New office tenants claim more office space at Bell Works in Hoffman Estates this summer


Bell Works Chicagoland in Hoffman Estates has leased out another 80,000 square feet of commercial space this summer, demonstrating that seismic shifts in the suburban office market haven’t hurt all landlords.

Redevelopment of the 1.65-million-square-foot former AT&T headquarters has welcomed nine new office and retail tenants in recent weeks, bringing its leased space up to 250,000 square feet.

Even as the overall suburban vacancy rate hit 28.9%, the trend of companies moving to smaller but higher quality office space is continuing in the wake of the pandemic, said Andrea Van Gelder, senior managing director of real estate services firm Jones Lang LaSalle, in her analysis of second-quarter data.

Owners of newer and more amenitized office space are beneficiaries of the trend, she added.

Ralph Zucker — founder and CEO of New Jersey-based Inspired by Somerset Development, which built Bell Works Chicagoland — puts his own firm in that category.

“Now, more than ever, it’s clear the metroburb concept offers a new, exciting vision for the future of office,” he said. “Bell Works successfully blends office and retail components for a dynamic ‘Main Street’ atmosphere. We’re confident this is the secret sauce so many other office properties lack, and we couldn’t be more pleased to see our approach resulting in this ongoing leasing success.”

The new tenants span multiple industries and include Cambium Networks, JumpFly, VIPAR Heavy Duty Inc., and Essentra Components.

Following these office workers and hoping to attract more are the Fairgrounds World’s Fair cafe and Church Street Brewing, both of which opened this summer.


Swing Loose Indoor Golf is expected to make its Chicago-area debut this fall at Bell Works.

Cambium Networks, a provider of networking solutions, is the largest of the new tenants at 35,000 square feet. It aims to complete development and engineering labs on the first floor and corporate offices and conference rooms on the fourth early next year.

“Companies must ensure that their corporate office raises the bar when employees come to work,” former Cambium Networks Worldwide president and CEO Atul Bhatnagar said. “Our new space designed with the team at Inspired by Somerset Development provides plenty of venues for team collaboration. The caliber of amenities, on-site coworking spaces and open common areas are unmatched, and we are excited to come to work at the metroburb each week.”

JumpFly, a digital advertising agency, plans to move its 60 employees to an 11,000-square-foot space in December.

“Bell Works is unlike any other office space in the Chicagoland suburbs,” JumpFly President Michael Marchese said. “Not only do our employees get to work in a place where they can eat, work out and socialize all under one roof, but the impressive building advances our level of professionalism when clients visit. Our strong culture is a great sense of pride at JumpFly, and I know Bell Works will add to that.”

VIPAR, a network of independent aftermarket truck parts distributors and service providers, is moving its global headquarters and 35 employees to an 11,000-square-foot space in the coming weeks.

Jack Aber, chief operating officer of Inspired By Somerset, said the new tenants bring Bell Works Chicagoland closer to its goal of becoming an unprecedented hub of business in Hoffman Estates.

“To see this level of strong leasing activity is indicative of the remarkable ecosystem tenants are welcomed into at Bell Works,” he said. “As more companies, restaurants and service providers make this their home base, Bell Works becomes more integral in the local community. Hoffman Estates has never had a true downtown district, and we are proud to fill that void.”

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