Thursday, December 14

Guide to Finding Office Space in New York

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It has never been easier to find office space in New York City, the home of the world’s first skyscrapers, and now the venue for vacancies and affordable rents. The economic crisis is making it economical for tenants to move into Manhattan and play with the big boys.
How do you find the office space in New York that’s right for you?

Let’s start with choosing a broker or agent. Try to find someone who has a lot of listings on the website. That will give you a good idea of location and price. Make a phone call and talk to the salesperson. If they seem friendly, interested and aggressive, then they will look out for your best interest and negotiate a lease at a lot better terms than the asking price; with so many businesses closing there is no better time to wheel and deal with the landlord.

Lease agreements for commercial property in New York can be complex and all sorts of hidden charges abound in triple- net leases and common -area maintenance fees. A good agent can lead you through these areas.

Think about where you want to be. If you live on the Island or the west side of the Hudson, you may want bridge, tunnel and train station access. Or you may want to impress clients and customers with an A class building. Right now it’s easy to get a built- out, turn- key commercial property that you can move into tomorrow morning. Or you may want to design your own décor that makes a statement about your business. Keep in mind parking issues. Wall Street may be laying off workers, but parking in New York will always be at a premium.

Are you making your first move into the Big Apple from a prior office in Long Island or New Jersey? Maybe it’s best to go slowly and see if the economy rebounds before you sign up for a long term lease on a few thousand square feet.

Executive suites, or what some call shared office space or full service offices, are economical and give you all the options and amenities of leasing your own office. Leases are available from under 100 sq. ft. to 3,000 and even 5,000 sq. ft.

Sharing space provides you with your own office to meet customers in, and gives you access to a reception area and receptionist, conference rooms, kitchens, fax and photocopy machines, internet connections with T1 lines, and maybe even a great view out a small window.

Full service office leases can be signed for as short as one to twelve month terms, and a lot of owners throw in a full complement of furniture. All you need to do is sit down behind the desk and get to work.

Maybe you have an established business which even in these hard times is still doing business, grossing money, and turning a profit, and you feel that it’s time for you to have a Manhattan address to attract international and national business and let your customers know that you are a New York City company with a full line of products and services. You want more than an executive suite; you want your own place of business with your name on the door and a brass plate.

Nowadays, great Fifth Avenue locations are going for $50 a sq. ft., and the landlords are looking for five to ten year leases. At 3,400 sq. ft. of space, you’re paying about $14,000 a month.

Maybe a little farther downtown is where you need to be to network and connect with the financial services world. Office spaces to rent in Chelsea, south of Canal and north of Wall, can he had for $26 a sq. ft., and provide for some good views of downtown when you need to take a break.

Forty Second Street is in the middle of the advertising and media world. Class A space is being advertised for $40 a sq. ft., and spaces have built out offices and conference rooms, ready to move into.

The Penn Station area has listings for $32 a sq. ft., and Grand Central commercial properties for lease are going for $42 a sq. ft. These locales all offer from 3,000 to 7,000 sq. ft. of availability.

Before signing that lease, ask a few questions. Is electric included or is it an add- on? Sometimes electric is provided directly with no extra cost. Will the landlord allow you an allowance for a build out? Are you being asked to personally guarantee a corporate lease? There are ways to limit guarantees to a few months or a specified amount.

Don’t take it for granted that an old building automatically has an elevator or AC. Ask first and try everything out when you go to visit.

Make sure your business is licensed to operate in the building. Not all operations are allowed. If you want to be near CPA’s, lawyers, courthouses, media or consultants, look at the directory in the building for the types of businesses which are going to be your neighbors.

Office Space in New York is there begging to be rented. All you have to do is think before you leap.



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