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Have more Questions? E-mail us or phone Ms. Goodman directly at: 312-718-2222.

Question: Generally speaking, how many months in advance should we begin our firm's search for commercial space?

Answer: There are always "last minute" searches conducted merely 30 days in advance of occupancy. However, it is far more beneficial to begin a search much earlier. Anywhere from 3-8 months in advance is recommended to allow time for the property touring, a generous attorney review period, and any required build-out which may be necessary within the space. In fact, for full-floor tenants and firms with larger amounts of square footage, there are often significant advantages to beginning the search up to year-and-half in advance.

Question: How much square footage should our firm plan on?

Answer: An estimate of your office space begins by checking the amount of employees who will be working within the space. In cubicle-intensive environments, for example, a good guideline is approximately 150 sq ft per person. For an organization requiring conference rooms, a kitchen area, break areas, and partner offices, a good rule of thumb is approximately 250-300 sq ft per person. For organizations with mostly larger offices, expansive hallways, and showroom-like reception and conference rooms, the square footage could be as high as 500-550 sq ft per person, but this is extremely rare.

Question: How can the property search be narrowed down?

Answer: The lease rate and quality of a building ("A" class, "B" class, or "C" class) will be a key factor at the beginning of a property search. Yet, comparing available spaces based upon existing layouts and other amenities will also help to determine those to actually tour. Even businesses within the same industry and with the same number of employees will have different needs.

Question: If we select new office space, very early on, can we move into the space earlier without being charged? Might we be able to slowly move in with smaller items such as office furnishings, phone systems, and wiring?

Answer: Leases must be signed before phone systems, wiring, or furniture can be installed. In fact, Landlords themselves will not make any physical alterations within the space without a signed and executed lease. If a lease is-- in fact-- signed many months prior to the occupancy date, an early "move in" can certainly be negotiated. In doing so, though, remember that the Property Management office will require a Certificate of Insurance prior to access into the space.

Question: Is there a recommended window of time for "systems testing" of our office equipment?

Answer: Systems testing should usually occur at least a month prior to occupancy to ensure a successful move.

Question: Once a property is selected, it seems complicated to order the telephone/data services. What are the steps to consider?

Answer: Normally, larger properties have their own telephone/data services vendor already working within the building. Yet, a coordinated effort between MORE than one vendor is normally required in the overall process. Begin by making a list for yourself and answering the following:

1. How many telephones are planned for the space (both currentand/or future requirements)?

2. How many data lines are planned for the space (both current and/or future requirements)?

3. How many DSL lines and/or T1 lines are required?

4. What type of service is required (i.e., copper line, fiber, DSL, T1, etc.)?

Once you have drawn-up your list and have answered 1-4 above, you may contact a telephone vendor of your choice or can consider the designated vendor from the building. The Telephone vendor supplies equipment and the punchdown block/equipment demark within the space.

Next, another outside party is normally involved to handle all low voltage work (wiring) from punchdown block/equipment demark to all telephone/data outlets within space. Finally, yet a third outside vendor may be needed to handle all low voltage work (wiring) from the building's demark and/or the riser closet to the office space at the punchdown block/equipment demark location. Typically, this is handled by the building's Riser Management firm.

Perspective Real Estate, Inc.
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Phone: 312-427-0044
Fax: 312-222-9820

1700 S Michigan Ave
Suite 200
Chicago, IL 60616