As part of a building’s common areas, the parking in an office building in which you are leasing an office, whether it is an open-air lot or a structure, should be easily accessible and facilitate the convenient operation of your business. In fact, when any commercial building is constructed the landlord and owner is actually required to create parking spots sufficient to let a building fulfill its basic purpose as a commercial space.
In many regions around the country, parking is an essential part of running a business, with the majority of employees and visitors commuting to a location via a car or SUV. Companies can often find their parking capacity strained by the number of cars associated with normal day-to-day operations. While many commercial leases may include a parking clause, some are not as detailed as others. Ensuring that you have an adequate parking allocation for your business needs is an essential element of the negotiation process.
Test Out the Parking First
Before you begin the negotiation process, make sure you give the parking facilities at a building a test run. Oftentimes, when business owners visit a building during the evaluation process, they park rather conveniently in visitor parking. It is important to visit and assess the actual parking that you and your employees will be allocated under the lease. Look for:
- the time it takes to get to the building from parking
- the size and demaraction of the spots
- how easy it is to find an empty spot
- how secure a parking lot or structure is at different times of day and night
Negotiable Parking Issues
The cost of employee parking, especially in urban environments, can comprise a significant percentage of your cost of occupancy. In downtown city locations, the cost of parking can easily add multiple dollars on the square foot to your total lease costs. Adding on visitor parking or luxuries such as covered parking can really send costs soaring.
Fortunately, many of these costs can be mitigated through negotiation. Although this can vary based on the market conditions of the moment, landlords are often willing to make a concession when it comes to the parking costs negotiated in a lease. With the right team of negotiators, you can negotiate anything from allocation to the cost of unassigned spaces into your lease.
Parking Issues can ruin an otherwise excellent office space. Make sure to identify issues early on and work with your tenant broker to negotiate a parking provision that will serve you well throughout the term of your lease.
Senior Vice President at Colliers International, based in Houston, Texas.