What are the Different Types of Commercial Real Estate Property & Buildings?

different types of commercial real estate propertyWhen looking at the different types of commercial real estate property investors and tenants have different objectives. Investors look at commercial real estate (aka commercial property) as a way to make money by generating profits from land or buildings. The primary ways investors make money with commercial real estate properties are through one or more of the following: appreciation, cash flow, and principal build up by having tenant rents pay down the loan. Many investors are looking hard at investing in Austin Tx commercial real estate.

Tenants on the other hand are looking to rent commercial property in prime locations for their businesses. Since there are many different types of  commercial property tenants have to thoroughly evaluate their needs to determine which type is best suited for their company. To help below I have listed the different types of commercial real estate. 

Office Space

Office buildings consist of multistory buildings in the suburbs or downtown high rises and skyscrapers with common area lobbies, hallways, and bathrooms. These larger buildings can be up to 300,000 to 500,000 rentable square feet. They also can be single tenant properties, smaller professional office buildings and condos. Short term serviced executive suites and coworking spaces would also fall into this category.

Traditional office space are typically classified as A, B, or C. Class A office buildings will be the newest, nicest and most expensive buildings in the best locations, and with the best amenities. Class B offices are nice but typically a little bit older and without all the amenities. Class C buildings are the oldest, less maintained, and least expensive office buildings, and in less desirable locations.

Industrial Space

Industrial spaces have multiple categories as they are designed to service different types of users. They will range from small Flexible or R&D properties to larger warehouse and distribution centers. Companies that rent industrial space may need a little bit of office space however a large portion of it will be warehouse space used for bulk storage, retail warehousing, manufacturing, distribution, light assembly, etc. They typically equipped with loading docks that can be grade level allowing vehicles to drive in or dock high allowing 18 wheelers or box trucks back in to deliver product.

Retail & Restaurant Space

If you are looking for visibility for your company than retail space will typically have the best locations for your store or shop. Retail shopping centers, pad sites located on highway frontages, small neighborhood shopping centers, single tenant retail buildings, large big box shopping centers (aka power centers) with stores such as Petsmart & Best Buy, grocery store anchored centers, and regional outlet malls.


Multifamily includes anything larger than a fourplex such as apartment complexes or downtown high-rise apartment buildings and condos. You will also see mid-rise, manufactured housing communities (e.g. mobile home parks), and special purpose housing.


Any raw, undeveloped or rural land in the path of future development. You will also see pad sites for sale on many highway frontage roads.

Other Types of Commercial Property

Any other nonresidential property including hospitality, hotels, self storage units, & medical space such as nursing homes and hospitals

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