Landlords usually quote the square footage of tenant spaces in office buildings based upon the “gross leasable area” of the space. Many tenants hear the square footage of the space, and assume that they are getting that amount of space in their premises. In reality, the gross leasable area of a space generally includes the tenant’s pro rata share of the building’s common areas, elevators, common bathrooms, stairwells, and other portions of the building that the tenant doesn’t actually occupy. The actual square footage of the tenant’s space is called the net rentable area of the space. The gross leasable area usually incorporates a “core factor” of 15-25 percent of more. So, that 5,000 sq. ft. office space that you are looking to lease probably isn’t really 5,000 sq. ft.. It’s more like 4,000, or 4,500, or 4,700 (it depends on the particular building and the amount of non-rentable space that is included in the figures).
I have had office clients do elaborate drawings of how their company was going to fit into a particular sized space. They are often surprised when I inform them that their 5,000 sq. ft. space is not really 5,000 sq. ft.. When you are budgeting for your new office space, be sure to take into account the difference between the gross leasable area of your space and the net rentable area.