Getting Started with Commercial Tenant Improvements
Making tenant improvements in Las Vegas is not something to jump into without thinking. Picture this scenario:
You’ve found the perfect spot for your business. Your competition is at arm’s length, you’ve done a full analysis of foot traffic areas, and you know you can make a real difference at this new location—all of which is vital to survival in Las Vegas’s intense market. Just two things remain: sealing the deal with the landlord and sprucing the place up to make it your own.
You might not realize it, but those two actually go hand in hand in more ways than you might imagine. Making tenant improvements in Las Vegas commercial properties actually starts with the lease negotiation process. So you need to be sure you figure out the “who, when, and what” of your TI project.
The “who” part of Las Vegas tenant improvements encompasses a number of questions, which may include:
- Who is paying?
- Who is taking care of the project?
- Who determines what needs to be done?
- Who are we contracting this out to?
Determining who is paying for the project is central to negotiating the lease, so you will need to consider what needs to be done early on. The cost will usually be reflected in your rent, and the way that’s calculated is determined during negotiations. If the costs of improvements are not decided upon when the lease is signed, the landlord can calculate a TI allowance.
As for who actually takes care of what, that’s a different matter. Often, the landlord will take care of basic structural necessities and improvements while the tenant will handle more aesthetic/atmospheric items. In other cases, either the tenant or the landlord will be solely responsible for handling commercial renovation projects.
So what needs to be done? You might need an overhang for the front entrance, phone outlets, lighting, counters, and numerous other improvements to make the space both functional and fully representative of your business. Consulting with a Las Vegas general contractor is absolutely crucial here to make sure you get exactly what you need to attract customers and create the environment you need.
Again, either the landlord, tenant, or both will be responsible for tenant improvements. Knowing exactly what you are responsible for completing, what a TI allowance will cover, and when each item needs to be completed is key to preventing setbacks, misunderstandings, and costly financial entanglements. There are many elements you might not consider, but which are crucial to smooth business operation, so you need a general contractor who can bring expertise in both design and construction.
The timing of your project is just as important as knowing what needs to be included for renovation estimates. When does each part need to be finished? When do you get started on each phase of the project? When does TI as a whole even begin?
Deadlines are vital. Having a clear plan of what needs to be completed by when will prevent delays and keep you more secure in the event that certain improvements take longer than expected. Again, it’s absolutely crucial that you consult with a general contractor prior to signing the lease. Often, items such as design, acquiring permits, and architectural nuances can make a project take more time than you might expect, so having a construction expert on board will help you put a realistic plan together.
Deadlines should coincide with the date when you start paying rent. They should also be decided on in advance. This way, you might be able to offset any losses resulting from a delay. For example, if your landlord is responsible for making certain improvements by the time you move in, but doesn’t complete it on time, they may be obligated to give you a few months of free rent to recoup your losses.
Involving a General Contractor for Las Vegas Tenant Improvements
When negotiating the terms of the lease, the improvements you need to make, and the plans to get them completed, you need a general contractor in Las Vegas with you every step of the way. Get them involved early in the process. This will help you manage the following:
- Determining the timing of a project
- Evaluating costs of each part of your TI project
- Project management
- Timely completion of improvements
Having a general contractor on board before you begin lease negotiations will not only help you get a clear plan and timeline for the project, but it could also help you negotiate better terms for the lease as well. You will have a more solid base of information, and that makes for more precise negotiation with potential benefits for you.
When looking for a general contractor in Las Vegas, you need someone who is timely, committed to quality, and has experience with the types of improvements you’re looking to complete. They also need to be fully committed to safety, since that can impact the project’s success. An experienced Las Vegas general contractor like Benchmark Contracting, Inc. dba Cobblestone Construction can ensure the best results for your project.