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What’s The Best Fit – Class A or Class B Buildings?

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In metropolitan areas across the globe, commercial buildings have classifications. One building is considered a Class A building while the building down the block is a Class B building. Why is that? The differences between Class A buildings and Class B building can be found in the rating system established by the Building Owners and Managers Association International (BOMA.) These ratings establish the terms where brokers, tenants, landlords and analysts are speaking the same language about the quality of available office market spaces. Following is some general information about what defines a Class A and Class B building to help you determine what type of building is a good fit for your company.

There are a number of factors considered in determining the building’s classifications and include:

  • Rental rates
  • The age of a building
  • The quality of the building’s finishes used to build out the interior and exterior including the architectural design, the hardware, flooring, amount of detail work and other selections. Higher-end finishes equals higher classification.
  • The the amount of money invested in the building to maintain it
  • The building system standards and efficiencies
  • The amenities onsite or nearby and the building’s location and accessibility. Is there a range of cafes, banks or stores? What is the parking availability?

More specifically, according to BOMA, Class A buildings are the buildings competing for a narrower range of premier tenants with rents that are above average for the area and:

  • Are typically newer
  • Have state-of-the-art building systems
  • Have high-quality finishes
  • Are professionally managed with a management office in the building
  • Offer onsite security
  • Offer onsite amenities
  • Have a definite market presence

Class B buildings are the buildings competing for a wider range of users with rents in the average range for the area and:

  • Are typically older
  • Have adequate building systems
  • Have standard finishes
  • May or may not have parking
  • May or may not have additional onsite amenities
  • May or may not offer security
  • Do not compete with Class A buildings at the same price

With major improvements made over time, a building landlord can change its classification from Class B to Class A or from Class C to Class B. For instance, a complete renovation of the building systems and security coupled with an overhaul of the lobby and adding additional amenities would greatly improve the classification.

The type of office space that’s a good fit for you depends on your business. One of the most important would be what does your budget allow for monthly rent? Also important is what type of impression do you want your clients to have after leaving your building? Do you want an urban or suburban location? What’s your company’s culture? What are your employee demographics? Are there any “must-have” amenities?

Each company’s specific needs  for their image, budget, space and employees will help determine which class building to pursue. Consider engaging howardcommercial to assist you in finding new office space. Send us an introductory email at doug@howardcommercial.net or give us a call at 314-821-0025.

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