How to Figure Square Footage for an Office Rental Space: Step 1

Determining how much square footage your business will need is an important part of the process of finding an office rental space and requires careful attention to detail.  Do not let yourself be blindsided by unforeseen expenses or unusable space in your new office space.  Here is the first of 5 steps for accurately measuring square footage in a commercial space:

Step 1: Know the Jargon

It is important to understand the terminology that will be thrown at you during lease negotiations.  Here are a few terms you should be prepared for:

  • Usable Square Footage – The space that a tenant actually occupies.  This is the figure that real estate agents will often quote to prospective tenants, but it does not tell the whole story of a space.
  • Rentable Square Footage – This number is the combination of your usable square footage and a percentage of the common space of the building that you will share with other tenants, such as hallways, elevators, lobbies, and stairwells.
  • Gross Square Footage – all of the rentable square footage in a building.
  • Load Factor – Calculation of total monthly rent based on the rentable square footage times the unit price per square foot.  Often the price per square foot will be different for common-area square footage versus usable square footage.

Prepare yourself to navigate the process of calculating square footage!

If you are interested in office rental space in Kansas City, give Kathy Woodward at DDI Commercial a call at 913-685-4100 to find out about our available space!


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