenities have been added to the Bell Works site, from restaurants and retail to a library and a preschool, Somerset has been able to lease out its office space for $31.50 per square foot, up from $25.50 three years ago, according to the Garibaldi Group, Bell Works’ office broker.

The hotel will include entertaining suites, a restaurant, a 13,000-square-foot rooftop bar, a luxury spa, an infinity pool and a game room. A 40,000-square-foot subterranean conference space will open this fall.

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