Seven Things to Look for When Leasing New Retail Space

March 28, 2014

Want to find the best retail space for your store while staying budget friendly? Look for these seven things before you sign any lease.
Location
The first thing to do is pick a location. Prime location for your retail store is near a high-traffic intersection or shopping center. You are likely to get more traffic in these areas, because potential customers will drive and walk by as they run errands. Also look at the parking availability, good visibility, and easy access to your doors.

 

Additional Fees
When you are looking for the right location for your business to be successful, you may find that some leases include base rent plus other costs. Make sure to find out whether your monthly cost includes maintenance and taxes. As a tenant, you may be responsible for property taxes, insurance, and common area maintenance (CAM). Find out whether the landlord pays for maintenance for shared areas, such as parking lots, sidewalks, and landscaping.

 

Square Footage and Layout

Ensure you are getting the correct square footage needed for your store. When comparing different properties, compare the sizes of the spaces available and how your business will look in the space. If the price is a little high for a little more space than you need, consider how you may use the additional space for inventory storage, displays, or room for growth. Will it pay for itself?

 

Customization
The layout and floor plan may be pretty straightforward and generic, or it may be tricky. Plan for how to will lay out the store and whether the floor plan works for your business type. Also, look for additional improvements you will need to make or if you can have a successful retail space as is.
Energy Efficiency
Learn all you can about the energy efficiency of the building and ways that you can save in your energy cost. Find out how old the heating and cooling systems are and maintenance needs of the equipment. Talk to the property management team and/or landlord about their suggestions for you to improve seasonal energy fluctuations.
Legal Information
When you begin reviewing your terms, make sure you understand base rent, maintenance fees, improvements, lease length, and renewal and termination options. However, be aware that a real estate lawyer can help you scan lease contracts to help you better understand the legal wording in the lease. Also if you don’t understand a clause in your lease, ask your leasing agents to explain in Layman’s terms.