Negotiating Office Space in Atlanta’s Buckhead Tech Corridor

We recently signed a 10,000 sq ft lease with a pre-negotiated expansion option of 6,000 additional feet and look forward to relocating the QGenda headquarters to the 11th floor of Tower Place 100 in the Buckhead Tech Corridor. At QGenda, due to our rapid growth, we have consistently outgrown office space over the years, and today we have 30+ employees spread across multiple floors for a total of around 4500 sq feet.

Here are some key factors to consider when looking for an office space:

  • Parking space allotment is always a ratio in the form of X # of spaces per 1,000 sq feet. You want to make sure you always get a minimum of 4 per 1,000. During our search there was a penthouse office space we really liked, but the ratio was 2.6 per 1,000 so we had to eliminate it from consideration.
  • Negotiate free rent inside the term of your lease. Most landlords will try to give you free rent outside the term of your lease by saying it’s a 5 year term with 10 months free rent making it a total of 70 months. It is much more preferred to be a 5 year deal with 10 months free inside the term of 60 months.
  • Pre-negotiate adjacent expansion options before signing the lease to prevent the landlord from taking advantage of your growing needs by knowing the best space in the entire city for your business to expand into is the adjacent space right next door.
  • Tenant Improvement (TI) allowance should be an average of $4 per sq ft per term year. You should have the option to use part of the TI towards moving/cabling.
  • Avoid signing a personal guarantee.
  • It doesn’t hurt to ask for free parking. However, if the building is well occupied it is highly unlikely you will receive a deal on parking fees, but they typically will make up for it in free rent or some other way.
  • Expect an annual rent escalation of 3% each year, but have it begin in month 25.

Finding the perfect office space for any business is fun, time consuming, tedious, and definitely requires the help of a professional commercial office broker. If you have 10 or less employees, then on-demand office space at the Atlanta Tech Village would likely be the best solution.

What other key points have you negotiated in your own office space lease(s)?

Twitter: @Benoit_Greg