REoptimizer® Blog

3 More Tenant Improvement Myths

Posted by Don Catalano on Sep 07, 2016

A while back, we shared a blog post called "3 Tenant Improvement Allowance Myths and Why They're Not True".  Here are three more TI myths -- and why they aren't accurate.

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Topics: tenant improvement, commercial real estate

Tenant Improvement Basics for Commercial Real Estate

Posted by Don Catalano on Dec 15, 2015

Many people mistakenly believe that it's only possible to get Tenant Improvement Allowances when you're moving in to office space in a new building. The truth is that when landlords have space available in areas where there is high competition, it's often possible to negotiate Tenant Improvement Allowances in buildings that are already home to other tenants.

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Topics: tenant improvement

Tenant Improvement Negotiation Strategies

Posted by Don Catalano on Feb 13, 2015

The cost of doing a tenant improvement build out is usually the second most expensive part of your lease after the actual rent. It isn't uncommon for tenant improvement allowances to be equal to six months' or a year's worth of rent -- or more -- and for your out of pocket expenses to be just that high, or higher. However, TIs aren't all created alike, and one dollar in one building can mean something different from another dollar in another building. Here are three strategies to keep in mind:

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Topics: tenant improvement

Tenant Improvement Options to Keep in Mind

Posted by Don Catalano on Jan 23, 2015

Planning a tenant improvement project used to be simple -- design rows of private offices with cubicles in front and don't forget a storage room and reception area. Modern offices are much more variable. While the key to a successful project is to customize it extensively to your needs, there are still a few rules of thumb that can make any project better.

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Topics: tenant improvement

Understanding Tenant Improvement Negotiations

Posted by Don Catalano on Aug 18, 2014

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Topics: Corporate Real Estate tips, tenant improvement, corporate real estate, commercial real estate, tenant tips, CRE

Top 5 Worthwhile Tenant Improvements for Industrial Space

Posted by Don Catalano on May 05, 2014

While you might not be building out your industrial space with elaborate employee cafes or mahogany-lined board rooms, industrial properties need a tenant improvement budget, too. While much of what you put into your space will come in the realm of fixtures rather than TIs, going beyond basic lights and climate control can make your industrial space much more effective. Here are the best five types of tenant improvements that you can put in the next space you acquire for your company's portfolio.

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Topics: tenant improvement, corporate real estate, commercial real estate, CRE

Managing a Timeline for Tenant Improvements

Posted by Don Catalano on Feb 25, 2014

A tenant improvement project is both exciting and harrying. The most challenging part is getting the space negotiated, designed, permitted and built before you need to move out of your old space. The key to managing the process is to get an early start.

Preparing to Lease

In a perfect world, your company would have at least six months to get your tenant improvement project completed. This requires looking for space at least nine months before the move date, and to start preparing before that.

From 12 months or more before your move, you should research markets and buildings. That is the best time to figure out if you want to move and where. You can research occupancy costs, compare them to what you're spending in your current space and find a tenant representative if you don't already have one.

From seven to nine months, it's time to start getting serious about finding space. When you negotiate, pay careful attention to the tenant improvement allowance. $5 of TI today is worth more than $1 of rent reduction per year on a five-year lease.

Once you go under LOI, it's time to build a team. If you don't already have professionals in place, find an architect or space planner. While some large landlords will require you to use their construction companies, it's also appropriate to start interviewing contractors so that you are ready to go. Ensure that the general contractor you choose has the necessary relationships and expertise to handle any additional advance skills that you need to include on your construction team.


After the Signing

No later than seven months from your move-in date, it's important to get your architect to draw up plans. In fact, he can start on the process once you're in negotiations if you're relatively sure of which space you will take. The sooner you can get plans drawn up, the sooner you can begin the process of pulling permits. If you get everything started seven months before your move date, you should be able to start demolition and construction five months prior to the move.

The construction process will largely be governed by the schedule that your contractor sets up based on the tenant improvement plans that your architect provides. As long as you do not submit changes while the project is in process, you will be able to hold the contractor to the schedule.

Done right, the schedule will have the construction substantially finished one month before your move date. This should include finishing work like painting and carpet installation as well as both low- and high-voltage wiring.


The Last Month

The last month lets you work on three things at once:

  1. Carefully inspect your space to build a punch list of items that need more work. This way, you can get the tenant improvement work perfect before you move into the space, letting the construction crew do their job without having to worry about interrupting your employees.

  2. Move in your new furniture, fixtures and equipment. As a part of this process, you will want to test your new telecommunications system and network to ensure that everything is installed properly.

  3. Finally preparing for the move by notifying clients, filing change of address forms and putting switchover procedures in place.

With some careful timing, the move to your new space should go without a hitch.


Here are some other great Commercial Tenant Improvement articles:

5 Ways to Stretch Your Tenant Improvement Allowance

Understanding Tenant Improvement Negotiations

Tenant Improvement Negotiation Strategies


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Topics: tenant improvement