Chicago is the third-largest city in the United States and boasts of a vibrant and progressive metropolitan area. This sprawling Midwest city stretches along the Great Lakes shoreline. Iconic skyscrapers such as the John Hancock Center and the Tribune Tower highlight the Chicago skyline. The city also is a great purveyor of arts and culture through its museums and the Art Institute of Chicago.
Chicago is an economic powerhouse, with over 400 major corporate headquarters that punctuate the city. As a matter of fact, thirty-six of these companies belong to the prestigious Fortune 500 list. Additionally, the city is a crucial player in almost all business sectors, such as manufacturing, health sciences, and information technology.
Chicago, with its strong economy and favorable business climate, is a quintessential venue for growing a start-up or setting up an office.
To help you achieve the perfect office space in Chicago, here are some tips to get you started.
Table of Contents
1. Assess Your Office Space Requirements
Before doing any online or actual search, you must take the time to list down the requirements and non-negotiable for the office space that you want.
The criteria may change throughout the whole process, but having an introductory guide will help you eliminate spaces that do not meet your needs.
Start your list with the basics, such as size, lease term, location, and neighborhood. Then move on to the non-negotiables such as the number of bathrooms, use of shared spaces, and security features.
Be ready to share and discuss this list with your company stakeholders and tenant representatives.
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2. Get the Help of an Expert
Commercial lease deals in Chicago are more complex than residential leases. It follows a different set of laws and regulations. It would be in your best interest to get the services of a tenant rep to help you close the best deal for your office space in Chicago.
Tenant representatives will be able to work around your list of requirements and provide you with the best narrowed down options. These licensed professionals will also help you negotiate for the best price and lease agreement.
3. Survey the Office Space
After narrowing down your choices to three to five office spaces, visit each one and survey the area. Check if the space matches your list of requirements. Identify the essentials such as the lobby space, restrooms, elevators, and hallways. Ask about the building’s security system. These factors must meet your needs and requirements.
Also, check if there are still improvements or modifications that you need to do before moving in. It is essential to know this information beforehand so you could factor it in your overall budget.
4. Study the Lease Carefully
Upon finding “The One,” you will receive an initial draft of the lease. Examine and study it very well under the guidance of your tenant rep. You should also show it to a notable commercial real estate lawyer. The state of Illinois, where Chicago is located, has different general tenant-right principles for residential and commercial spaces.
With the help of real estate and legal experts go over the Protective Lease Terms for Tenants. Other considerations include repairs and maintenance, security deposits, and termination or renewal.
5. Negotiate the Best Deal
Rental expenses require a big chunk of any company’s budget. Therefore, a lease agreement must provide fair and flexible terms that would bring value to your investment. It should not bear the unnecessary risk for your growing business.
A tenant rep will be able to strategize an advantageous deal for you so you can focus on building your company.
Finding the best home for your company is a crucial decision that a business owner needs to make. Doing your homework and seeking the help of professionals will help you make a solid decision that will benefit your company for years to come.