How Much Time You Need To Find A NYC Office Space

By in Office Space NYC


NYC office space

Finding an office space in NYC can be hard, not that it’s an extremely difficult thing to do but without enough time it can become overwhelming. With enough time helping you find your perfect work space is a relatively easy process. Without it, you can run into problems that could have been easily avoided. With this in mind, we wanted to give a quick and easy guide so you know the ideal amount of time for you to find the perfect office space.

Most people that are not familiar with the process of finding an office space are surprised to find that three to four months can be plenty of time but that’s if everything goes as planned. You should allow at least six months to find an office to give yourself a cushion for small problems that might arise and it can take up to a year in many situations.

The Lease

The first thing you need to know is that once you sign your lease you lose all leverage. A vital part of securing the best possible office space is to do all your negotiating before you sign. By not giving yourself enough time to secure the best possible place for your business you lose all power you have going into making a deal.

Click here for help on How To Get Out Of Your NYC Office Lease

Starting the Process

When you’re looking for office space always have an estimate of how many square feet will be ideal so that everything runs as smooth as possible. There are some websites that do an excellent job helping you find the number of square feet you’ll need before you begin looking. We recommend either Lease Matrix’s Calculator or Hughes Marino.

Cornell TechTime Frame

To find an office space the search process takes one month on average. You can get lucky and find what you’re looking for in as little as two weeks but four to six weeks is more likely. During this process, you should have your ideal neighborhood in mind but you need to stay flexible based on the market and what’s available for your budget.

Click here for help with on Where To Begin Your Office Space For Rent Search

Negotiating the proposal is going to be an extra two to four weeks on average. You need to receive the initial terms in writing before you submit a counter proposal. If for some reason they can not offer the initial terms in writing ask for an email containing the office space listing which will give you the initial terms. You need to have something in writing so that both you and your commercial real estate broker have something to show the landlord if any misunderstanding arise. Having the proposal in writing does not commit you to the office space in any way.

Negotiating the lease will take another month as well. In recent history, Manhattan has been a tenant friendly rental market. Things are slowly moving in the direction of a more landlord friendly market. Not that it will be a seller market anytime soon but things are becoming more of an even playing field. Hiring a real estate broker to negotiate and take thHow Much Time You Need To Find A NYC Office Spacee lead on your behalf is crucial during negotiations. They have the experience and knowledge to get the best terms possible for you. A landlord is going to offer tougher terms to someone without a broker or agent acting on their behalf.

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Always have at least two or three office spaces you’re looking at all times and do not hide this from your future landlord. Negotiating power begins to favor them once they know you’re committed to one office space.

When you begin negotiating the lease this is also the best time to begin finding an architect. If you have an architect in place when you finalize the lease you can avoid any downtime. The architectural process of designing your office will take a few weeks, having an experienced construction professional as part of the team during the architectural design process is the best way to ensure a smooth transition. Retaining existing layouts and refurbishing items such as doors and wall and floor finishes is a primary method of keeping costs down during your office upgrade. Think about cutting changes to above-ceiling systems such as ductwork, sprinklers, and electrical distribution, which are among the costliest construction items.

Floored is an NYC startup that helps make architectural design easy. Their custom web-based graphics engine creates a video game-like experiences for commercial, residential, and retail projects. They bring live metrics, planning tools, and instant 3D exploration to every office space in the world.

Construction can begin once negotiations are finished. You should have usable blueprints and a firm budget including a cost per square foot budget for the build out. When looking for a contractor choose someone who will take the time to understand your company, culture, and goals. Contractor bids should include a detailed itemization of the projected cost. You should have someone overseeing construction once it begins with expected reports that confirm construction is staying on schedule. The reports need to include building department inspection reports, pictures, and updates. These are all crucial steps when gauging the cost of an office build out. For an office space in Manhattan, this usually takes two to four months.

If everything runs smoothly and goes as planned that puts your average amount of time to find an office space in NYC at six or more months depending on how quickly construction can be done.

Giving Yourself Enough Time Is Crucial When Negotiating Your Lease

In life, we all know that things rarely go exactly as planned. If anything pops up while planning for your new office it can take one year or more from the time you begin searching until you move in. Most people have no idea that it can take this long and they lose all negotiating power because they need to move into their new office as soon as possible.

Racing against a deadline can lead to bad decisions when signing your lease. The less time you have to find an office the more it favors your landlord.How Much Time You Need To Find A NYC Office Space

This is all happening in the background while you build your company. If you’re working long days and you have to find an office as fast as possible this can create a just get it done mentality. This is not a position you want to be in to get favorable terms.

Give yourself enough time to find the perfect place for you and your team, secure the best possible terms for your lease and give yourself enough wiggle room if there are delays in construction or if anything else pops up. Things can go smooth and happen fast but as we all know unexpected delays tend to happen and we can rest easier at night if we plan for them in advance.

Three to four months will give you enough time if everything goes right, six months is enough time to give yourself a cushion but one year as a general rule of thumb to find a new office you will always leave you exceptionally happy with the results.


Spaces Commercial Real Estate helps businesses in NYC find and secure great space. Whether you’re one person running the show or have a cast of characters to do your bidding we’ll help you find the right space and at the right price! Click below for more information.

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Jack Cohen

Jack Cohen has over 22 years of industry experience developing and implementing real estate strategies for clients in Manhattan and throughout the United States. Prior to founding Spaces Commercial Real Estate, Jack was a Managing Director at Colliers International for 3 years and a Director at Cushman & Wakefield for 9 years. Jack’s forward thinking has engineered some of Manhattan’s most unique and difficult deals including the repositioning and leasing of 636 11th Avenue, a 564,000 RSF warehouse to office conversion, which was awarded real estates highest honor- REBNY’s Henry Hart Rice Most Ingenious Deal of the Year Award. Jack is a graduate of Rutgers University School of Business where he majored in Economics and Business Management. He is a member of the Real Estate Board of New York, the executive committee of American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), and the Board of Education of Keter Torah, his childrens’ school. Jack lives on the Jersey Shore with his wife and three children.