Many times my clients visit a new building and look at an office location within a newly constructed building. They love the building but question how long will it take to build out their office suite when the floor is absolutely unfinished. The other common scenario is a client who finds an office space in the perfect building, but needs to move a few walls and add some electrical.
The first question is who will pay for these costs. The answer is that typically the landlord pays for the construction as an enticement to gain a tenant. There are exceptions. If the tenant wants a supplemental air-conditioning unit for some equipment, higher than building standard finishes or additional plumbing (like an executive bathroom), the landlord could ask the tenant to pay some or all of that cost. This must be determined before a lease is signed.
In the scenarios described above, both companies are faced with the permitting and construction process, which is time-consuming in South Florida. Unfortunately, just obtaining a building permit can take four weeks as the paperwork winds its way through the various departments, including the Fire Marshall and the Department of Environmental Resources Management (DERM).
The bottom line, plan for 4-6 months for the typical construction process. Construction drawings and actual construction will not begin until the landlord has a fully executed lease. Your phone and data vendor should be incorporated into the construction schedule and their permit should be under the “master permit”. Monitor your vendor’s progress and make sure they provide proof that their permit is closed at the completion of their work. Many a tenant has been delayed in moving into their space because their IT vendor has not obtained a final inspection and closed the permit.
If you want to move, but you have construction concerns, call me at 305.779.3133. As a commercial real estate broker specializing in tenant representation, I can offer you a realistic time line and creative solutions for your particular case.