In 1964, Bell Labs announced plans to construct a new building just north of Naperville, Illinois and near an interchange on the East-West Tollway. That facility would later come to contain thousands of workers; “about 11,000,” according to Wikipedia. As I discuss in “A Small Suburb Becomes a Boomburb: Explaining Suburban Growth in Naperville, Illinois,” this suburban property helped set Naperville on a particular trajectory.
Here is a recent view of the back parking lot:
I know this is a far out view of the parking lot but it struck me that there were a limited number of cars here for such a large set of buildings. The number of workers on site is a lot smaller in recent years:
The 175-acre property near the intersection of Naperville and Warrenville Roads has the address of 1960-2000 Lucent Lane.
Nineteen-sixty Lucent Lane includes a vacant five-story 613,620-square-foot steel and glass office building, two three-story parking decks and surface parking lots. Nokia has consolidated its offices into the five-story 1-million-square-foot steel and glass building at 2000 Lucent Lane. The company occupies about 33% of the building, according to city documents.
At the north end of this property, behind where this picture was taken, is a new residential neighborhood of townhouses and single-family homes from Pulte.
What will become of this full property in the next few decades? Could it become a “metroburb” like another Bell Labs facility in a northwest Chicago suburb? The same property that helped lead Naperville to white-collar jobs and office buildings could become part of numerous transformations of suburban office parks into new uses.