Leasing High-Density Office Space: Pay Attention to Parking
By Timothy (Tim) J. McCune on Jan 25, 2018
The desire for high-density office design continues, as office workers spend less time at their desks and more time in collaboration with their peers. You
might think that as companies fit more people into less space than before, that this trend would lower total space needs, and therefore lower rent cost.
If you are looking to lease office space for a high-density, open collaborative work space, there are many things to consider.
- Headcounts that you wish to house and accommodate, both in terms of employees and visitors
- Type of building and the office environment you wish to create
- Operating budget
Keep in mind, though, that most office buildings constructed more than a couple of years ago were not designed for this type of occupancy, and there’s one big factor you may not consider that drives how much space you will need. (Hint: It’s usually in the basement or adjacent to the building.)
How Much Parking will the Building Provide?
Just because you come up with a design to fit more people comfortably in the same amount of space, does not mean the landlord will provide parking for those additional people. In fact, with the expense involved in building a parking garage, it is almost guaranteed that you will be more limited on parking spaces than you think.
Most suburban office buildings offer one parking space for each 333 rentable square feet leased (a ratio of 1:333 RSF) up to approximately one parking space for each 167 rentable square feet leased (a ratio of 1:167 RSF) leased.
Phrased differently, Landlords offer a ratio of 3 to 6 parking spaces for each 1,000 rentable square feet leased.
The above ratios are what the Building can accommodate.
So, if you want to accommodate 60 employees/occupants and their respective visitors, then you would need to lease between approximately 10,000 and 20,000 rentable square feet depending on the building. Since this is such a broad range that can have a huge impact on your bottom line, it is critical that you address your parking needs early in your office search and lease negotiations.
Most buildings with a parking garage have a parking ratio of 3:1,000. It’s so expensive to build a parking garage, you can almost guarantee that you will only have 3-4 parking spaces per 1,000 RSF leased.
Just because you notice a prospective building for lease has a large number of open and unused parking spaces, don’t make an assumption all will be well until you verify both the percentage that the building is leased and occupied, along with the overall tenant mix of the building.
Most importantly, you will need written assurances from the Landlord as to the total number of parking spaces (and where) you will be provided during your initial lease term…and just as importantly, during any extensions or renewals of the initial lease term.
There are other critical issues to consider when leasing office space for a high-density use, a few of which include:
- Monthly cost of parking
- Adequacy of HVAC and indoor air quality
- Lighting and electrical codes
- Ceiling height
- Noise attenuation
For help with your office space search, please contact us to discuss your requirement.