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 1000 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. Parking is typically free in suburban areas. In downtown areas you will typically be allowed to have 2 to 3 parking spaces per 1000 sf that you lease. You will be charged monthly ($100 to $250) for each parking space in downtown areas.
You want to consider the parking needs of your employees, vendors, and clients. When negotiating the office lease you want to make sure to negotiate with landlords the number of parking spaces and costs early on. If the landlord can't accommodate your parking needs then you might want to focus only on those that will. As you discuss your parking options with the landlord below 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. In downtown areas you will find that some landowners or churches will rent out surface parking to tenants often at a much lower cost than garage parking.
Contract Parking – This is basically leased parking space. You either pay the landlord directly to lease the buildings parking spaces or contract with a 3rd party garage and pay a set fee for every parking space you lease. The number of spaces you get and the cost is always negotiable however in a very tight market parking fees and spaces are not as 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.
If you have any questions about parking options for office buildings don't hesitate to give us a call. 512-861-0525