Repurposing Suburban Office Parks

Tuesday, May 9, 2017 | 8:15 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.
CM | 3.50
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You'll learn about:

  • Opportunities for repurposing large office and retail parks

  • Changing demands in workplace and lifestyles

  • Tips and suggestions for successful projects

Suburban office parks are in trouble, with companies relocating to the mixed-use, "24/7" environments preferred by millennials and away from the single-purpose, sterile work places of the second half of the 20th century. As a result,  interest in repurposing these properties continues to grow.

A pioneering project is the former Bell Labs research complex in Holmdel Township, N.J., a cathedral-like, 2.1 million-square-foot office building designed by Eero Saarinen, the noted mid-century modernist architect. More than 6,000 scientists (including six Nobel prize winners) worked at Bell Labs for more than 40 years on numerous path-breaking scientific discoveries. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Shuttered in 2008, this historic property languished for seven years while various developers struggled with the town over a vision for repurposing the property and the necessary changes to the zoning. Today, however, the property is being redeveloped into a vibrant, mixed-use facility, with housing, a hotel, community facilities, health care, retail businesses, restaurants, and a wide mix of creative economy office users. Learn about the broader changes in the office workplace and the trials and tribulations of the repurposing process while visiting this extraordinary building.


Carlos Rodrigues , FAICP , Design Solutions for a Crowded Planet , Princeton , NJ (see bio)
Mark Russo , Newmark Grubb Knight Frank , Rutherford , NJ (see bio)
Ralph Zucker , Somerset Development , Holmdel , NJ (see bio)