Unlock the Doors to Your First Startup Office Space

15 June, 2019 / Alan Rosinsky
Focused businesswoman in her NYC startup office, contemplating with coffee in hand.

Running a startup in New York City can be both exciting and nerve-wracking. On the one hand, the city has a dynamic entrepreneurial community, ranking second only to San Francisco in U.S. startup ecosystems. On the other hand, finding affordable startup office space can be challenging and costly. Although options are available, real estate expenses can still be a significant source of stress on startups as they often rank as the second largest expense after labor.

Startup business owners must address critical questions when searching for a suitable space. For example, how can a startup manage its growth and address the need for larger space? How can a startup negotiate a reasonable security deposit, particularly if it has yet to turn a profit? What is the total cost of the office space, including rent, utilities, maintenance, and any additional fees? Plus, is the location of the office space easily accessible to public transportation, amenities, and other essential business resources?

Yet, why overwhelm yourself with too many questions at once? This article will simplify the process and highlight four of the most important questions you should answer.

What’s Better for Your Startup- Coworking or a Direct Lease?

Coworking spaces have become increasingly popular in recent years. They offer startups the flexibility to rent a desk or office space on a short-term basis, usually with access to amenities such as high-speed internet, conference rooms, and coffee machines. Coworking spaces are a good option for early-stage startups needing to keep overhead costs low. However, there may be better choices for companies that require a more private, dedicated space.

If your startup requires a direct lease, a key issue will be to keep the security deposit to a minimum. Landlords may require a larger security deposit from startups because they may be considered riskier tenants due to their limited financial history or stability compared to established businesses.

Unsurprisingly, this fact can put startups at a disadvantage during lease negotiations.

Consider exploring alternatives like a letter of credit, which can serve as collateral in place of a cash deposit.

What Amenities and Building Types Are Best for Your Staff & Clients?

Another vital factor to consider is the level of amenities that your team requires.

For example, do you need a building with a gym, onsite restaurant, and rooftop terrace? Or are you just looking for basic amenities such as high-speed internet and a kitchenette? In addition, does your building provide an attendant 24/7 or have security turnstiles if your team works late at night and prioritizes security?

Again, understanding the needs of your team will help you determine whether you need an A, B, or C building.

The level of the building you choose will also depend on your budget. A-class buildings are typically the most expensive and offer the most amenities, while C-class buildings are the most affordable but may have fewer amenities.

While your startup might not necessarily require any outlandish amenities, consider this. Amenities can be integral in enticing employees to return to the office instead of working remotely.

How Much Square Footage Should You Lease?

There are several factors to consider when calculating square footage for a startup office space.

First, think about the size of your workforce, how many people you need to accommodate, and the nature of your business. Then, what will be the architectural layout of your space? For example, do you need three offices, a conference room, a wet pantry, and a bullpen? Does your company need mostly open space for table seating, so you need a large bullpen?

Additionally, if you anticipate future growth, you’ll need to consider potential expansion plans and the possibility of hiring additional staff.

Take into account the square footage per employee and the intended use of the space, such as office work, conferences, meetings, or product displays. You may also want to factor in an open layout. Consider using our office space calculator to help determine the appropriate space for your business needs.

Finally, to ensure you’re not overspending on rent, balancing having adequate space for your team and avoiding excess space is crucial. Overspending on rent can significantly strain your startup’s finances. Additionally, remember that most landlords will impose penalties for relocating to larger spaces before the lease expires.

Once you clearly understand your space requirements, you can create a budget that aligns with your business goals and find the ideal startup office space to support your team.

Which Neighborhood Offer the Best Commute, Building Options, Security, Amenities, and Pricing?

The location of your startup office space is another important consideration.

Manhattan no longer has uniformly high rents, with some competitive options comparable to Queens and even the Bronx. Depending on the building amenities, services, and neighborhood desirability, rent for office spaces in Manhattan range from $30 to $120 per square foot.

You can find the perfect office space that meets your requirements and budget by keeping an open mind and exploring different areas. One thing to do is consider neighborhoods with smaller buildings and stylish industrial lofts. SoHo, Tribeca, Chelsea, Union Square, the Flatiron District, and the Garment District offer plenty of lofts with open floor plans, high ceilings, and wooden or concrete floors.

Furthermore, transportation options are crucial when selecting startup office space, affecting accessibility for employees and clients. Being near Grand Central Terminal, Penn Station, or the Port Authority is ideal for frequent travel. Moreover, if your staff commutes via PATH Train from NJ, an office near a PATH station could be advantageous.

The Key Takeaway

Choosing the perfect NYC startup office space is critical for your business’s long-term development. Factors like space, location, amenities, and coworking versus direct leases require careful consideration. Balance your budget and needs, and always plan ahead and research.

By making an informed decision, your startup’s office can provide a functional and comfortable environment, boosting productivity. The right office space in NYC can make all the difference in building a dynamic and thriving company.

If you need new office space for your business or expanding startup, contact Metro Manhattan Office Space. Call (212) 444-2241 or email [email protected]. We will promptly respond and help you secure suitable office space.

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