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Four Things To Consider When Renting Office Or Retail Space

Jenniefer Spivey

1) Location, Location, Location

Who do you serve?  Does your brand have an image? Are traffic counts important or is your business by appointment?  The location of your business can mean success or failure. For example, an upscale furniture business needs to be located where it will be convenient to both affluent walk-in traffic and the trades (designers). A daycare center needs to be located near a residential area or work center and has easy accessibility for drop-off and pickup.  A law office or financial planner needs to be in a building that communicates success.

2) ABC’s – All Space is not Equal.

The quality and services offered in retail and office spaces vary widely.  Class A office and retail spaces tend to be in new or newly-renovated mixed-use developments and well-established “prestige” buildings.  These spaces feature high-end finishes and top shelf amenities like concierge services. They also have services that can be utilized by your employees, such as restaurants, dry cleaners, and medical services.  This can have some added benefits, such as increasing employee morale and reducing stress. Examples of Class A office and retail would be Atlantic Station, 191 Peachtree, Colony Square, and Avalon.

Class B office and retail tends to be separate, meaning not located in a mixed-use environment.  They may have been Class A at one time, but as times have changed they have become dated. They can still be a great value depending on the needs of the business. Medical offices do well in Class B buildings.

Class B- / C space is prime for redevelopment.  It is best suited for businesses that do not engage the public directly.  Examples would be mail order or web-based businesses.

3) The Actual Cost of Renting

The dollar amount quoted per square foot does not reflect the actual costs unless the building is “full service.” Even then, a potential tenant must understand the entire picture.  Most rents have an escalation clause, meaning rents increase throughout the life of the lease at a set rate. Retail rents may also be based on earnings. Most rents are a combination of base rent, common area maintenance charges, taxes, and insurance.  Parking may also be an added expense for your employees and customers.

4) Call in the Pros

The bottom line: call in an expert early, before the search begins.  An expert will help you determine what will work for your business and will help make sure your business is ready to impress. Yes!  You read that correctly, property owners “curate” their developments. It is just as important to know what a landlord is planning for their space as it is to know what space you want for your business. Leasing mistakes can cost your business time and money. A second set of knowledgeable eyes specializing in commercial real estate can save you thousands.


Atlanta Women’s Network March Spotlight Winner: Jennifer Spivey

Jenniefer SpiveyJennifer Spivey, LEED AP is an Associate at PHP Commercial, a full service commercial real estate company in Atlanta.  Jen@SpiveyandAssociates.com *phpcommercial.net*470-344-6502



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