What Does the Term “Commercial Space” Mean?

18 January, 2023 / Alan Rosinsky
Modern, Luxurious NYC Office Lobby Interior with Reception Desk.

“Commercial space” is a broad real estate term referring to any space used for business or professional purposes.

Think of all the types of spaces in New York City that fall under this category, yet have nothing in common. A medical office space, for instance, is considered a commercial space. Yet, what does it have in common with other commercial spaces like a retail space or fashion showroom?

What different commercial spaces have in common is the need for a property to operate and house their businesses. Commercial spaces exist anywhere from an office building to a shopping center to a mixed-use development.

Searching for commercial space in a market like New York City is complex. It doesn’t matter what shape or size your business is and whether you’re a private equity firm, an investment bank, or a tech start-up. Working with a commercial broker with decades of experience can help you find the best available commercial spaces in the city.

What Kind of Commercial Space Does Your Business Require?

A good way of answering this question is first to define if you’re a TAMI or FIRE company.

A TAMI company is a technology, advertising, media, or information company. In contrast, a FIRE company is a financial, insurance, real estate, and legal company.

TAMI tenants are more creative companies reliant on collaboration and innovation. So an open layout with high ceilings, style, and abundant natural light in an “arty” loft is often a better fit.

FIRE tenants, though, often prefer conservative commercial space with set floor plans and space allocation requirements. If you’re a lawyer having a confidential discussion with a client, an open floor plan does you no good.

Financial services firms may also value traditional office space in white-glove Class-A buildings, reasoning that their wealthy appearance will make it easier to attract high-end clientele.

Not-for-profits, which don’t necessarily fall in the TAMI or FIRE categories, may also look for basic and budget-minded office space.

Location, Location, Location

Beyond the type of commercial space your business may require, consider the location. Although it’s relatively easy to get around New York City, some commute times are longer than others, and it’s important to be near clients, patients, or your business network.

Law firms want traditional office space regardless of location. Yet, many prefer being downtown near City Hall and the courthouses.

Financial services firms may prefer to lease office space near Wall Street or Midtown near many large investment banks.

New York City’s tech sector has seen considerable expansion in the last decade, with many companies gravitating to hip, classic loft spaces in Midtown South, an area known as Silicon Alley.

The list goes on and on.

Get Creative: Have Your Landlord Upgrade Your Space

You may find a property of the right size at a desirable location. Yet, unlike residential properties, which are

usually move-in-ready, you will only sometimes find a commercial space ready for use. Your new commercial space will likely need some work and customization, particularly if a business previously occupied that space.

Landlords know they will need to call their contractors and invest in upgrades and renovations if they want to lease their space. The larger, more reputable landlords will build to a cap or provide a building standard installation. Furthermore, most landlords will provide a standard office installation if the lease term is 5 years or more. However, terms can vary, and an experienced commercial broker representing tenants can do everything possible to get you the best deal.

The Key Takeaway

Commercial space can refer to a broad range of spaces in different commercial properties. Finding the best fit for you largely depends on your business type, your budget, and what location makes the most sense. Of course, however, that’s easier said than done in a massive and complicated commercial real estate market like New York City’s.

Working with a commercial broker like Metro Manhattan Office Space can help you navigate the market and find a commercial space that achieves your goals. Metro Manhattan has represented business tenants since 2004. This wealth of experience can help serve your commercial office space needs with expertise and market knowledge, access to properties and resources, and negotiating skills.

The commercial space you select will speak volumes about your business. There’s no reason to cut corners.

Call us at (212) 444-2241 or use our contact form to get in touch.

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