If you’ve decided to lease a warehouse, it should come as no surprise that there are a lot of factors to keep in mind. Along with preparing for long-term costs, you should also know what questions to ask your landlord and standards to hold them to.
While looking for the perfect industrial space, you should keep these things in mind:
With any real estate, but especially when considering warehouses or other industrial spaces, location is critical. It needs to be a severe consideration while you search for the perfect space since it will determine a lot of factors. These factors typically include:
Shipping and Receiving – Whether your products are shipped or received through services like FedEx, or in something as big as an 18-wheel truck, you need to account for any possible spacing issues. Be sure there’s enough room for a delivery or shipment of any size to travel to and from your receiving area comfortably.
Shipping Costs – This not only goes with your shipping and receiving consideration but also accounts for the distribution itself. Where are your suppliers, where are your customers? How far is the location from a distribution center, courier, and other similar services?
Property Value – Property value can increase or decrease based on location alone. Make sure you get what you pay for at the right price for the area so that you aren’t eating into costs early by overpaying.
Parking Availability – Parking lots and garages require a decent amount of maintenance. First and foremost, you should talk to the landlord and make sure that they will be doing the upkeep and maintenance rather than passing the buck to you.
Many landlords will try to pass the cost of routine maintenance and improvements to you, but because the maintenance is a long-term investment in the property’s value, it’s wise to be sure that they handle that.
Parking is not only for yourself or for any employees that you might have. You should consider who else might be parking in the lot or garage, whether trucks or other vehicles can park there overnight, and whether larger trucks can comfortably maneuver the lot.
Know What You Need
You don’t want to pay for space you aren’t going to use the entirety of, or aren’t going to utilize properly for the needs you have. That being said, it’s still wise to shop for a space slightly more significant than you think you’ll need, which will give you a bit of wiggle room.
You also need to consider the zoning type you need and what type is already in effect at the property. For example, if you intend to lease an industrial space for retail but the property is not zoned for retail, you or your landlord will need to be willing to apply for a zoning change.
Other Important Things to Consider
After you’ve given some thought to the following points and have found a great industrial space to lease, you should consider the following, and be sure to ask questions of your potential landlord.
HVAC and Electric – A majority of industrial spaces and buildings don’t come with full HVAC systems. Typically, if one needs to be installed, this cost and responsibility for maintenance will fall on you as the tenant.
If a unit is installed, you can usually negotiate with your landlord. Suggest that you will pay for a maintenance contract for the HVAC, but that any major issues before that contract should be handled by the landlord. This is usually a fair compromise for use.
Ensure that the unit is inspected professionally before signing any contracts, and be sure to outline what will be fixed in the contract itself. If work needs to be done, have it signed or initialed and dated when complete, and have a certified technician validate the condition with each repair.
Ceiling Height – Ask how high the ceilings are when you get in contact with your landlord. Ask to do a walk-through of the property to see for yourself. Heights typically range from 18-feet to 25-feet.
You want to be sure that you have the height you need to accommodate stacked products and equipment, or if you intend to operate large machines or equipment in the building, or for any other uses you might have in mind.
Floor Load – You want to make sure that the concrete slab can handle the floor load for whatever you have in mind. Be wary of any cracks, deep chemical, acid, or oil stains, and other potential problems or hazards and address them before signing any contract.
Maintenance Responsibilities – There are certain aspects of maintenance that the landlord should be responsible for, such as the parking lot, but you will also have maintenance responsibilities as a tenant.
Make sure that you and your landlord go over all maintenance details, and get any agreements in writing. You should keep yourself and your landlord accountable for continued maintenance concerns.
Operating Expenses – These usually include insurance, agreed-upon maintenance, taxes, and certain repairs. Along with the maintenance, make sure that you and your landlord are clear on what overall operating expenses are your responsibility, and what they are willing to handle as the landlord.
These are all just some of the things to keep in mind when you want to lease an industrial space or warehouse. Following these tips will save you time, money, and stress, and will put you and your business on the path to a great future!