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It is quite easy to make a decision to move to a newly-built building, or one just about to be finished, by simply factoring in the location, the quoted rent price, and the obvious newness of the place where everything seems to be all light and bright.
However, before committing to any lease agreement, make sure you have a well thought-out strategy that takes into account future expansion (or contraction), upgrades, maintenance and repair costs, operating expenses, among others.
A new office building can also mean new construction and build-out work where you will need to conduct a proper survey and cost analysis on what you want done so your business can efficiently run and grow in the structure you plan on housing it in. Do you have enough parking facilities? Would you need bathrooms for handicapped employees and clients? Consider turnkey allowances which can include light fixtures, the walls, electrical outlets, phone jacks, cabinetry/closets, the carpet, and paint colors and styles. Will the build-out be paid for by the landlord, or will a tenant improvement build-out make better business sense?
Remember to bring experts to the negotiation table. You will need to refer to your own set of consultants including contractors, engineers, architects, interior designers, and your very own tenant representative. If the building is yet to be finished, you will need to factor in the possibility of a delay in building completion, and a clause protecting you from this possibility should be included in the lease commencement date section of the lease agreement.
Study the preexisting conditions clause carefully. It may require you to leave the premises in a certain way, which will cost you eventually especially if you have plenty of add-ons specific to your operations.
Are you in it for the long haul, or will you get a short-term lease? This should help you greatly in determining the extent of your investment in totally new office space.
• Take into account upgrades, operating expenses, repair costs
• Consider turnkey concerns like fixtures, cabinets, carpets, etc.
• Engage the services of experts like engineers, interior designers
A glimpse on the evolution of offices in the UAE
Source: Claire Dangalan, Special to Properties
The writer is a freelancer