TAMI Office Space Timeline – When Can You Plan on Being in Space?

September 2, 2014

Lance Leighton

Founder – TechOfficeSpaces.com

Senior Managing Director, Savills Studley

New York State Licensed Real Estate Salesperson

Call 212-326-8668

Office Space Timeline- When Can You Plan on Being in Space?

“When can I plan on being in new office space”?  This is one of the most  common questions posed to The TechOfficeSpaces.com Team. Though this is a relatively simple question, the answer isn’t always exact, as it is highly dependent on a number of factors.  These variables include the amount of work required in each particular space, technology and infrastructure needs, timing for the installation of data and cable lines, whether a unit is furnished or not, etc.

In an effort to plan for a seamless transition into the new New York City Office Space, we highly recommend preparing for a move at least six months prior to the date possession is required. Since most immediate requirements do not afford the luxury of a six month process, when timing is of the essence, we suggest only considering built and furnished options. (Looking for built and furnished office space? Click here for our free search.)

Below is a loose timeline for the typical office leasing process in New York City.

1-2 Months: Identifying potential spaces and getting educated on the marketplace.
This includes touring available office spaces, determining “likes and dislikes”, assessing relative value and getting comfortable with the building stock in the geographic locations you are contemplating.

1 Month: Negotiating deal terms with multiple landlord’s and preparing a final offer sheet indicative of the basic terms of the lease.
During this time period the basic lease terms, such as base rent, free rent, landlord’s work, base years, escalations, electricity, etc. will all be negotiated. The primary goal is to have a number of spaces in consideration and have the landlord’s compete for your tenancy. There is no better leverage than having multiple viable alternatives and being able to say with confidence, “the best economic deal will be the deal I am going to make”.

1 Month: Negotiating the lease or sublease document.
A lease is a legally enforceable contract between a landlord and tenant. It is commonly a long document, at times in excess of 100 pages. The process of going back and forth between tenant and tenant’s attorney (in consultation with the tenant’s broker) and landlord and landlord’s attorney (in consultation with the landlord’s agent) often takes longer than all parties would like.

1 Month (For Subleases only): The Overlandlord Consent process
After negotiating a sublease document with the sublandlord, the document is sent to the building’s ownership for consent. The landlord must be reasonable with their decision to accept or deny the subtenant in question. This process can oftentimes take close to a month.

1 Month: Making minor changes to the space.
If a space is fully built, it still takes a few weeks to a month to make minor changes. (i.e. repainting, replacing carpets, adding outlets, taking down a wall, building additional offices, etc.)

3 to 4 Months or more: Building out space from scratch.
If a space is whiteboxed or in raw condition, the build-out process can take anywhere from three to four months (or more) from the date that floor plans are finalized by landlord and tenant. Also, the landlord typically will not start the process until a lease is signed.

We suggest starting the process far in advance of when you anticipate needing to be in your new office space. It is never too early to begin educating yourself on the market and considering opportunistic transactions that may not exist during a protracted space search. We can all agree we spend more time in our office than we do in our residences and therefore, this is an important decision and one that should not be rushed!

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