Just a day after approval of its redevelopment plan for the former AT&T campus in Hoffman Estates, Somerset Development has announced the project also will bear the name Bell Works, like its similar repurposing of the Bell Labs building in Holmdel, New Jersey.
"We started realizing that Bell Works in New Jersey has gone beyond a building in one location and has become a brand, it's become a lifestyle, a way of life," Somerset Development President Ralph Zucker said.
Though the firm hasn't yet looked beyond Hoffman Estates for further redevelopment opportunities, the name Bell Works could be used for future projects as well, he added.
Since last spring, Somerset has been kicking around the name City Works as a possibility for the Hoffman Estates project, but it was never formalized, Zucker said.
A national restaurant chain called City Works Restaurant And Pour House is about to open near the Hyatt Regency Schaumburg in late February and another at the new Wheeling Town Center later, but Zucker said that was not the reason for the change. It was thought the self-contained community of businesses and residences planned in Hoffman Estates was a sufficiently different product from the restaurant to avoid significant confusion, he added.
Hoffman Estates Mayor Bill McLeod said the name of the project doesn't make much difference to him, though the Bell Works title does invoke memories of the old Bell Telephone Company whose fate is tied to the history of both the New Jersey and local buildings.
"We're concerned about the product they're going to do and not the name," McLeod said. "What they do is important."
Yet to be decided is whether the final name also will include a reference to its specific location, Zucker said.
The development plan for the 150-acre site approved Monday calls for a mix of multifamily housing, offices, retail space, restaurants, conference facilities and a hotel.