Move-In Ready Space: A Cautionary Tale



Today, spec suites are the new darlings in luring tenants. But for building owners and commercial brokers, it can be a cautionary tale. The challenge is tenant expectations of “Move-In Ready” versus “Business-Ready.” Like fraternal twins, the terms are related but distinctively different.

A spec suite is a space built out by property owners and marketed as a vacant suite or floor. Growing in popularity and size, many new spec spaces now encompass an entire floor or building.

More typically, spec suites are 2,000-5,000 square-feet and suitable for offices of 5-25 people. Owners and brokers are promoting these spaces as “Move-In Ready” to tenants that need office space quickly. Therein lies the challenge.

Move-In Ready spaces always include walls, doors, carpeting, fixtures and basic electricity. However, not always included are core services tenants need to conduct business. Essentials like communication services, low-voltage cabling, furniture, security and business equipment.

Also, spec suite leases often don’t include TI [tenant improvement] dollars. Which means the cost of making a space “Business Ready” is out-of-pocket. Yet, for too many tenants the term “Move-In Ready” means all they add are their staff.

Want to understand more on how to see if your space is truly move-in ready — download the Ultimate Move-In Checklist here. 

TI costs can average $15-$20 a square foot, depending on customization needed to make the space business-ready. The expense is stomach-churning sticker-shock for tenants who thought they were leasing pre-built, plug-and-play spaces.

Tenants looking for spec suites include companies coming from coworking offices, start-ups or dealing with a lease-expiration time crunch. Rarely do these companies have the know-how to handle Move Management services – or even where to start.

So, caveat emptor make sure your tenant understands the kind of spec suite they’re leasing. And just in case, a critical value-add is to consider partnering with a Move Management company expert at turning a move-in ready space into a business-ready enterprise.

To find out how StellaPop’s Workplace Services team can add value to your business and your bottom line.

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