Office Space Tenant Improvements – Part 2 of 2

As a reminder, the following information pertains to transactions with a term of at least five years. All standard build-out items should be paid for by the landlord. First, determine how your proposed layout will differ from a typical one and whether your improvements would be utilized by other tenants after you vacate the space in the future. The more they differ from the norm, the more they will be considered a special-purpose build-out and decrease your negotiating leverage for the landlord to pay for them. Overall, a combination of standard size offices and conference rooms, with 40-60 percent of the space as open plan instead of private offices, will facilitate the landlord’s ability to reuse the existing conditions when you leave.

Here’s one example: light fixtures, particularly of high quality and efficiency, will typically be re-used by a subsequent tenant and will last well beyond a standard term of five years. Other examples include solid-panel full-height doors, a quality ceiling tile and grid system, the sprinkler system and duct work to distribute heating and ventilating.

We recommend that tenants who are renewing or relocating utilize the services of an architect, whom they hire, and who will be representing their interests. The expense of the architect can often be negotiated and paid for by the landlord within the tenant improvement allowance.

The advancement of workspace layouts has been rapidly changing over the past year. An architect can guide a tenant through a thorough process of determining the amount and size of offices, workstations, conference and huddle rooms, as the amount of space per person and common space (huddle rooms, open meeting areas, kitchens, etc.) within a tenant’s premises is now increasing.