When looking for a new commercial space, you are likely to hear the term “vanilla box” frequently used, especially in new construction. The term refers to a commercial building that has a minimally finished interior. While these spaces are very alluring because they can be customized to fit your business’s exact needs, they are not without limits. Before you dive in head first at the thought of your landlord contributing to your improvement, our build out construction professionals at NMBOC have explained what you should know about these vanilla boxes.
The interior of a vanilla box is essentially just the shell of a building with a ceiling, walls, concrete floor, lighting, outlets, plumbing, and HVAC. While the space is far from being ready for business operations, it is considered ready for lease. The lease contracts will include a detailed list of agreed upon improvements that are to be made by the tenant and must be done before you can claim occupancy.
The agreement should specify the exact degree of construction that needs to be done to fulfill the terms. It is important to understand that you may have a different interpretation of the contract than your landlord, which is why you should have all of the details flushed out. Before going forward with the contract, you may want to have a real estate attorney review the agreement to avoid any potential lawsuits.
While you are expected to make improvements, the landlord will offer a tenant improvement allowance to help offset the costs. These stipends do not cover furniture or other fixtures related to the nature of the business. The improvements are those considered necessary to transform the building from a shell to a workable space. Typically, the improvements are not started until the agreement has been finalized to ensure the landlord does not pay for any unnecessary or unwanted work.
While working out all of the details of the contract, you should also reach out to build out companies to determine the cost of the required improvements. Once you have finalized the paperwork and have a firm understanding of the improvements that you need to make, our team at NMBOC can help you make all of the necessary upgrades. Along with ensuring you meet all of the lease’s specifications, we can also perform all of the construction needed for you to open your business.