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How Parking Spaces Work in an Office Building

 Commercial Real Estate Strategy

Today's Tenant Rep Tuesday Tip topic: How Parking Spaces Work in an Office Building

When you are evaluating different office buildings to lease one of the things that many tenants forget to consider is the parking situation. How many parking spaces will you be allowed to use every day? Knowing how many parking spaces you are allowed to use is very important to know as parking over your allotted amount could potentially put you in default on your lease or you could be charged additional costs that you did not budget for.

In most suburban areas landlords typically have parking ratios of 3 to 4 parking spaces per 1,000 SF that you lease. For example, if you lease 5,000 SF of office space then you would be allowed to use 15 to 20 parking spaces. 

As you discuss your parking options with the landlord these are a few different terms you will find.

Surface Parking – These are ground level parking areas with no cover for your cars. They are typically part of the office building in consideration.

Contract Parking – This is basically leased parking space. You either pay the landlord directly to lease the buildings parking spaces or pay a set fee for every parking space you lease. The number of spaces you get and the cost is always negotiable. Most garages offer non-reserved and reserved parking. Non-reserved can be used by anyone and are first come first serve basis. Reserved parking will cost more than reserved however they will have your name or a number on it and cannot be used by anyone else.

Visitor Parking – All the tenants are allowed to have visitors up to a point and some are offered for free or for a fee. Most tenants typically validate the parking for their clients and other visitors.

Validated Parking – As a tenant you will be allowed to validate parking for your visitors. Parking validations can be purchased from the parking manager or landlord and you will be given stickers, stamps, or tickets that you can give to visitors. This is something that should also be negotiated during the proposal process if you expect to have a lot of visitors.

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