Many times, office or retail spaces—and especially those that are in brand new office buildings or shopping centers—aren’t built out beyond being so-called “plain vanilla box spaces,” which typically include ceilings, lighting, plumbing, heating and cooling equipment (HVAC), interior walls, electrical outlets, restrooms, and a concrete floor, but not more specialized improvements tailored to the particular tenant. You can protect yourself by addressing crucial buildout issues in the lease.
Changes you might want to make to your space later can be hotly contested. So establish from the outset what you will be required to do if your plans have to be changed later, and what types of substitutions may be made in that case. And address your end-of-lease duties. That is, whether specialized items, such as a security system, might need to be removed at the end of the lease term. The lease should reflect what from your buildout you are required to take or leave. And knowing that a high-priced item might belong to the owner when you move could affect how much you spend there.
For more information about how you can complete your buildout on time—and the way you want it to be done—plus Model Lease Language that will give you a head start on construction, see “Focus on Buildout Provision When Negotiating for New Space,” available to subscribers here.