(The following post originally appeared on the Catapult Chicago Blog)
By Corey Siegrist
Vice President, Tenant Representation
Ready to move into your own office space but unsure of how to get started? It’s more than just a space search. We often find that tenants new to the office sector fail to realize the associated costs and requirements necessary to make the jump.
Prioritize Needs Versus Wants
You should set expectations – caviar taste on a beer budget won’t work, unfortunately.
Here are some key questions that new office users should consider:
- Where are your employees commuting from?
- How much space do you need? (Typically we recommend 150 sf per person in a benching environment and 250 sf per person in a private office / workstation environment)
- Would the chosen space enable growth?
- What is the minimum lease term? How flexible will the landlord be?
- Building capabilities? Chilled water, condenser water, fiber, redundancy, power capacity, etc.?
- Do you want to be in a 24/7 neighborhood?
- What amenities are offered (bike room, dogs allowed, etc.)?
Be Aware of Hidden Costs
Below are additional expenses that tenants should be aware of when budgeting.
- Security deposit – typically landlords require 2-6 months rent depending on the company’s financial stability.
- Furniture – unless you’re lucky enough to find a fully furnished sublease or spec suite that fits your needs, you need to decorate! Typically furnishings cost $10-$15 per sf to purchase (rental is also an option and can be less expensive).
- Wiring – conservatively, this could cost up to $3 per sf and is usually the responsibility of the tenant.
- Attorney fees – a lease is a legal document and tenants should obtain the advice of a lawyer that specializes in real estate leases. This can range from $1,500 – $3,000 and is a flat fee.
The bottom line: more goes into choosing office space than the location and dollar per square foot!
JLL’s team provides expertise in successfully moving high-growth companies into their first offices. Contact Corey at email@example.com