Choyce Peterson


Your Commercial Lease: 3 Key Provisions You Need to Know Now

April 13, 2020

Choyce Norwalk - Commercial Property News

Scott Peterson

April 1, 2020

Transit-Oriented Development planned for East Norwalk. What could that mean for you?

Security Deposits

March 2, 2020

Landlords require security deposits to protect themselves from losing upfront costs and renovation expenses in the event of default by a tenant. They frequently spend heavily to entice new tenants, often by assuming alteration and improvement costs, and free or reduced rent at the start of the lease term. In addition, landlords incur legal, accounting, brokerage and permitting fees. Many of these “costs” apply specifically to one tenant with little enduring value in case of default.

Don’t Surrender Before You Move In

February 24, 2020

It may be somewhat of a cliché, but you need to consider the end before the beginning. Before you sign on to a new commercial lease, you should establish a viable exit strategy.

When Does 2+2=5?

February 17, 2020

Tenants evaluating only the rental rate when comparing a Class A building ($31/sf) to a Class B building ($28/sf) may be making an error much more costly than the 10% discount.

15-Minute Issues

February 10, 2020

Similar to other industries, the effectiveness of a commercial real estate firm is determined by 15-minute issues. Attention to detail differentiates experienced brokers from novices and can make the difference in a wide scope of services.

The Times They Are A-Changin’

February 3, 2020

With a nod to Bob Dylan, your office space needs to be changin’ too, along with the times. As your industry adapts to unexpected developments, your business must meet those developments to remain competitive, and the ability to alter or modify your space to respond to the latest changes may become paramount.

It’s Not Very Far Away

January 27, 2020

Relocation to another building is one thing, but what about relocation in the same building - when the landlord asserts a unilateral right to relocate you. It happens! Landlords use this process when they need to accommodate a large tenant.

Negotiating with Friends

January 13, 2020

A key fault line of many organizations is the intersection between business and friendship. Often tenant friendships with landlords become business relationships as well as vice versa. When you work with someone on a common goal or struggle in a business environment, you learn a lot about people. You often bond together, and that bond affects future decisions … as it should.

Buyout of Your Current Lease

January 6, 2020

Tenants who consider buying out of their existing office lease usually do so for three main reasons:

Lengthening the Term of a Sublease

December 30, 2019

Tenants looking for office space will often consider a sublease rather than a direct deal with the landlord. Subleases can be very favorable for tenants, as they often include furniture, and even phone systems, plus rental rates lower than a standard lease. However, tenants often make a mistake by dismissing subleasing opportunities when the term is too short. We encourage our clients to think “outside the box” and consider two methods for augmenting the term:

Clauses on Operating Expenses

December 23, 2019

Operating expense clauses in commercial leases may be categorized into two distinct groups. The first type, Triple Net leases, obligate the tenant to pay for some operating expenses directly, such as cleaning, utilities and HVAC maintenance, and others based on the percentage of the building leased. These include common expenses such as snow plowing, landscaping, roof repair and plumbing.

Self-Knowledge Provides Leverage

December 16, 2019

Does your landlord view you as a gnat or 800-pound gorilla? Knowing the answer to that question can greatly affect your ability to negotiate terms in your new or renewed commercial lease. Of course, a gnat to one landlord may be a gorilla to another!

Limited Personal Guaranty

December 9, 2019

Landlords require security deposits during the term of almost all leases. Most commonly, this protection takes the form of a letter of credit or cash security deposit,determined primarily by the financial strength of the tenant. However,for tenants of more limited means, a landlord may also request a personal guaranty to reinforce the contract. This document makes the signing officer(s)(the guarantors) personally liable.

Common Renewal Mistakes, Part 2 of 2

(continued from blog post of November 25, 2019)

December 2, 2019

‍5. Know what your lease renewal means to your landlord: If you negotiate your lease renewal on your own, it’s impossible to know the countless variables your landlord considers and their effect on creating leverage and extracting concessions, such as:

Common Renewal Mistakes, Part 1 of 2

November 25, 2019

It’s the most common mistake made by commercial tenants: they miss a huge opportunity, and lose truckloads of money, by negotiating their own lease renewal. While more than 90 percent of companies looking for 5,000 square feet or more rely on the expertise of a real estate professional to find and negotiate a new space, these same companies abandon this tried-and-true approach when renewing.

Fixed Electric Charge vs. Separate Meter/Sub-Meter

November 18, 2019

In the large majority of cases, when a tenant pays a flat charge per square foot for “tenant electric,” it serves as a profit center for the landlord. In the Fairfield & Westchester county region, landlords charge from $2.75 to $3.00 per square foot per annum in addition to the base rent. For tenants with 4,000 square feet or more, we strongly recommend installing an electric meter on the premises, as it measures actual consumption, typically from $0.75 to $1.25 per square foot. The cost to install a meter, about $4,000 to $5,000, can often be negotiated as part of the tenant improvement allowance provided by a landlord.

Tenant Improvement Allowance

November 11, 2019

In today’s office market, landlords are providing generous improvement allowances to fund the renovation of office space for new and renewing tenants. The amount depends on many factors including the credit worthiness of the tenant, the terms in the lease and the total square footage of the space. Generally, a landlord offers more for larger tenants with a longer lease term (seven years or more).

Lease Renewal Opportunities

November 4, 2019

In a lease renewal, you can change a lot more than the standard options of extending your term and reducing your rent. 

The Advantages of Free Rent

October 28, 2019

Most tenants understand the impact of office rent on their bottom line and try to reduce it, often by negotiation. However, they frequently overlook free rent, a common concession in the current real estate market.

As we re-start our blog, we could think of no better first post than acknowledging our colleague Adam Cognetta's community volunteer service...

October 21, 2019

NORWALK, CT – Adam Cognetta, vice president of Choyce Peterson, Inc. (, a full service commercial real estate brokerage and consulting firm with a specialty in representing both office and healthcare tenants, recently served on the Executive Committee for the American Cancer Society’s Comedy Against Cancer event in Stamford, CT, which raised net donations of more than $350,000.