How Many Square Feet of Office Space Should My Business Lease?

How Many Square Feet Office SpaceHow many square feet of office space do you need for your business? When planning on leasing office space there are a number of things one must consider to determine how many square feet to lease. Having an architect do an office space program that is based on how you will use the space is a good idea however you also have to consider the parking ratio a building has.

Office Buildings Have Parking Ratios Businesses Must Adhere To

First of all most buildings have parking ratios that they adhere to so as to avoid over parking. For example Austin Tx office buildings rentals have parking ratios that typically range from 3.3 to 4 per 1000 sf. What that means is that for every 1000 sf you lease you will be allowed 3.3 to 4 parking spaces. This equates to 250 to 300 sf per person. Per most leases if you exceed this amount you will be in default on your lease. Some landlords can be a little more flexible than others with this if they have a lot of extra parking available, if city code allows it, and if it won’t make it difficult for other tenants to find parking spaces. It’s important to find out how strict they will be with this requirement before you sign a lease if you think you will need more parking spaces than the commercial property will allow.

Actual Office Space Square Footage Needed By Most Companies

In reality, office building parking ratios and how much office space companies actually need or use are not in line with one another. Times have changed and a lot of companies are designing their office spaces in a way that makes them more efficient and collaborative. Depending on the office space layout (open vs hard wall) most companies only need 160 to 200 sf per person. Having an open office layout will allow you to use the space more efficiently and squeeze in more people, while obviously the more hard wall offices you have the more space you will need.

 A Few Things To Consider When Reviewing Office Buildings For Lease

  • As you look at office space options it’s important that you find out what the parking ratio’s are and if there is some flexibility in that number if you ended up exceeding that 2 years down the road.
  • If the Landlord will agree to giving you more parking spaces than the building allows make sure you get that in writing on the lease contract.
  •  Hire a good architect or space planner who can help you determine your actual space needs. They will look at a number of factors including but not limited to the number of employees you have, your ideal office configuration (open vs hard walled), number of offices, break rooms and other meeting rooms needed, etc.
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