Looking for a new location for your business can be both exciting and stressful. While it marks new opportunities to invigorate your workforce, attract new customers and propel your business to the next level, there are also many different elements to take into consideration, including location, size and various amenities.
Finding the right commercial property to lease can be challenging, but you can find the right property to take your business to the next level, especially with these helpful tips.
1. Make a list of your options and determine the type of space you will need.
Before you contact a commercial real estate broker or even begin searching on your own, you want to have a clear idea of what type of space you want. Make a list of all the features you want in a commercial property and rank them in order of importance. Besides the specific needs of your business that might include a checkout station, dressing rooms or even a kitchen, here are some other factors to take into consideration:
If you run a retail business, your top priority may include location. If you plan to open a creative marketing agency, you may want a property with high ceilings, plenty of open space, and a bit of character to inspire creativity in your employees.
Consider your business’s goals, employees, and customers when determining the type of property you need. Avoid the temptation to lease a property simply because it is new, big, modern or simply the least expensive. Make sure the property will keep your customers buying and your employees working hard.
2. Narrow your search and contact a commercial real estate broker.
Once you have a list of your priorities, identify available properties that fit your needs in your desired location. Of those properties, narrow your choices down to just five or fewer to start. Don’t worry — if you visit the properties and they don’t fit your needs, you can always revisit your list and identify a new round of prospective properties.
This is the point where having a commercial real estate broker can help. He can schedule viewings or help you to narrow down your list. They might also have access to listings that are not on public sites.
3. Involve your employees.
So much of choosing the right commercial rental space comes down to creating the right environment for your employees. Is the location convenient for them? Will moving to the other side of town mean you could lose some of your best employees? Will your employees feel safe walking to and from the building?
Oftentimes your employees will know more about what makes a positive working environment for them than you will. Distribute an employee survey at the beginning of your search process, asking your employees for feedback as to what they value most in a workspace or office location. Or, if appropriate, take a few employees with you when you visit each property so that you can get their first-hand impressions of the property.
Make sure your employees feel involved in the process on some level, as their future productivity may depend on the new space.
4. Research the area and scout the space.
Once your real estate agent has delivered a list of possibilities, make sure you tour each of the spaces, keeping a careful eye on the amenities you’re looking for. How does the property compare to rental rates for other comparable commercial properties in the area? By what percentage have leases in the area increased over the last three to five years? Can you negotiate a set rate for the next few years? Talk to other tenants in the same building or shopping center and ask about any problems with the property manager.
5. Negotiate and review the terms of the lease.
When it comes time to sign on the dotted line, make sure that you and your real estate broker have negotiated the best possible rate for your space. Request a copy of the lease and take some time to thoroughly review it. You will want to make sure you understand its terms and limitations. What does the lease cover, and what does it not? What building maintenance will your company need to perform, if any? What are the true costs to occupy the space and what are your total liabilities? Will you have the ability to sublease to another tenant should your company need to relocate while still under the lease?
As with the rest of the property exploration process, don’t attempt this part of the process alone. Ideally, you want the help of your attorney and real estate broker to go over the lease and make sure your best interests are considered.
6. Ask the right questions.
It’s unlikely you want your company to relocate again anytime soon. Take the time now to analyze each potential space and consider your strategy for growth.
Here are some key questions to ask yourself:
Are you currently looking for a new commercial or industrial space?
Alex Olsen is a seasoned commercial real estate broker that can help you in your search. Have you checked out our Seaborg site in Ventura that is currently under construction and looking for tenants. We have 3 suites available with varying sizes. You can check out the property under the listings page on my site or the following locations:
If this particular space doesn't meet your needs, please contact Alex to help you find a property that does.
It has been more than 10 years since Ventura saw the completion of a major industrial project, but with the development of the Victoria Corporate Center at 2879 Seaborg Ave., some much needed space will soon be available.
The mixed-use project will feature at least 175,500 square feet of indoor commercial space, 693 parking spaces and 28-foot clear height ceilings. There will also be front-side loading docks and exceptional exposure to car traffic.
“What’s critical about the zoning is that it will allow us a lot of parking,” Alex Olsen of Becker Group Real Estate Investments and Property Management said, “This means we can do gyms and restaurants. We’re doing a microbrewery and an indoor rock climbing studio. There could also be heavy office use.”
The first 43,000-square-foot, $5 million phase already has some of its walls up but the entire project is slated for completion in January of 2020. Olsen said the approval process for the project started back in 2008.
Since there are powerlines going over part of the lot where the project is located, about 10 acres of the land will be developed and the other nine acres, which are owned by the Southern California Edison Company, are currently being leased for $100,000 per year.
“Planning has been the most difficult part of the project so far,” Olsen said.
He added that there is hope amongst Ventura brokers that the Victoria Corporate Center will spur other developments in the area but Mike Tharp of NAI Capital Commercial Real Estate Services is not so certain.
“I don’t think this project will do much to get the others going. It is kind of a standalone project but the timing is good,” Tharp said. “There is not a whole lot of competition. The buildings are built with a good clear height. Most of the older buildings in Ventura do not have those kinds of features.”
Historically, absorption of larger spaces has been a little more difficult in Ventura than in other Central Coast cities but the overall industrial real estate market is healthy. A combination of suitable market conditions were what allowed the Victoria Corporate Center to finally break ground in recent months even though the land was purchased about ten years ago.
“I think things have tightened up,” Tharp said. “Vacancy rates are down and if there’s a suitable tenant out there, they would find a good fit there. This project should also test the market a bit and may motivate some guys that are sitting on the fence.”
Ventura City Councilman Matthew LaVere sees the Victoria Corporate Center as a “win-win” situation as it will provide more local jobs and grow the local economy. As the city nears completion of the planning phases for the commercial zone on the east end it calls Focus Area One, a competitive business district seems to be on the horizon.
“My colleagues on the City Council and I all recognize the importance of these projects to our local economy,” LaVere said.
The City of Ventura is currently in the process of hiring a new economic development manager and LaVere said he plans on proactively working with that person to assist local companies in their expansion efforts and to recruit new companies into Ventura.
A market trends report done on Ventura County by Xceligent Information Technology and Services said that a shortage of modern industrial buildings in the San Fernando Valley should cause some overflow of tenants into the area.
That is great news for Olsen and the Victoria Corporate Center, as there is currently only one confirmed tenant, but there is still plenty of time for expanding businesses to discover the project.
The city is also working to improve its permitting process and to ease the restrictions in getting business done locally.
“Partnering with our great chamber of commerce, I will personally reach out to potential tenants to show that the city of Ventura is here to help them grow and succeed,” LaVere said.
Ventura’s industrial and commercial zones are essential parts of the local economy because of the tax revenue they generate but they also create high-paying jobs that help Ventura’s economy expand.
Industrial using jobs increased by about 500 from July 2016 to July 2017 and vacancy rates increased from 2.6 percent in the second quarter of 2017 to 2.9 percent at the close of the third quarter of 2017. Total available rates went from 4.7 percent to 4.3 percent.
If all goes according to plan, Ventura will soon have some much needed industrial space that it can use to pull itself out of the economic lull that it has been in for a number of years.