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Understanding Tenant Improvements

Anderson Group Design and constructionWhen leasing a new office space, virtually every business owner requires at least some customization. From the quantity and placement of electrical outlets and telecommunications ports to the layout, décor, and fixtures for offices, conference rooms, server rooms and common areas, each tenant’s office space needs are uniquely their own.

Building owners traditionally carry the responsibility for making tenant improvements to customize an office space to the tenant’s needs, with the details negotiated as part of the lease process. 

Determining Requirements

The obligations and responsibilities of both parties are ultimately defined in a document called the “Tenant Work Letter,” which specifies the work to be done, who will complete it, and the amount of money to be expended by both parties.

Many improvements are done through what’s called a “turnkey build out,” in which both parties agree to all of the details of the tenant improvements prior to executing the lease.

At The Anderson Group, a thorough audit process helps the prospective tenant determine all of their needs, including space utilization and layout, technical needs, design, and décor. We help them understand tradeoffs between their ideal requirements and the most cost-effective design decisions. We also offer an in-house design center where tenants can view the latest design finishes and select the most cost-effective choices for carpeting, wall and window treatments, counter and fixtures, lighting, and more.

Optimizing for Maximum Productivity

We then generate CAD drawings to present to the tenant along with a detailed cost estimate for the improvements. Once design and layout is approved, the itemized Work Letter is finalized and the agreed improvements are incorporated into the lease agreement.

At the Anderson Group you work with a top notch professional team lead by construction manager Randy Lloyd and design manager Amanda Watkinson. They work closely together to come up with the optimal layout, furnishings, equipment, and finishing specifications to fit the tenant’s desired budget.

Amanda Watkinson and Randy Lloyd

Design Manager Amanda Watkinson and
Construction Manager Randy Lloyd

“Most tenants have to make tradeoffs between having everything they want and coming in at a budget they can afford,” said Watkinson. “Our job is to help them get the most they can for the investment available. We can show them carpeting, wall treatments, counters and fixtures right here in the office. We put together the best possible layout for their needs.”

Larger, experienced tenants may present their own drawing of their proposed space and a detailed specification list of everything from electrical, telecommunications, and plumbing requirements to decorating, furnishings, and equipment. We go through the same due diligence process with them to ensure that they have considered every possible productivity and design saving. We then price out the proposed construction work.

Build out: Quality and Maintainability

At The Anderson Group, even substantial space improvements are handled quickly and cost-effectively. In fact, our turnkey solutions generally save both Anderson and our tenants time and money. The advantages of the turnkey approach also extend into the build out process.  Having The Anderson Group manage the build out ensures standardized quality, completion on time for the tenant’s rent commencement date, and the ongoing ability to manage ongoing repairs in-house.

“We have 30 years of experience working with tenants of every size,” said construction manager Randy Lloyd. “We are experts in managing build outs effectively. And when we handle the build out, we know exactly how the electrical, plumbing, and other construction is done. So if any changes are required down the line, the tenant just calls us and we can handle them promptly.”

Lloyd has been overseeing construction of tenant spaces for Anderson since 1985, and is also the building inspector for the nearby town of Ballston Spa. His knowledge of the latest American Disabilities Act (ADA) requirements and New York State building codes is also invaluable to prospective tenants.

“We are very skilled at figuring out the most cost-effective improvements, developing detailed specification lists,” he noted. “We work with trusted contractors who we know will provide the quality required. They have worked with us for many years and know our buildings and its requirements.”

Watkinson and Lloyd coordinate access and construction schedules to minimize impact on neighboring tenants and ensure timely performance of all obligations. Simple cosmetic improvements to a small space may be completed in a matter of days. Even the major gutting and renovation of the 11,000 square foot Chamber of Commerce space at 5 Computer Drive South was completed in only four months.

Concluded Lloyd, “We do everything we can to streamline the process for our tenants.”

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