chicago office space listings

Leasing Office Space in Class A, B and C Buildings

chicago office space listings

When you find yourself searching for a place to  set up your business or a new office building to move into, you have two options:  leasing office space or buying office space.  Many business owners opt for the former type of business setup, leasing, for many different reasons and find that leasing office space is preferable.  When you set out looking for office space to lease you will come across different varieties of buildings.  These are designated as Class A, Class B and Class C buildings.  The following will highlight what each type of building consists of and compare and contrast the varieties to help you to determine which type of office space is the right one for your commercial needs.

Understanding the Different Types of Buildings

As mentioned above, there are three different types of office buildings from which you can choose the best one.  Class A buildings are ones which are modern in construction and more technologically advanced when compared with the competition, and offer more amenities.  They have high quality attributes inside and out.  They are also located in more desirable commercial locations.  With all of these beneficial traits, you will find it no wonder that Class A buildings are often the most expensive type to lease.

Class B buildings are a bit different from Class A buildings.  While they are still modern in construction and have a good amount of amenities, they are not as high tech as their Class A counterparts.  They are also usually over 10 years old in construction and are not in as good of a commercial location as Class A buildings are.  With that said, they are less expensive and still great options to consider for those who are looking to lease office space.

The last type of office building which can be leased is a Class C building.  Class C buildings are the oldest of the bunch, usually 25 years old or more, and are often in desperate need of renovations.  These buildings are functional yet have the least desirable characteristics of the bunch and often house tenants who may not have the best of credit.  However, the rent is quite cheap on office buildings which fall within this category.

Determining Which Variety of Office Space Is Right for You

When you look into the various types of buildings for your new office location, you may wonder how to pick the right class of building.  This can be done by considering a few different aspects including cost, desired location, requested building amenities and age of the building.  If you have the budget, and image and amenities are important to you, then a Class A building may benefit you greatly.  However, if you are short on funds or trying to budget in the way of lease payments, perhaps the Class B or Class C building would have to do.  When it comes to location of the office building, business owners usually want to be in a prime location as this will benefit the business by attracting employees and customers, and making the existence of a large client base more likely.  However, keep in mind that location will cost you and you may have to settle for a Class B building in order to save on the lease payments.

You may also have certain desirable business amenities in mind when you are searching for a new office building location.  Think about what amenities are necessary and which ones are just luxuries which you may not absolutely need.  If you need a good amount of amenities in order to benefit your business and make it more financially sound then choosing a Class B or Class A building is advisable.  On the other hand, if you simply need an area to set up shop and do not have to have an office building with stellar amenities, the Class C building may work for you.

Also, the age of the building may be an important deciding factor for you.  A newer building will be more eye catching to clients who come to see you and will boast greater safety features than some of the lesser counterparts.  In addition, a building which is newer will often mean that you will have less calls to make to the landlord in order to fix problem, (HVAC, services, etc.).  Again, newer buildings will be higher cost ones in terms of lease payments so keep this in the back of your mind when reviewing the options.

Knowing the differences between the types of office buildings up front will help you to select office space which is most in keeping with your business needs and financial abilities.  You can zone in on the right type of office building and obtain a lease for office space which is affordable, contains your desired amenities, is not too old and is located in the perfect commercial business locale.

Oak Brook Office Space: Market Profile

Oak Brook Office Space

Located in DuPage county about 20 miles west of downtown Chicago, this beautiful suburb makes the ideal location for companies looking for a mix of business incentives and after work quality of life.

Business Environment

Oakbrook provides business owners office properties set amongst the highly desirable east-west I-88 corridor.  Your company will benefit from low taxes and operational costs, a skilled and productive workforce, and fast access to both Midway and O’Hare airports.  The Oak Brook Office market encompasses over seven million square feet of class A, B and C office space in over 100 commercial office buildings.  Additionally, the market has over one million square feet of industrial and flex rental options in fifteen commercial buildings.

Your Corporate Neighbors

Thinking about moving your company’s offices to Oak Brook?  You’re in good company.  Prominent national and international businesses calling Oakbrook home include McDonald’s Corporation, Ace Hardware, Blistex, Lions Club International, Papermate, and Federal Signal Corporation.

Residential Profile

If you’re looking for a true live-work community, Oak Brook is for you.  Property owners here are not charged property tax, but still have access to excellent police protection and medical services.  The city has a population of approximately 8,700 full time residents, has a median household income of $169,000 and a median home value of approximately $635,000.

Recreation & Entertainment

After work’s done, it’s time to play, and Oak Brook offers abundant opportunities for recreation of all kinds.  If you’re looking for a place to host your next business event, The Oak Brook Sports Core has 269-acres of meticulously groomed fields and green spaces that can accommodate groups of any size.  The Sports Core also boasts a clubhouse that can accommodate up to 300 guests.

During time off, you’ll enjoy fast access to a polo field, library, forest preserve with more than 23,000 acres of preserved forest lands, and the Oakbrook Park District, complete with a family recreation center, aquatic center, and racquet club.

Shopping & Dining

Oakbrook is home to the Oakbrook Center, the areas #1 shopping destination as rated by Illinois shoppers.  And from its location at the intersection of Interstates 88, 294, and 290, the excitement of downtown Chicago is just a quick drive away.

More Information

Want more information on Oak Brook office space?  We have up to the minute data on rents, vacancy rates, and available spaces.  Contact us today for your free market survey.

Leasing Office Space Guide

It’s no secret that commercial real estate values have declined in the economic downturn.  Landlords have suffered from increases in vacancy rates and tenant defaults.

While this is bad news for landlords of office buildings, it’s good news for prospective office space tenants.

Increased vacancies mean more office space rental options and increased defaults means those office tenants with strong financials have the potential to leverage their security in exchange for lower rental rates and lease concessions.

However, in order to effectively capitalize on these opportunities, you need to employ the right strategy.

These 10 steps will keep you on the right track.

Assemble key Decision Makers and Advisors

Before you begin analyzing your office space needs, assemble all your key internal decision makers.  This should include anyone with insight into your company’s forward trajectory and growth plans, including finance, human resource, and IT professionals.  Getting everyone on the same page from  day one will not only save valuable time down the road, but often these professional will  shed light on issues that might have otherwise been overlooked.

During this initial assemblage, you should also retain the services of a tenant representation broker.  Having one professional represent your interests provides for one single point of contact, allows for more effective negotiations, and ensures your commercial real estate broker is representing your interests rather than the landlords.

Determine Future Space Needs

Working with your professional space planner, carve out a future needs assessment.  You should be considering factors such as growth or reduction plans, projected budgets, anticipated technology requirements, as well as branding and image issues.  If you’re trying to create a ball park figure in your head, assume approximately 200 square feet per employee for general office space, with professional service firms such as attorneys usually using about 400 square feet per professional.

Handling this upfront is more important today than ever.  Many companies have gone through staff reductions and you may have extra space (and extra money) available right under your nose.

Additionally, this upfront planning can protect your company’s future.  For example, you may want to negotiate a right of first refusal on contiguous space.  If you don’t assess your space needs, you could miss an opportunity.

Create Your Real Estate Plan

Now that you’ve examined your potential space needs, get a summary down on paper.  Include information such as your cost parameters, ideal lease term length, ideal locations and building types (Class A, Class B, Class C), and organizational issues.  Do you need creative office space?  Do you need lots of perimeter offices?  Understand these needs now.

You should also address parking needs, security and access issues, office hours, timing, signage, and the need for tenant improvements.

Organize your list by priority.

Creating this plan upfront will avoid you touring space that won’t work for your business.

Present Your Requirement to the Marketplace

Now it’s time to put your tenant representative to work.

Armed with your detailed space needs, your broker will survey the market and come back with relevant options.  Since you’re working with just one broker, they will be able to confidently approach the entire marketplace on your behalf to ensure your hearing about every possible opportunity.

Tour the Marketplace

Now is the time to get out and look at space.  Bring your real estate plan and evaluate your needs and goals against the available space.

Shortlist and compare your top choices

After you’ve had an opportunity to tour all potential buildings, shortlist your top choices and create an apples to apples comparison.  Make sure you consider both the financial and logistical factors.

Request Proposals

This is where you begin to trade paper and negotiate your deal.

As we discussed, it’s a good time to be a tenant.  High vacancy rates are forcing many landlords to drop prices and increase their tenant concessions.

There is a flip side to this.  Landlords have been burned during the recession.

There is close scrutiny on financial statements and an increased wariness of unproven businesses.

You have to approach this stage properly or you can end up with a bad deal or no deal at all.  A good tenant rep is an invaluable asset during this stage.

Sign your Letter of Intent and Negotiate Lease Documents

Once an agreement has been reached, both you and your landlord will sign what’s known as a Letter of Intent.  This is generally a non-binding document that outlines the major lease points.  Your attorney will use this to begin drafting your final lease documents.  It’s a good idea for your broker to work in concert with your attorney to ensure the spirit of the language reflects the negotiated terms.

Navigate the Construction Phase

After your lease is signed, you’ll need to begin the work of improving your space.  It goes without saying that if you’re moving into a raw space that needs to be completely built out, this will be significantly more complicated than moving into a built-out space that needs minimal improvements.

If you’re looking at building out space, a good project manager can be an invaluable resource.  They can help you review construction bids, as well as bids from furniture and IT vendors.  They can also manage the construction process, coordinate inspections, and track progress against your projects completion dates.

Supervise Project Completion and begin Occupation

In this last stage, you’ll want to ensure the practical completion of the project, meaning, your contractors have done the job they said they were going to do, and the job is up to standard.

You’ll also submit your Code of Compliance Certificate to your landlord.  They will require this before you occupy the space.

You’ll also want to give your space on final walk through to make sure everything is in its place.

How to lease office space: Nine Steps

Business owners have a wide array of options these days when it comes to finding a commercial building to operate their business out of.  Leasing office space for business operations has its benefits as you can pick and choose what type of office you want to lease and get a good rate on the monthly rent.  Before signing the lease for office space, the following will provide a helpful guide on the ten steps to lease office space.

Step 1:  Evaluate Your Office Space Needs

Before you even consider heading out the door to look at possible office space locations, you need to evaluate your office space needs.  This consists of looking at your business industry type and determining what type of office space will suit your business needs best.  For example, a law firm will need a different type of office space than a call center.  Think about what areas your business will do best within and think about what type of office space in general you need to lease.

Step 2:  Determine Your Desired Office Building Location

Location is the next step in the office leasing process.  Decide whether you want to be in a city setting or a suburban location.  Also, think about whether you want to be relative to major expressways or in an industrial park.  Knowing what type of location you desire will help you to narrow down options and make the leasing journey much easier.

Step 3:  Figure Out Your Leasing Budget

You also must zone in on a leasing budget.  This will ensure that you can pay for your rent and will help you to lease within your means.  It also will make the office space search much more successful.

Step 4:  Contemplate the Size and Layout of Office Space Needed

Contemplating the size of the desired office space is the next step.  You must lease an office which will accommodate all of your employees comfortably and take into consideration any possible new employees which may need office space in the future.  The interior layout of the leased office space is another important consideration.  Whether you will be using private interior offices or cubicle areas, you have to figure out if there will be enough of either one to fit all of your staff in addition to your own working space within the office.

Step 5:  Determine Your Parking Needs

Parking is another factor which many business owners must consider.  Most employees like to have access to parking so this should be a consideration when seeking out office space possibilities.  Also, think about the cost factor if the office building landlord requires parking fees of all who park on the property.  Finding an office space where parking will be free for all is ideal.

Step 6:  Consult With an Office Tenant Representative

Before you contact a realtor or start looking at properties, it is a wise idea to consult with an office tenant representative.  These individuals look out for the best interest of the business owner tenant and will guide you through the leasing process from start to finish.

Step 7:  Review Properties

Now that you have done the initial steps, it is now time to review the available office properties.  Your office tenant representative will schedule a tour to look at commercial office  leasing properties which fall within your criteria.

Step 8:  Narrow Down the Options

Once you have reviewed your options, the next step is to narrow down the potential properties to the best ones.  Considering location, cost, size and overall aesthetic qualities of the office space will help you to choose the right office space to lease. 

Step 9:  Sign the Lease

When you have found the ideal office space which you want to lease, it is then time to put pen to paper and make it happen.  Have your office tenant representative review the lease with you and speak with the landlord about any issues you may have concerning the lease prior to signing it.  Once everything looks good, you can sign the lease and tell your employees when it will be time to move in to your new office location.

Office Space Tenant Representation

Office leasing is a popular rental option these days.  It allows business owners to have a place to engage in all of their office dealings yet not have to worry about the hassles which often go along with owning commercial office property.  An office tenant representative will protect the interest of you, the business owner, and help to make sure that your leasing experience is a success.  There are many different benefits associated When looking for a rental office, it is best to have office tenant representation along the way.  with office tenant representation and some of the more pertinent ones will be discussed below.

An Office Tenant Representative Will Help You to Choose the Best Rental Property

Frequently, when a business owner is shopping for a rental office, they may not know exactly what type of property they need in order to properly fulfill their needs.  When you have an office tenant representative on your side, the tenant rep will be able to look at the different office buildings with you and help you to choose the best one for your business needs.  The office tenant representative will take into consideration your line of work, need for space and number of employees which you will have in-office at any given time.  With a reputable office tenant representative on your side, choosing an efficient and proper commercial rental property will be as achievable.

Office Tenant Representatives Help Commercial Tenants Understand and Negotiate Leases

Another extremely important aspect of having an office tenant representative is that this individual will help you to understand the lease and negotiate the lease terms so that they benefit you the most.  Oftentimes leases, especially commercial leases, are so full of legal lingo that the commercial tenant will find it difficult to understand what it really states.  With office tenant representation, you will have an advisor to help you understand the terms, leasing process and current market terms, you as the future office tenant will have fewer? as your office tenant representative is well-versed in this area and highly capable of explaining it all to you easily and quickly.  This will help you to negotiate the terms of the lease so that it is fair to you and will benefit you best in the end.

With Office Tenant Representation You Are Safeguarded Throughout the Lease Term

Once you sign the office lease, the relationship between you and the office tenant representative should not end there.  When you have experienced and qualified office tenant representation, you should have that rep by your side the entire term of the lease.  This is helpful should any issues arise during the lease term, as your attorney and office tenant rep can speak with the commercial landlord on your behalf.  The office tenant representative can help be the mediator and ensure that your rental relationship with your landlord is as amicable as possible.

Office Tenant Representation Is a Wise Move

When you review all of the benefits associated with office tenant representation, it is easy to see why this type of safeguard is simply a wise move to make.  With an office tenant representative by your side, you can make the best rental decisions and ensure that your office rental situation is as good as it can be.  Again, your office tenant representative will protect you and your business by helping you to choose the right office setting and negotiate the best office space terms.  When you have a qualified office tenant representative at your service, you can focus on other business-related duties while the office tenant rep deals with office rental issues for you.  All in all, office tenant representation is the way to go when embarking on renting commercial property.