If you have ever searched or are currently searching for office space you will notice that most developers will market their properties as Class A, Class B or Class C. Class A being the nicest (most expensive) and Class C being the basic (least expensive) space.
What is the criterion for determining the class?
The three most common factors that determine the classification of a particular office building are: location, age and interior finishes.
Class A: Newest buildings with lots of curb appeal, in a desirable location with high end finishes and amenities such as covered parking, workout facility or large atrium.
Class B: Basic Amenities and mid-level finishes, well-maintained, tend to be popular because it caters to a wide range of business owners.
Class C: Older buildings with a few improvements, great for businesses on tighter budgets or when aesthetics and location are not important.
How does the classification of an office impact your search?
The classification of an office space can be used to describe your needs to a potential landlord, for example, you might say something like “Very few of my clients come into my office so I do not need spectacular looking space, but I want my employees to feel comfortable while working- perhaps a Class B space will work for my business”
Class is also a reflection of price; you will pay more in rent for a Class A building than you would a Class B or C. Just make sure that the cost difference can be justified. Buildings are compared relative to other buildings in the same market, therefore, a Class A office space in a major metropolitan area will probably be nicer and cost more than Class A office space in a small rural town.
What do you as a consumer need to be aware of?
Since there is not a single independent third party that grades office buildings, you can expect that most developers will advertise their space in a class that is higher than what outsiders would classify it as.
Our advice: 1. Make sure that you are in the location that you wanted to be in, with the amenities that are important to you. 2. You are portraying an image that you want your clientele to get and 3. The lease rate is comparable to other properties in the area that are similar.